How To Make A Movie: A Film Trooper Case Study 03 – How To Find Your Audience

Film Trooper


How To Find Your Audience?

The experts are always telling us, indie filmmakers, to find our audience …

To build your audience …

To know your audience …

What does this all mean?

And why is it important when you’re making your movie?

Well, that’s the question that I explore in today’s episode of:  How to Make a Movie: A Film Trooper Case Study 03 – How to Find Your Audience.


How the Hell Do You Find Your Audience?

So, I’m making a movie.  A scary movie.  In the past episodes, I explored why we love being scared and what scares us.

But today, I’ll be finding out who I’m supposed to be scaring.  Boo!

But where to start?

Let’s do a simple web search …



Before jumping onto Twitter, you can use these two websites to gain better insight at what people are talking about that closely relates to the topics of your film project.

As in my case, making a scary movie …

I may simply just type in the (hashtag) #scarymovie and #paranormal

Then after collecting the data from these searches, you can go onto Twitter and begin engage and connect with people who use those hashtags on a regular basis.



Using Facebook to find large groups of people who may be interested in the topics that your film is about …

Simply type in the keywords into the search bar at the top and select “Groups” at the right side.  It could be buried under the “More” tag at the top.

Your searches should show you a collection of public and private groups of people who have gathered to share and discuss the topics that closely relate to your film’s topic.

As for me, I entered in the keywords, “scary movie” and “paranormal”.

A list of groups popped up and now my job is to join as many as I can and start connecting and engaging with people in those communities.



At the far left side of Google+ menu, there is an option to search for “Communities”.

In the search bar at the top, you can enter in your keywords and see what pops up!

For my case study, the words “scary movie” and “paranormal” revealed several large communities of people eager to discuss and share things on my very topic.


Now What Do You Do With The Information You Gather?

It’s time to build out a checklist questionnaire!


You’re in luck, I have one that you can download right now to get started here:


Here’s a sample of how I filled out the checklist questionnaire:



1.  Who do you dream of hanging out with?

I dream of hanging out with people who are extremely smart, inspiring, and motivating.  People who share a common curiosity about the universe.


2.  What sort of people do you aspire to be friends with?

I enjoy people who have a wonderfully witty and crass sense of humor, but who have a positive influence on the communities (or tribes, as Seth Godin refers to them as) where they provide value.  These people are “real” and flawed, but strive to do better and help others despite their shortcomings.


3.  Who would you like to hang out with on a daily basis?

Besides my wife and daughter when they’re in a good mood?  Haha, or when I’m in a good mood after my team wins  … I’d have to say, I’d like to hang with people who see more in me than I do in myself … and who challenge me to go beyond myself everyday … and who can take a good “ribbing” (that means joking for all my foreign friends).  Nothing is better than hanging with good friends, picking on our insecurities, and trading insults until we end the conversation with (bleep) you.


4.  Would you like these ideal friends to become ideal fans?

I would like my friends to call me out on my B.S. to keep me grounded.  But I would like my ideal fans to apply anything I might be sharing to their lives in a positive manner.  As for my work, for my films, I’d like to have (any) fans that simply respond by saying, “Your film really spoke to me.”  Or “Dude, your film made me laugh.”  But since, I’m trying to make a ghost story, I want to connect with fans who are more interested in the deeper questions and wonders of the paranormal, rather than someone who is fan of blood and gore.


5.  How old are they?

35-45 years old.


6.  Are they men, women, or children?

Men and women.


7.  What country do they come from?

United States and Canada.


8.  What city do they live in?

They in live in the suburbs.


9.  How much money do they make?

Anywhere from $36,000 – $75,000 annually.


10.  What is their socioeconomic background?

Most of these men and women come from working to middle class families.  They are not wealthy, but could have deep roots in Catholicism or Judaism.


11.  What movies do they like?  How do they like to watch movies?

These men and women between the ages of 35-45 years old like to watch films such as The Conjuring, Poltergeist, and The Exorcist.  They prefer to watch these films in the comfort of their own home, on their flat screen TV’s either through Netflix, iTunes, or Amazon Prime Video.


12.  What music do they like?  How do they like to listen to music?

These working class adults, probably still have affection for music such as punk rock, hair metal, and classic rock.  Listening to music is not a regular habit, as it’s an occasional thing to do at parties when someone is playing Pandora on a digital media player.


13.  What do they read?  Books?  Magazines?  Blogs?

These adults read books on paranormal investigations, real ghost stories … but mostly, read Facebook and some paranormal blogs.


14.  Who are their friends?

Since most of these working class adults are also religious, they’ll spend time with extended family and other church members.  Their friends are connected through tradition.


15.  What are their values?

These adults value family and church.  They place value on faith and look for explanations about the unknown through their doctrine.


16.  What do they like to spend their money on?

Money is spent at the bar with friends.  Money is spent on accessible tech gadgets, maybe even gear for ghost hunting.  Money is spent on entertainment, such as video games.


17.  What does their daily routine look like?

These adults wake up, take care of the pets, get the kids ready for school, go to work, converse with co-workers about the big game, come home, make dinner, watch TV, put the kids to bed, and in the waning hours of the night, they log online to explore articles and videos about the paranormal.


18.  What do they never leave the house without bringing with them?

For the men, they never leave the house without their car keys, wallet, and smart phone.  For the women, they never leave the house without their car keys, purse, and smart phone.


19.  What are their fears?

The paranormal unknown.


20.  What are their desires?

To be financial secure.  To find proof that there is evidence of the paranormal.  To feel validated that their paranormal experience was real.


21.  What keeps them awake at night?  What are they worried about?

Kid’s health.  Money.  Parent’s health.  The meaning of their life.


22.  What do they dream about?

Being recognized for discovering the truth about the paranormal.


23.  What do they aspire to become?

They want respect and validation for the deepest desire to understand and discover the truth about the paranormal.


24.  How can your film product fulfill these dreams?

These ideal fans are looking to connect and be transformed by a story that explores the deeper questions they have about the paranormal.  I have to make a film that scares and entertains them, at the same time tapping into these deeper psychological desires of “validation” and “explanation”.  If executed correctly, my film can become a gateway of further discussion for these ideal fans.


Your Turn …

Let me know if these strategies are helpful to you in your pursuit of your audience?  Or let me know of other cool ways to find your audience!

Leave a comment below.


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Scott McMahon is a Fellow Film Trooper at Film Trooper, a website for helping filmmakers attain filmmaking freedom. Scott recently made a feature film for $500 with no crew called, The Cube. Want to know what equipment was used to make that film? Grab a FREE gift at