Promoting An Indie Film - Lessons From Hitchcock's Psycho!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on October 13, 2014

Every great film has an interesting story behind its making which can provide with a great subject material for a film . Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller Psycho is one such movie. Paramount Films initially refused the budget they usually offered for Hitchcock’s films as they felt Psycho was too risqué a film.  As a result Hitchcock largely funded the film himself and shot it in black and white to save costs.

Hitchcock also deviated from the usual norm of promotions by not hosting press screenings for the movie. Neither did Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh and other actors of the film do any media interviews prior to the release of the film.

Furthermore when the film released, Hitchcock implemented a 'No Admission Policy' for late comers. Audiences either saw the film from the beginning or they didn’t see the film at all. There were another set of posters which requested audiences not to reveal the end to those who had not seen the film.

Psycho (1)

Theatre owners initially balked at the ‘No Admission Policy’ idea as they feared financial losses.  Hitchcock however was adamant on implementing this policy. Admirably Hitchcock’s gamble paid off and the film drew large crowds to the theatres.  It also led to Psycho becoming a huge critical and commercial success.

An extended press book on the film by Paramount Pictures and Hitchcock includes a video which shows how Alfred Hitchcock used the above mentioned strategies and drew audiences in large numbers to the theatres.

How Hitchcock Got People To See  Psycho    4

It also contains excerpts from various theatre managers who admit how Hitchcock’s smart marketing made the film a massive success. Out-of-box marketing for a film has often resulted in its success and Psycho is a great example of the same.

Watch this video to know how you can create a great buzz for your film by using innovative marketing techniques.


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