Aftermovie or Afterthought?


Summer is almost here and the festival season is starting. Time to take a look at the do’s and don’ts in aftermovies.

Aftermovies of festivals, you have probably seen them before; films that usually start with a time-lapse whereby you see the festival terrain flooded with people, a lot of shots from above, pretty girls on shoulders, hands in the air and lots of happy faces. All this interspersed with slow-motion images of artists and DJ’s.

On YouTube, more than two million of these types of convertible films are obtainable, most of which are actually not more than a 1-to-1 impression of what happened during the day. But you can rarely, truly retrieve the magic of the event in one of these aftermovies.

And that is a shame because besides being an important pre-sales and marketing tool, the aftermovie can be a good opportunity to give your partners and sponsors a platform that can reach out to many more people, far beyond the actual visitors of the event.

But does everyone take the aftermovie serious enough?

The aftermovie is, unfortunately, more often than not, an afterthought. Not until after the event is over people start to consider what the film should tell, how it should look and what it should sound like. Because of this, content is often too late because music rights still have to be cleared at the last possible moment. All of this causes 99% of the aftermovies to not be distinctive.

Everyone who takes the production of an aftermovie serious should work to develop a concept that truly hits its target audience.

Loving is sharing

Which is actually weird. Everyone who works on the production of an aftermovie should work to develop a concept that truly hits its target audience; loving is sharing. And a concept that, naturally, adds value to its partners and sponsorships. Don’t tell a story separately but instead tell it together with a combined concept and ditto budget. The choices for music and the corresponding licenses are an important part of the budget and planning. Try to determine well in advance which track should be laid underneath the film and ask permission for its use.

It is often thought that the promotional value is more than enough to gain free permission of its artists and composers. There is, of course, an exchange between common interests and the costs to gain licenses, but most events are commercial operations, so logically a commercial fee should be paid.

To conclude, approach an aftermovie as a serious tool in the marketing mix, whereby enough time and budget should be reserved, that is linked to the communication goals. If you manage to achieve more than 56 million views on Youtube with an aftermovie from Tomorrowland 2014 then you know that every minute or euro has been spent very wisely and effectively.

Below you will find several examples of very successful and not so successful aftermovies.

Dekmantel 2014

Not perfect but you can definitely see they have put a lot of effort and thought into this aftermovie. Besides the music there are a lot of elements that make this film more personal. You are able to fully appreciate the atmosphere that is trying to be conveyed in the aftermovie.

Due to the large numbers of views and the number of actual visitors of the festival itself, this can be seen as a good example of the greater reach an aftermovie can have.

Ultra Miami 2014

Again, clearly well thought about. It is a very simple, but effective example of how DJ’s can introduce an aftermovie, which makes it more personal. And this also ensures you that the main characters of the aftermovie will probably share it as well. Although the number of online views (just above 2.5 million) is still a bit disappointing, this number only references to the number of views on Youtube.

Less successful
Rock Werchter 2015

A good example of a less successful aftermovie, mainly due to the fact that the concept isn’t distinctive. This template is also used for a dozen other aftermovies. The content on the other hand was pretty quick available; directly after the festival. The number of views on Youtube (51.000) in comparison to the actual 150.000 visitors is pretty disappointing.

Pitch 2015

The music in this film is pretty good (but thats my personal opinion) but for an aftermovie without any surprising elements simply too plain to really be noticed. The way the images are shot and ultimately cut aren’t distinctive from other similar large festivals. The strengths of PITCH as a festival aren’t shown in this clip.