Independent Films by the Numbers

The marketing of Independent Films

Website analysis of the Dead Snow (2008) film website

Movie: Dead Snow (2008)
URL: http://www.deadsnow.com
Designed by: Unknown
Reviewed: 2/25/2009

Overview:
An extremely simple flash site with an embedded trailer over the top of splash image.

Film Description:

Zombie Nazis in Norway. Do I need to say more? Maybe a little more. The film is a Norwegian language horror/comedy, which was picked up after its Sundance 09 premiere by IFC films.

Marketing Notes:

There is not much here in terms of marketing. The site and its buzz strategy are fairly simple.

The splash background image is cool with the film title in red and a series of three Nazis in the snow. This image is textured to appear as if the image is painted on canvas. The colors are nicely shaded in mottled dark blues and greens with occasional punches of red. On top of this background, the trailer plays off to the left side.

In general, I like the look of the site. The trailer is fine. I think the trailer could have been more playful or suspenseful, but than again this is a film whose premise sells itself. It does not take much to market a film about zombie Nazis, since the draw is the concept. Too artsy a trailer is probably over-thinking things.

I would have like a few more marketing features on the site such as a signup for updates or some way of contacting the production company Elle Driver. That being said, the site works for me, since it nicely focused on creating buzz by having a home for trailer. The idea of a film about zombie Nazis will probably do the rest. You really don’t need more.

It is very good that they were able to get the URL deadsnow.com. It makes them much more findable than using less obvious URLs such as deadsnowthemovie.com. BTW, the title of the film is excellent. The combination the works Dead and Snow makes for a memorable and evocative title. I like it.

Technology Notes:

I do not like the fact that I cannot pause, rewind, forward, or mute the flash video. I can hide the trailer via a button at the bottom of the page and start it up again, but that is all. The size and quality of the video is good, but it is clearly only directed at broadband users. The design is likewise optimized for at least 1024 pixel wide screen.

What I like least about this site from a tech standpoint is its use of a frameset to place the flash movie on the page instead of using DNS, redirects or content publishing to make a more seamless implementation. The real content sits at http://kampanje.filmweb.no/euforia/deadsnow/. There is no excuse for this kind of sloppy use of frames in my mind. The HTML is sparse, except for a large number of largely unused meta-tags, which suggest this site was developed using some sort of publishing framework (maybe hosted by filmweb.no). In general, these issue are not so good for search optimization.

The site’s traffic is being tracked by Google Analytics.

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