Getting It Seen: How To Identify Audiences For Your Film VOD

  • Project Development, Marketing Strategy
  • 60min
  • Industry Programme
  • 2020

This is the on-demand recording of the panel, to watch live on the 2nd November please click here.

“Who is it for?” That is the question. A film’s target audience is of crucial importance to decision-makers, from film institutions to commissioners, from festival programmers to local distributors.

In this discussion, industry experts explore the importance of identifying audiences, from project development to marketing strategy, and examine the research tools used to analyse, define and eventually reach audiences.

Speakers: Wez Merchant (Strike Media), Deborah Sheppard, Kira-Anne Pelican

Hosted by Louise Salter

About the Speakers:

Wez Merchant:

Wez Merchant, whose career started in 2002 runs Marketing & Communications agency Strike Media, now in its 11th year. He also created social film app MyFilmClub, the aim of which is to create communities of cinema goers and to aide good mental health through community engagement. Strike Media runs unit, trade and film and home entertainment release campaigns, as well as consultancy for filmmakers looking for routes market.

During lockdown Strike created the home entertainment newsletter to keep media and distributors aligned with details of all releases. Strike also look after personal PR for actors, producers and directors. For more information visit

Deborah Sheppard:

Deborah Sheppard was the Marketing Director for 10 years at United International Pictures (international distribution network set up by Universal, Paramount and MGM). She is known for her ability to sheppard audiences for your Film.

UIP included such diverse titles as Tomorrow Never Dies, The Thomas Crown Affair, Inside Man, Shrek, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Love Actually, The Ring, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-rabbit, Jarhead, United 93, The Bourne Identity, Nanny McPhee,The Rugrats Movie and many more.

Kira-Anne Pelican:

Kira-Anne Pelican is a script consultant, a researcher and a lecturer in screenwriting. She has 25 years of experience working in the British, American and Chinese film and TV industries. She is widely credited with developing Deep Characterisation as a storytelling tool.

She began her career assisting director Stanley Kubrick in the production of Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Next followed a stint working within the BBC’s groundbreaking Virtual Studios department. Then Kira-Anne took posts as a Visual Effects Technical Director and VFX Producer for ESC Entertainment, a Warner Bros company. She also worked in the production of The Matrix Revolutions (2003), The Matrix Reloaded (2003), Catwoman (2004) and The Ladykillers(2004),

Kira-Anne retrained in screenwriting at UCLA. She wrote two original TV series which were optioned and developed by the BBC and ITV, before founding, her screenplay consultancy, in 2006. Since then Kira-Anne has worked with hundreds of writers and producers across the world and specialises in character development, transnational story consultancy and box office forecasting.

In 2017, Kira-Anne was awarded a PhD for her research into forecasting a film’s box office from its narrative using deep data and the psychological tools she has developed for her deep Characterisation Workshop.

About the Host:

Entering the film industry as an actor, Louise Salter led in award-winning short films whilst developing her skills as a producer. In 2017, Louise co-created, produced and led alongside Scottish Bafta-winner Sophie Kennedy Clark in her short film, How to be Human. To make this film possible, Louise raised 121% of her target through crowdfunding in 30 days.

Following the success of How to be Human, which is now available to watch worldwide on DUST, Louise secured investment which is enabling her to develop her first feature film through her co-founded production company, Slowcooked.

Louise is a mentor to students on the Raindance Postgraduate Film Degree programme, on the jury of the EMIFF 48 hour film competition and is regarded by the BAFTA Albert Consortium as a Carbon Literate filmmaker