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Part 4: know your assets

‘Assets’ is marketing speak for anything that can be used in your communication campaign.

What are assets?

Assets include:

  • General images: professional photography of key creatives, plus images of cast in and out of character. These are all setup shots, not taken from the actual finished production. Headshots are ok for some purposes, but media will generally want full length shots of individuals and groups to represent the show, like the images you see on posters. Build time into your shoot to get these images as once the shoot is over it can be difficult to reassemble all cast/creatives.

Original image

Image used in media coverage

If you can afford it and your show is of a standard you want to pursue mainstream media coverage, it’s also a good idea to have some promotional shots done against a solid (often white) background so you can have a designer ‘deep-etch’ the shots (delete the backgrounds), so media outlets can use that image/s overlayed on a page/website e.g. ‘what to watch’ sections. They’re also handy for your website.

"A huge reason why we try to work across all stages of a production is due to instances in the past where we have had to publicise a project once finished and there aren't the assets to do so." – Fiona Nix, NIXCo

  • Behind-the-scenes materials: photography and footage of the show being made. Standard action shots are a must (e.g. the director directing), but it’s always good to include some fun moments like bloopers or wrap shots.

  • Production materials: key stills taken from the finished product. If your show is episodic, normally the key stills selection will include all episodes (careful of spoliers!). Also have a 1-3 minute extract of footage from the show that you suggest media use to overlay with any interviews you do (otherwise they will just take whatever scenes they like from your YouTube).

  • Social media material: anything from a trailer, to an array of gifs on your show’s giphy channel, short loop videos for platforms like Instagram and custom materials e.g. an actor may appear in character for a video made especially for Snapchat.

  • Brand material: if you’re trying to establish a series, you should generally have a consistent logo, colour scheme etc. Good design gives your project a professional look and should be carried across your title, from your Instagram page to the credit roll on the finished product.

  • Editorial: If you obtain positive media coverage, those stories themselves become assets that you can share.


All materials should be:

  • High resolution: For images that means 300DPI (dots per inch) ideally at least 1000 pixels wide (which most smart phones can do, but it’s worth investing in at least some professional photography). Have a mix of landscape and portrait shots. For video it should be at least 720 HD (1080 HD is preferred), with the exception of clips made for low bitrate social media platforms like Twitter. The most common video file type is .mp4. Always test images and video on your own social media first to make sure they upload correctly. You may be asked to supply low resolution versions, but these are easily made from the high resolution original.
  • Clean: No logos, text or supers on any images or footage, unless it’s required e.g. gifs, captions.
  • Easily available: Pooling it all together in a Dropbox is the easiest, cheapest way to do this. Make it easy for people to understand what the materials are, so supply captions for images (including the photographer credit) and include any media releases and cast lists within the Dropbox. Clearly label any content that is embargoed (which means it can’t be used publicly before a certain date).

For promotional video on social media, remember people might not have the sound on when they view it. YouTube and Facebook allow native captioning, so use it! For Twitter and Instagram, you may consider burnt-in captions (meaning the captions are actually on the footage).


Below is a list of moments you may feature in your communications strategy, which you should keep in mind for asset creation. Some moments will be bigger than others, for instance your project announcement may include a full media release, picture gallery and teaser video, whereas costume fittings might be an Instagram post.

  • Project announcement especially if the project has attracted major backers
  • Cast announcement, which may be rolled into the project announcement for smaller projects
  • Writer’s room progress
  • First day of rehearsal and/or cast table reads
  • Scouting locations
  • Costume fittings / set building
  • First day of shooting (start of ‘principal photography’)
  • Last day of shooting / wrap
  • Post-production in progress
  • Premiere screening / red carpet
  • Festival screenings
  • Public release
  • Review grabs e.g. taking review quotes and putting them on imagery for social
  • Hitting a milestone e.g. views

Language warning

This guide is aimed at Australian online creators and is for educational purposes only, and does not replace professional advice. The guide cannot be replicated without written permission.