What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Indie Filmmakers

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On April 14 this year Film Sprites PR will turn 3 years old. Yes, my humble little PR and digital marketing consultancy for film will become a rambunctious threenager!

Part of the reason Film Sprites PR became a reality was because I could see that there were amazing filmmakers out there who deserved sparkling publicity and social media marketing…and I wanted to be of service.

But if it wasn’t for the spirit of these filmmakers themselves I wouldn’t have reached out. I might have waited pointlessly for my ship to come in instead of making my own opportunities. But interacting with indie filmmakers on Twitter and seeing the way they were making their own opportunities encouraged me to step out and do the same.

If you’re an entrepreneur you can learn so much from the world of indie film. Indie filmmakers are creative, resilient, self-starting, motivated and flexible- all the qualities that a lot of entrepreneurs embody or would like to embody. Here’s what I’ve learned from indie filmmakers, and what you can learn too:

They “Choose Themselves”

Indie filmmakers are the embodiment of “choosing themselves”, as trader/writer/entrepreneur James Altucher puts it. Indie filmmakers don’t wait for opportunities to show the world what they can do- they make the opportunities themselves. The digital age has helped to assist people to “choose themselves” due to the pervasive nature of social media and the Internet. The new systems of streaming and content distribution are also supporting indie filmmakers to “choose themselves”.

What entrepreneurs can learn from this: don’t wait to be “picked”! You are neither a flower or a kid waiting in line for dodgeball teams. Find a problem that needs solving, then offer your solutions. Don’t fit into a niche- create one. I thoroughly recommend James Altucher’s books Choose Yourself and Reinvent Yourself, because they are the rallying cry for creating your own opportunities. You should also check out James’ podcast interview on the Dave Bullis Podcast– it’s well worth a listen.

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They’re Adaptable

If you look up ‘adaptable’ in the dictionary, you’d probably see a picture of an indie filmmaker! Indie filmmakers are adaptable because they have to be. Often, indie filmmakers are working with moderate to micro budgets, and with very tight filming schedules. There’s no luxury of being able to book actors in for a long stint, tech failures happen and sometimes the weather is against you when it comes to location shoots and external shots. But indie filmmakers always find a way. From pre-production through to post, they’re adaptable and deal with anything that comes their way unexpectedly because they have to. When an issue pops up, an indie filmmaker is already thinking of a solution. If a location falls through they’ll find another, or they’ll adapt the script. Indie filmmakers are always thinking on their feet because they have to.

What entrepreneurs can learn from this: you can put in as many contingency plans as you like, but sometimes things will pop up that you weren’t expecting. That’s where you need to be flexible in your actions and thinking. A positive mindset is key- you can’t go retreating to the couch with a box of Milk Tray every time you have a troll or a tech failure. When something goes wrong, don’t spend time ruminating on it- start finding solutions (even if you’re feeling really cruddy about what’s happened). Being proactive halts the feeling of helplessness in its tracks.

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They Follow Their Passions

One of the best stories of how a film came into being would have to come from filmmaker Simon Cox, director of Kaleidoscope Man. As a child, Simon saw Star Wars and loved it so much that it sparked a lifelong love of sci-fi and would eventually lead to the birth of Kaleidoscope Man. Indie filmmakers bring into the world exactly what they want the world to see, because their passion for film and filmmaking is a driving force. Ask any filmmaker what inspires them and they will give you a wealth of inspirations and creative influences, because as creatives they are driven by a passion to create films and tell stories. It’s because of this passion that indie filmmakers are so adaptable and more likely to bypass the “middle men” to bring their creative visions to the screen. They have a passion for film and they know that they have a gift to give the world.

What entrepreneurs can learn from this: when you have a passion for something, it can serve as a guiding light going forward. Often you may not know where the next step of the journey will take you, but keeping your passion first and foremost in your mind will help to inform you in every decision you make. Indie filmmakers are constantly having to evaluate decisions, offers of assistance or other opportunities based on their creative vision and their goals for their filmmaking and films and you should too. How will a strategic partnership serve your overall goals? Is a decision going to move you forward in the direction you see yourself going in, or is it just a “make work” exercise? Constantly evaluate decisions and actions by using your passion as a compass.

You can learn so much from indie filmmakers and be inspired by them, because they don’t give up. If you want to know more about indie filmmakers and their films, one of the best places to look is via the Twitter hashtag #SupportIndieFilm. You will find an absolute wealth of independent filmmakers and their films, as well as many crowdfunding campaigns for films that would dearly love more support and contributions.

 

Need PR/social media marketing assistance for your indie film? See what we have to offer HERE.