Want To Give Up On Your Dream? Read This

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Trying to achieve any kind of dream is hard work, and seeing progress is the fun part. But there are times along the way when you may feel like chucking it in: the project stalls, you can’t see any forward momentum, or you’ve faced a massive disappointment. It’s completely natural to feel all the feels and want to give up. And yes, I’ve been there! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to give up. I’m still here to tell the tale, though, and right now I’m moving further towards my next goal more than ever before.

One of the reasons I was compelled to write this post was because, admittedly, I did have a recent period where I was ready to give up, and thankfully I didn’t. I wished, however, that someone had been able to give me the sort of pep talk I’m about to give you…and thus this blog post was born. So here’s some of the things I’ve learned about wanting to give up, and how to reset it and move forward:

Acknowledge that you want to give up…but do something about it: I think we’re conditioned to want to eliminate all the bad stuff and just be happy. But putting on a brave face can sometimes be worse than if we faced the issue head-on. So you want to give up? Acknowledge how you’re feeling. Say it if you have to. And then ask yourself why you want to give up.

Here’s an idea: Set a timer, grab a piece of paper and a pen (or open a document on your tablet/computer) and write for 5 minutes. Don’t judge it, just let whatever comes through come through for you. After 5 minutes, look at what you wrote down. Is there anything on the list that you can do something about so you don’t quit?

Let me give you an example: let’s say you want to give up on your dream of working for yourself, and one of the things you wrote down was that you can’t get enough time to do online courses that could help you. How can you change that? Look at the way your day is scheduled and see where you can make changes. Can you exchange a few episodes of Orange is the New Black for time dedicated to an online course? Being proactive when it comes to the things that make you want to give up can give you renewed momentum and help you to turn things around.

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Take a break: true story- a year before Film Sprites PR came into being, I was studying, working, and networking. Not uncommon when you’re changing career, but I was so driven and determined that I took it to the extreme. I would be up until midnight, writing, networking, chasing leads, then I’d be working 8 hours in a day job the next day. Then I’d come home, pull out my textbooks, do my assignments, and subsequently continue networking again from about 9:00pm until midnight. And on and on it went. Weekends? Fugheddaboutit.

As a result, I caught a cold that turned to the worst case of bronchitis I have ever experienced. And I crashed. In fact, when my niece and her dad came down to stay with us on holiday, I couldn’t get out of bed for most of the time. She would show me souvenirs from her day trips and say: “I hope you can come next time”….and it broke my heart. There will be times when you do have to amp up your efforts, but don’t sacrifice your physical and mental wellbeing for it. Sometimes, when we want to give up it can be a subtle sign that what we really need is rest. Put things aside for a day, a week, a year. Have social media-free days. When you give yourself a break, regardless of the time period, chances are you are going to come back to your goal with renewed energy, vigor and inspired ideas.

Remember WHY you started: if I had to give just one piece of advice, this would be it. So often we get caught up in the minutiae of goals. Sometimes, we can seem completely adrift from what it was we wanted to do in the first place. When you’re wanting to give up, that’s the absolute best time to remember why you started. Write it down, blog about it, revisit whatever it was that inspired you to achieve your dreams and goals. Does that WHY still resonate with you? If it does, go forward bravely. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too- you might want to try the techniques above and re-evaluate or tweak your goal. Our goals change with us, because our lives change. Some dreams stay relevant, some transform and grow as we do.

It’s OK to ask for what you want: one of my favourite people in the entire world is singer/songwriter/performer Amanda Palmer. In fact, just prior to establishing Film Sprites PR I watched her TED talk The Art of Asking…which prompted me to hop on Twitter and ask filmmakers I knew if they needed publicity and digital marketing for their films (and thus Sprites was born!). Subsequent to the TED talk, Amanda wrote a brilliant book of the same name. I thoroughly recommend seeking out both, because whether you’re an artist, an entrepreneur, a filmmaker or a dreamer they are indispensable on your journey. Which brings us to our next point, in an albeit rambly way: ASK. Whether it’s reaching out to a potential mentor to help you so you don’t want to quit, or asking for volunteers to help lighten your load, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want or need.

And remember: if you want to give up on a dream or goal- that’s fine too! Ultimately, you are the best judge of what is right for you. No matter what your decision, just know that you’ve got one big supporter here.

Great Reads for Filmmakers

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It was the great Groucho Marx who said: “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read”. I’m hoping that anyone reading this post has not mastered reading inside a dog, but I think Groucho’s assessment of the magic of books is correct. And if you are an indie filmmaker, books can be a wise investment on your journey. Whether it’s technical texts or books to inspire, having a resource library at your disposal is very useful. Quite often when conversing with filmmakers, if there’s a book I know of that I think will be useful or that they will find interesting, I definitely make a recommendation. I also try and do an update on this subject on the blog as I find books that I know filmmakers, producers, people aspiring to work in the film industry, or entrepreneurs may find useful (and most importantly enjoyable).

Here’s an updated list of reading recommendations for filmmakers, people wanting to broaden their film industry knowledge base, entrepreneurs and dreamers everywhere.

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign- 2nd Edition- John T. Trigonis

If you want to gain funds for your indie film via crowdfunding, this is THE book to read. John T. Trigonis knows his stuff. Filmmaker, strategist and so much more besides (check out his exceptional bio on his website), he has successfully crowdfunded his own projects, given a TEDx talk, and mentored some incredibly high-profile crowdfunding campaigns with successful results. This is the book I recommend to every single filmmaker who is about to undertake crowdfunding. It’s also an enjoyable read. Think of it as like having John sitting you down for a quick consult to make sure you’re prepped and ready to go.

Success in Film: A Guide to Funding, Filming and Finishing Independent Films- Julia Verdin and Matt Dean

This is an excellent guide for anyone getting involved in independent films in any capacity. Whether you’re a producer, director, publicist or actor, it’s a guide I thoroughly recommend, especially if you’re just starting out. It’s also a guide that will interest film-lovers who want to know more about the filmmaking process (and in particular the world of independent film). Julia and Matt detail the steps involved in independent filmmaking: from finding your script, through to creating a business plan for potential investors and/or distributors, right through to publicity and marketing of your film and the filmmaking process. It’s a dynamic and inspiring read with practical, no-nonsense advice. And it’s advice that comes from a deep well of knowledge: Julia Verdin is one of Hollywood’s leading independent producers/directors, so the knowledge comes from a wealth of experience. It’s definitely the kind of book you can read in one sitting.

Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t: Why That Is And What You Can Do About It- Steven Pressfield

So, why should you believe Steven Pressfield when he says nobody wants to read your sh*t? Pressfield has had the benefit of having a career that has spanned advertising, screenwriting, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and self-help. His debut novel, The Legend of Bagger Vance, became a Dreamworks film, but it took seventeen years for his first writing cheque. He’s someone who has been ‘in the trenches’ and knows his stuff. Whether you’re writing a screenplay, aspiring to be a novelist or wanting to know how to connect with your audience authentically through your narrative, this book is excellent. You can read a sample on the Black Irish Books website.

Choose Yourself! and Reinvent Yourself!- James Altucher

Choose Yourself! and subsequently Reinvent Yourself! are two books I recommend to anyone. If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, an entrepreneur, or if you’re currently striving for your goals but have nagging doubts about how things are going to pan out, these books are for you. We’re no longer living in a world where we take one job in a little cubicle for the rest of our lives. Society has changed, technology and communications have changed. These books are a rallying cry to the self-starter, the indie filmmaker, the dreamer and anyone willing to take a chance on themselves and make things happen.

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die- Steven Jay Schneider (editor), updated by Ian Haydn Smith

I’ll never forget receiving the first edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. I pored over it time and again until it became dog-eared, coffee stained and with a cracked spine. I would put little red ticks on the top corner of the pages of the films I had seen and aimed to see all 1001 films in the book. Unfortunately, I can’t recall how many I managed to see in that edition! Updated with each edition, film critics from around the world write magnificent entries for the films they believe require inclusion into the list. It also contains gorgeous colour photographs and vital statistics about each film. This is one resource that is always a cause for great discussion, especially when it comes to debating the merits of one film over another, or arguing for a beloved film that didn’t “make the cut” in the latest edition (pun fully intended). It’s such a gem of a book that I recommend it to every single cinephile.

How Indie Filmmakers Can Benefit From The Digital Age

How Indie Filmmakers Benefit From The Digital Age

Last Saturday morning, I was up with the dawn chorus in order to fit in 2 scheduled Skype meetings. The first was a discovery call for a PR client, the second was meeting with the director of the film I helping to produce (with Film Sprites PR also providing the publicity and digital marketing). It occurred to me how incredible it was that with the press of a button I could go from speaking to someone in the UK to speaking to another person in the US… all from my office in New Zealand.

Modern technology and communications has come a long way in a very short space of time. I once remarked on a podcast that what we do at Film Sprites PR in terms of providing publicity and digital marketing for clients around the world would not have been as viable 10 years ago as it is now. Chances are, you’re reading this on your phone or a portable device. You can switch from reading a blog post to updating your Facebook status in no time at all. We don’t tend to blink an eye when it comes to anything we do social media or technology-related, because it’s now become so embedded in our daily lives.

To give you an idea of how far we’ve come, I want to get a bit nostalgic about the technology I grew up with. I was fortunate enough to be part of an extended family that could be classified as ‘early adopters’ of personal computing. I was born and raised in the 1980s; that day-glo era of legwarmers and mullets. Madonna and MJ ruled the airwaves. Growing in up New Zealand in the 1980s we were brought up on a steady diet of American sitcoms, but never missed an episode of homegrown sketch comedy The Billy T. James Show (An excellent look at the cultural life of kids in the 1980s in NZ can be seen in Taika Waititi’s BOY, and in fact at one point the kids are watching The Billy T. James Show in the film). We played Space Invaders (known colloquially as ‘Spacies’) while we waited for our orders at the local fish n’ chip shop. Personal computing was just starting to make its mark with the likes of the Spectrum ZX 128 and the Commodore 64, both of which my uncle had. I remember looking at the Spectrum ZX 128 and marveling over the fact you could play computer games on it. The games were on a cassette tape, mind you, and when loading would make the most horrendous sound. The only sound close to it would be the dial-up sound of the Internet in the 1990s.

And speaking of the Internet…oh yes…the dulcet tones of dial-up in the mid to late 1990s was as much of a novelty as receiving e-mail was. And cellphones? Positively brick-esque. I was the proud owner of a baby blue coloured Alcatel prepaid cellphone, one of the first at my high school to have one. It’s now incredible to think that so much of what we did on PCs we can now do on our smartphones.

These advances in technology have made it easier to share your world with others. Although there’s much disdain over the ubiquitous selfie and the posting of food on Instagram, this is a time where life is being archived by everyone and history is being written every day by you and me. Social movements can begin with a hashtag. Ideas spread even quicker than before. And yes, there are the ubiquitous selfies and pictures of food on Instagram (both of which I’m guilty of!), but it is modern society’s way of saying: “I’m here. This is my life.” Unfortunately, access to this communication is still unequal (due to Internet censorship in totalitarian countries, regional access/availability to varying speeds of Internet and cost being prohibitive, etcetera), but the digital age is well and truly upon us.

For the indie filmmaker, the digital age can be a fruitful one. A film shot in Mesquite, Texas and available on Vimeo can be seen by an indie film lover in Perth, Australia. Casting calls are no longer limited to newspapers and trade publications. Filmmakers can upload and submit their films to film festivals around the globe via sites like Film Freeway in a flash. When it comes to film production, indie filmmakers are no longer limited by geographic location. The perfect composer for your film might be in the same state as you, your graphic designer a thousand miles away, and your publicist on a completely different continent and none of these are the barriers they once were.

The emergence and growth of streaming services has also given indie filmmakers more options when it comes to distribution of their films. From VHX to Vimeo, or streaming free on YouTube, an indie filmmaker can connect to audiences in an instant. Amazon, Netflix, iTunes, Google Play…you can find your audience right where they are and where they like to consume their media.

Now, seeing as we are a publicity and digital marketing consultancy, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how indie filmmakers can benefit from the digital age when it comes to social media! Thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, indie filmmakers can grow their audiences well in advance of a film’s release. The Internet has also seen the growth of fandoms, each with their own unique in-jokes, jargon and creation of fan art. One of the most popular Twitter hashtags, #supportindiefilm, connects indie filmmakers to fans of indie film who are genuinely supportive and excited about independent films and will share continent with great enthusiasm.

The possibilities aren’t endless just yet, but the world is well and truly opening up for creatives everywhere (especially filmmakers) when it comes to the technology that is available…even if we are still waiting on hoverboards and flying cars…

Cinema For Change: How Filmmakers Can Make A Difference With Their Films

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When it comes to film I can honestly say I have a great love of documentaries. There’s something so magical about a filmmaker being able to show lives through a lens and present the viewer with unique true stories.

Recently, I watched the documentary I Am Jane Doe.  Written and directed by filmmaker Mary Mazzio (who also serves as producer with Alec Sokolow), I Am Jane Doe is the powerful story of American mothers waging a war against online sex trafficking on behalf of their daughters who were trafficked. The film is narrated by Jessica Chastain (who is also an executive producer).  I highly suggest looking at the film’s synopsis page to find out even more about this incredible documentary.

As the credits rolled on I Am Jane Doe, I was in pieces. I wanted to do something about this. I didn’t just want to be a passive viewer. What sprung to mind was the famous quote by Aung San Suu Kyi: “if you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” Making my way to the film’s website, I was pleased to see a section dedicated to actions that viewers can take themselves: actions like signing petitions, donating to organizations listed on the page, right through to spreading the world via social media.

The reason I wanted to talk about I Am Jane Doe is twofold: firstly, because it impacted upon me so profoundly, I knew I wanted to spread the word. The second reason is that I Am Jane Doe highlights the fact that filmmakers can make a significant social impact. I Am Jane Doe goes beyond just being a documentary- it is a call to action.

Does that mean that only documentary material can make a social impact and create a movement outside the cinema? Not at all. Over the years of running Film Sprites PR we’ve seen films from filmmakers who have chosen to create a narrative around an issue they are passionate about. For instance, filmmaker Evan Kidd’s short film Displacement Welcomed talked about the reality of homelessness using a fictional scenario. If you’re passionate about an issue/cause and it is weaved into your story you have the ability to not only raise public awareness about the film itself, but about the issue/cause in your film’s narrative.

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So, what are some ways to achieve awareness of your film as well as the issue or cause you are championing?

Firstly, if you’re crowdfunding it’s a great idea to let people into your ‘why’. What drew you to this issue or cause in the first place? What do you hope your film will achieve in terms of public awareness around the issue? Is it something you have personal experience with? People who are passionate about the issue or concern your film talks about are likely to want to support your crowdfunding efforts, be it pre-production or post-production. On the I Am Jane Doe website’s press page, filmmaker Mary Mazzio has provided a powerful and honest director’s statement that is well worth reading.

You might also want to team up with charities, organizations and community groups that are relevant to your film. This could mean collaborating with an organization, charity or community group to organize special screening events, and finding out relevant statistics and information regarding your cause or issue that can be used in your press release and/or with social media posts.

Nowadays there are film festivals that cater to specialist subjects as well. From sustainability and architecture through to festivals that highlight feminist films and filmmakers, it’s worth doing your homework and seeing if there are specialist film festivals that would be ideal for your film.

If you’re looking for media coverage, don’t forget to take the ‘grassroots’ approach while sourcing media outlets to cover your film. Sometimes people forget that Facebook groups, newsletters and specialist blogs and podcasts are ideal for spreading the word. Have a film that would appeal to people who live an environmentally-conscious, sustainable lifestyle? See if you can have posters displayed for VOD or cinematic releases (and/or special screenings) in stores, cafes and restaurants that cater to sustainability, environmental consciousness and organic products/food.

When it comes to social media, think about creating a Street Team to help spread the word. You can set up a special private Facebook group and provide your Street Team with sample social media posts and graphics that can be used on their social media accounts. If possible, make sure you credit them in the film as a way of giving thanks.

There are so many ways to make a difference with your filmmaking, and the film itself is just the beginning. Happy filmmaking!

I Am Jane Doe is available via Netflix. ITunes, Vimeo, Google Play, Amazon and on DVD. Visit the website for more details.

 

“Be A Duck”: Losing Your Mind and Following Your Heart

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As I prepare for the next exciting part of my journey, I have been thinking back about the past five years of this adventure. While Film Sprites PR is almost 3 years old, my journey in film actually began in 2012 after the Christchurch earthquakes when a flash of inspiration during a dark time basically sealed my fate (you can hear that story HERE). So there was 2 years of networking and training, working almost every day until midnight with very few weekend breaks just to get to the point where Film Sprites PR came into being. I had wanted to work for a studio or distributor in the UK (my maternal family is British and Australian), but wasn’t finding any opportunities….so I made my own. April 17, 2014 I took to Twitter and asked my filmmaking contacts if anyone needed PR and digital marketing assistance for their film and the rest is history. By the end of that weekend I had 3 clients, by the end of the week it was 6 and by the end of the month it was 12. Not bad, considering I had no brand at the time, no official website, no seed money OR a business plan (I don’t recommend doing that, by the way)!

But now, it’s time for me to move on. As much as I have loved what we do here at Film Sprites PR, I’m ready to start moving further towards my original dream and goal and I can’t do that alone. So it’s going to take more training, more networking and more heart than ever before. Here’s some of the lessons I’ve learned in the past 5 years:

“Be A Duck”: It’s a strange little mantra, I’ll admit. When I was first starting out even though I believed in my dream and in my abilities, there was still a little bit of doubt. I would be exhilarated by a new challenge, but inside I was shaking like a chihuahua. So I used a mantra to help me: be a duck. Think about the way a duck swims on a pond: they look so graceful, gliding across the surface with ease like a figure skater swirling around a rink. But under the surface, those little orange legs are paddling like hell. I’d heard the phrase “be a duck” and the accompanying explanation before, and it seemed to fit. It was also ridiculous enough to snap me out of whatever nervousness I was feeling at the time.

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Lose Your (Egoic) Mind: Yes, you have to lose your mind a little in order to accomplish things you’d never thought possible…but I mean your egoic mind. And not the Freudian definition of ‘ego’. The definition of ‘ego’ I work with is a bit less psychology and a bit more ‘woo woo’ and I’m not afraid to say that! There’s a great explanation of the differences between your ego and your soul over at the Notes on Bliss blog. If you want to achieve the things your heart truly yearns for, you have to silence that ego and start following your heart and listening to the still voice inside of you. If you have a huge goal to achieve, there’s lots of people who are willing to put their two cents in, especially if to them it seems unbelievable and unattainable. You have to lovingly nod and smile and discard other people’s opinions- you know what you’re capable of.

And yes, it does sound absolutely bonkers, but it works. I took a massive risk by resigning from a permanent position in order to take up temping so that I could fit in everything I needed to while building up Film Sprites PR. It was a risk that has paid off. I’m not suggesting you do the same, but I do suggest trying to silence the voices of your ego that tell you it’s impossible to create a life you love and achieve the things you want to achieve. Be your spirit’s BFF, because if you’re on a huge adventure you’re going to need all the self-support you can get.

Everything is An Exchange: in 2015, I took on my first assistant for Film Sprites PR. My friend Gabe had offered to help out because he believed in what I was doing and also wanted further digital marketing experience. Shortly after we were joined by Hannah, who is now my VA, and we started to receive requests from people looking to work for Sprites. I ended up taking them on on a freelance basis. Knowing how difficult it was to get my ‘foot in the door’ and the fact that I had to make my own opportunities, the first thing I would ask anyone who wanted to be a part of Sprites was: “what are your own career goals?” The reason for this was because I didn’t want them to just ‘do work’- I wanted them to have experiences that allowed them to showcase their abilities and help them to further their career goals. Just the other day a freelancer got in touch because he was applying for a full-time permanent PR and digital marketing position and I very proudly wrote a letter of recommendation for him. Everything is an exchange, whether it’s a client paying you in return for your services or someone wanting to work for you. The same is true of mentoring– if you reach out to someone, looking for mentoring and/or advice…what value can you bring to the table? How can you make their situation a bit easier?

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Get To Know Your Intuition: a lot of people don’t rate intuition as a business skill, but being able to trust your inherent intuition will save you a lot of grief and mourning of bad decisions later on. There have been times when my intuition has been prodding me, telling me that something was amiss or I should say ‘no’. When I hadn’t listened, I regretted it almost immediately. For instance, a year before I founded Film Sprites PR I missed out on one of the biggest opportunities ever because I ignored my intuition. My partner and I were due up in Wellington to visit family, but the day of our flight it started snowing…and snowing hard. I kept frantically checking weather reports and updates from the airport. At about 10:00am as I was monitoring one of the reports, I heard this quiet little voice inside saying: “reschedule your flight. Schedule it for 2 weeks from now”. But I was being stubborn and wanted to fly up that afternoon.

We managed to fly up, and I was standing in a certain place on the Sunday of that weekend, wistfully contemplating the future and my dreams and aimlessly hoping something would happen, that I would be granted a great opportunity. Imagine my shock when that opportunity popped up…in the same place I had been standing 2 weeks previous to the day. I still bemoan that.

That being said: stop wishing and start doing!: I do believe in the Law of Attraction to an extent, but you can just wish for something to happen. You have to meet your goal halfway. Dreams are great, but they’re just dreams if you don’t act on them. In my case, I made my own opportunities with Film Sprites PR and that is serving as a living, breathing resume for the next part of my journey. When there wasn’t funding to outsource things like web design and CEO, I learned how to do it. Dreams are not fluffy little marshmallows, they’re more like cogs in a machine that get stuck on occasion, needing you to roll up your sleeves and get to work. The better the work you do, the less they get stuck and the well-oiled machine of your dreams begins to really pay off.

 

 

When To Generate Publicity and Social Media Coverage For Your Indie Film

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Recently on the blog I wrote about whether or not independent films really needed publicity. There’s still a perception that publicity for independent films is on the list of things that would be nice to have, but aren’t essential. That as may be, if you’re looking to gain significant coverage of your film and build your audience then it’s completely doable- especially as I’m about to give you a good timeline of when and how to generate publicity and social media coverage for your film even if you don’t have your own publicist on board.

Pre-production and production: This is a great time to build your audience prior to release. Now, it’s not so much a Field of Dreams scenario where “if you build it, they will come.” It means forging a genuine connection with your audience. The best way to do that is via social media. The advantages of building your audience in pre-production and production is that the audience gets to take the journey with you. They feel included and will champion what you are doing because you have taken the time to say: “this is what we’re doing right now, wait until you see the finished product!”

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And while you’re in this particular phase of production, it’s an ideal time to gather up visual and other media for use later on: on-set stills, behind-the-scenes informal snaps, interviews with cast and crew, etc. All of these can be exceptionally useful for your social media, for press kits and so on. If you’re thinking about crowdfunding for post-production funds, think about getting cast members to sign items and while you’re at it, photograph them signing the items so you can (again!) use that on social media and during the crowdfunding campaign.

Make sure you have a press release created at the very least, or better yet create a press kit. Be sure to have this in PDF form, and compress the PDF in order to make it smaller in size so it is easier to download and quicker to open. Have this available on your website under a ‘media information’ tab, along with details on who to contact for further press inquiries.

Post-production: here’s where things can ramp up with publicity and social media marketing, and there are many different avenues to look at. If you’re doing post-production crowdfunding for finishing funds, there are many independent filmmaking blogs and podcasts that have entire sections dedicated to films that are in the crowdfunding phase. IndieWire’s Project of the Day is a great way to secure exposure for your film and connect with indie film lovers across the globe.

If you’re submitting to film festivals, you’re going to want to keep your audience updated with all the happenings (including any festival wins- go you!) and that’s best done via social media. Make sure you share any press coverage you receive on all of your social media channels and have a link to coverage on your official website.

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Pre-release: keep that social media presence up! By now you’ll be in the swing of things, so congratulations. Pre-release is a good time to seek out reviewers for your film. Bear in mind there are reviewers who will only review when the film has been publicly released, and that’s fine- you can get in contact with those reviewers when the film is available to the public. Pre-release reviews are useful for building up anticipation of the film and also serve to provide some reviewer quotes that are handy for branding.

Pre-release is also a great time to reach out for features and/or interviews. Media editorial calendars (whether it’s mainstream outlets or indie media) tend to fill in advance extremely fast and make scheduled events a priority. So, for instance, trying to get last-minute press during an international film festival season is not the best move. Again, this is where having a publicist on board can be extremely helpful- they know editorial time frames and events that may impact on the ability to secure coverage.

Release: congratulations! Is that a hefty number of film festival laurels I see on the cover of your blu-ray? The reviewer quotes are a deft touch, too. Hopefully your calendar is booked with interviews and the reviews are glowing. This is another optimal time to promote your film via social media. Got fan art coming in? Share it via your social media networks (yes- it does happen!). Re-share glowing fan reviews and comments. Continue keeping up that connection and keeping the fans up to date with all the news. Make sure you don’t let your social media channels go “dead”, especially if you are planning a new film or working on a new collaboration with someone.

Stand back and admire your awesomeness.

The Future of Film Sprites PR

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In Christchurch today we’ve had the first particularly cold day this year, signalling a head towards autumn. Autumn weather always makes me think about when I founded Film Sprites PR in 2014.

This year Sprites is turning 3 years old on April 17 but it feels like we’ve been operating for much longer, possibly because of the fact that prior to starting Sprites I had been networking and studying for my PR certification since 2012. It was in 2012 that my dream of working in the film industry suddenly sparked into life after the devastating effects of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. So this has been a long journey!

Unfortunately, my beloved grandfather passed away in February. As so often happens with the passing of loved ones, I began to re-evaluate all of the facets of my life. One of the things I had to question was where I was going with Film Sprites PR.

Some of you will know that Film Sprites PR started as a living, breathing learning experience and resume for me. As a result, we’ve been able to assist many independent filmmakers with their films, from providing digital marketing through to obtaining media placements and assisting with crowdfunding campaigns. In the space of just under 3 years I went from working solo to having an assistant and a team of freelancers to call on.

I’ve learned and grown so much from everything- I have even learned things I never thought possible, like SEO, website design and graphic design. But now it’s time to spread my wings and pursue new adventures.

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So what does this mean for Film Sprites PR? We’ll still be operating, but taking on fewer clients. This is in order for me to continue my own personal development, as well as doing more networking, etcetera. Eventually I would like to pass the Film Sprites PR business and brand on to someone who is just as passionate about being of service to the film community as I am so that the business and community I have built up can live on and grow.

Fear not- we’re still here….but there are new things to discover and new horizons to explore as well.