What Did the 2010s Bring Indie Filmmakers?

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Happy New Year to you…and Happy New Decade! I decided to leave this post until after New Year’s so it didn’t get lost in the sea of lists that tend to come out at the end of each decade.

For me, the 2010s hold a particularly important place in my heart, because not only was it the decade I began my career in the film industry, it was also the decade I launched Film Sprites PR. Throughout the 2010s I kept a close eye on what was happening in the film industry, and how things were changing. The indie filmmaking landscape I was welcomed into in the 2010s is a genuinely remarkable one: there have been technologies and changes that have paved the way for filmmakers to create on their own terms, often cutting out ‘the middle man’. What a decade to work in indie film!

Check out some of the changes in our society (and the industry) which changed the way filmmakers can fund, create, promote and distribute their films:

Crowdfunding Changes the Film Funding Landscape

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Before I founded Sprites, I started my career by helping to publicize crowdfunding campaigns for films. Over the years, I have continued to do so, as well as working at Boosted, the crowdfunding platform of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Who knew that this wonderful world of funding opportunity would exist in the 2010s? Crowdfunding has given filmmakers the opportunity to secure funding in a timely fashion, while also helping to build an audience for their films. While there are various other funding opportunities for filmmakers available, crowdfunding has been a successful way for filmmakers to secure their finance, whether in pre-production, post-production, or to pay for things like trips to festivals or post-production colour grading and/or ADR. Well-known successfully crowdfunded films include Lazer Team by Rooster Teeth, The Veronica Mars Movie Project, and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here.

Crowdsourcing of Cinema Screenings Becomes a Reality

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Similar to crowdfunding, crowdsourcing became a great option for filmmakers when it came to various aspects of filmmaking. One particular crowdsourcing option that materialized in the 2010s was the crowdsourcing of cinema screenings of films.

Platforms like Tugg meant filmmakers could screen their films at selected cinemas provided the required amount of tickets were sold. This is a great way for filmmakers to provide the big screen experience. It’s a system which has proven particularly successful for niche films; like films with environmental themes. Demand.Film also provides a selection of films which can be screened, including films from Australia and New Zealand and films with niche audiences. This is particularly beneficial for community groups or interest groups who want to bring a film to the big screen.

Social Media Gets Serious

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Social media started to sprout in the late 2000s. Remember Tom from MySpace? In the 2010s social media platforms exploded onto the scene, giving us many ways to share our daily happenings and memes. And as social media began to grow, so too did the opportunities for filmmakers to share their message and grow an audience for their films or webseries. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have been joined by the likes of TikTok and Snapchat to provide many options for spreading your message. Before the advent of social media, radio, print and television were primarily the ways of gaining awareness for your filmmaking and growing your audience. Now you can connect with your audience (and potential audience) right through their smartphone.

Streaming Services Rule Screens

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Hop onto your Facebook feed and I can guarantee you’ll see at least one of your friends talking about something they watched via a streaming service. Netflix, which was founded in 1997, expanded into offering streaming services, as did other platforms like Prime Video. The new world of streaming offers filmmakers another route for distribution of their films. Filmmakers can also offer downloads or streaming of their films via their own website. Gone are the days when hopes hung on a cinematic release; now indie filmmakers can reach audiences in their own homes and open them to a world of new ideas and concepts far beyond the traditional Hollywood blockbuster.

What will the 2020s offer? Only time can tell…

 

Identifying the Most Important Supporter of Your Creative Career

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We’re moving towards the end of another year, and (gulp!) moving into a brand new decade. As well as pausing to reflect on the holiday season, December and January are often a time to reflect on our dreams and goals, and looking at how far we’ve come in the past twelve months.

With that in mind, I’ve been writing some posts that veer away from film publicity and social media marketing and more towards motivation and inspiration for creatives (check out my previous post about why “overnight success” is anything but), to hopefully help you get into a really great headspace for 2020. This post is no exception.

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In the past on the blog I’ve discussed the importance of creating your own “Creative Brains Trust” to help you with your career goals and creative projects. But even before the formation of your Creative Brains Trust, there’s one person who is the most important supporter of your creative career. Have you guessed who that person is yet? Flip your phone camera to the front-facing view, because it’s YOU.

Does that sound cheesy? Perhaps, but hear me out.

Supporters, mentors, fans, friends…they all come and go. You may achieve success in one area and find a flock of supporters suddenly rallying to your side; some with the purest of intentions, and some who are drawn to ‘fame by association’. Fortunes can ebb and flow. Regardless of your outside circumstances, you need to back yourself 100%. You need to back your vision and your dream when nobody else does, or will. The reason? If you don’t back your vision, it’s hard to get anyone else on board to do so as well.

Being your own best supporter also gives you the resilience to get through the tough times. It’s extremely hard to keep going when outside circumstances aren’t favourable, and that’s where backing your vision and your talent comes in. I’m going to get a bit ‘woo’ for a second: some practitioners of the art of manifestation say that in order to help your desired circumstances to manifest, you need to believe in the desired outcome, regardless of evidence to the contrary. A bit of healthy delusion? Perhaps, but it gives you more resilience when rejection emails land in your inbox, a deal falls through, or nothing seems to be moving forward.

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Does that mean you don’t listen to healthy advice from people in the know? Absolutely not. If someone is telling you that this isn’t a good avenue for you, or there’s a better option, then you listen. It means that you adjust your sails and shift course a little to accommodate more favourable winds. It doesn’t mean you give up on your dream or yourself altogether.

Another reason to be your own best supporter is because although humility is vital (and I’ve met so many incredible creatives who have a massive amount of humility), sometimes we can be our worst enemy when it comes to putting ourselves forward and showing the world what we have to offer. In the course of my career I’ve spoken with filmmakers who were reluctant to crowdfund because they felt funny about asking friends and family for money, or were reluctant to promote their work. Believe me, I completely understand! But one of the benefits of truly backing your work and what you have to offer to the world is that you will be able to pitch yourself to anyone. Imagine bumping into someone at random who could become a vital creative collaborator or help fund your work, and you have the confidence to talk freely about your work and what you bring to the table. That’s quite a good skill to have, but sometimes it can be SO difficult to put it into words.

Let me share my own experience: it was two and a half years into running Film Sprites PR, and I was a guest on a filmmaking podcast. It was a great experience, but when the hosts asked me about why filmmakers should use Film Sprites PR for their publicity, social media marketing or crowdfunding strategy and promotion, I didn’t really have an answer. I was a creative, energetic publicist who had the benefit of also being a cinephile, I’d helped filmmakers achieve their goals (including media placements internationally, growing their social media audience and raising thousands of dollars through crowdfunding), but I couldn’t articulate anything about my own abilities enthusiastically. I realised at that point that I didn’t back myself…and that was a tough realisation.

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It was, however, a huge kick up the butt. And it produced some interesting results. I got re-focused. I started to back myself. As a result, as I was backing myself, other people were backing me too. I put myself through a sort of self-belief boot camp, which then led to the writing of this post on strategies for reluctant self-promoters. This post then led me to write a similar article on how to best promote your work as a reluctant self promoter, which appeared on The Big Idea‘s website. As a result of this article, a producer at Radio New Zealand contacted me to see if I wanted to discuss the article on the RNZ (yes please!). All of that came from backing myself and being my own best supporter.

That doesn’t mean there hasn’t been dark times. I’m sure we’ve all had those dark teatimes of the soul at one point or another, right? I think it comes with the territory of being a creative: we have a huge capacity for creating good, but our brains are so nebulous that we’re also prone to going down dark rabbit holes as well. So when times are lean, things aren’t progressing or opportunities that seemed promising fall through, I just remind myself what I have to offer, why I started in the first place, and what I aim to achieve in the future.

And that’s the absolute best advice I can offer you, too. If you have to carry it around on a small card in your wallet, put it on your mirror, or use it as a mantra, then do so: remind yourself what you have to offer, why you started in the first place, and what you aim to achieve in the future. It also serves as a really good quick pitch during networking situations as well!

So, are you ready to slay 2020? I am.

 

 

Forget “Overnight Success” And Embrace the Long Game

Forget _Overnight Success_And Embrace the Long Game

We live in a media and technology-saturated world now, so it’s impossible to get away from posts, blogs, and news proclaiming the latest “overnight success”. Sometimes it’s tied with something going viral, but more often than not it’s a musician, filmmaker, or actor suddenly receiving praise and accolades. For creatives in any field it can seem like an enticing career trajectory that’s available to them. You mean I put something out there and become an overnight sensation? Not quite. Even with the promise of going viral as a tasty carrot, the reality is very different.

Everyone’s trajectory is unique, based on their skills, experience, personality and goals. You can’t look at one artist and emulate their formula for success exactly, because you are you and not them. I can’t examine Beyoncé’s career trajectory in minute detail, try to copy it and hope that it sticks (also, I can’t sing, so there’s that).

What people don’t tell you about creatives that we see as “overnight successes” is that before that award or praise is the countless years (sometimes decades) that have gone into honing their craft. The rejection letters, the detours, the blood, sweat, tears and ambition that have carried them forth in their darkest hours. It’s something that many creatives with identify with right now. It’s the times you were ignored by your peers, made to feel ‘not good enough’, had to work multiple jobs on top of your creative endeavours just to stay afloat. So that success is well won and very, very hard earned.

Then there’s the naysayers and unhelpful comments from friends and family who don’t understand your goals. You probably know them (or a variation of them) well: “so, where’s your Academy Award?” “Have you made your film yet?” “You should get a real job…” What’s a creative to do?

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It really is true that slow and steady wins the race. Any endeavour is a marathon, not a sprint. At times, it may seem pointless and you may even want to give in. Don’t.

I’m only seven years into my journey through the film industry, and it’s been tough. At one point, I was working a full-time administration job whilst also juggling Film Sprites PR clients, and I also worked as the Christchurch publicity assistant for NZIFF 2014 at the same time. I didn’t have a holiday or a weekend for the first three years. Recently, I relocated temporarily for a position and could afford to eat one meal a day. I’ve had people who have asked for my help and I have enthusiastically obliged, only for them to completely ghost me with no acknowledgement of my help whatsoever. I’m not where I see myself being in the future, but in order to get there I have to bridge the gap by doing exceptional work, being of excellent service to the film industry, and keeping the faith (and yes, I still require a ‘day job’ to get by, and that’s okay!).

My advice is to embrace the “long game”. Roll up your sleeves and be prepared to do the work. Be present and enthusiastic. When times get tough, remind yourself WHY you’re doing this. A few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend a session at the Big Screen Symposium where one of my favourite directors, David Michôd (who most recently directed The King) was discussing the development of his feature film Animal Kingdom. The script development was a ten-year process, and the film was nominated for and won a slew of awards, including eight awards at the 2010 Australian Film Institute awards. Many of the world’s most beloved filmmakers have worked on shorts, music videos and/or television before progressing to features.

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You know why wine, cheese and whisky are so good? They require ageing and maturing. In fact, here in New Zealand we had a great ad campaign for Mainland Cheese whose slogan was: “Good Things Take Time.”

So, as this is a blog attached to a publicity and social media marketing consultancy service, what can you do during the “long game” to assist your career? Here’s a few tips:

  • Establish social media profiles for your creative career: If you’re a filmmaker, set up profiles that will assist you with all of your projects, as opposed to setting up pages solely for one short film or feature. The reason? If you set up a page solely for one project, you will most probably use this for the duration of your promoting of the project (e.g. screenings, Festival appearances, etc) but then you will move onto your next project and the page might sit dead with little to no posts being generated. If you have pages which encompass all of your projects it means that you can build up a large audience who will hopefully follow your work from one project to the next. It’s also great for helping to build support for any crowdfunding campaigns you might run in the future.
  • Don’t pin your hopes on going viral: there’s nothing wrong with wanting to go viral, but the efficacy of virality is on the decline. You can find out more about this, and better alternatives, on this post.
  • Consider doing guest blogs about your areas of expertise: you don’t have to wait for your project to be released to start generating content that will help with publicity of your creative career! Find some handy blogging ideas here.

Lastly, check out this great keynoteat SXSW 2015 by Mark Duplass for some timely inspiration.

Great Reasons to Support Your Local Independent Cinema

Support Local Independent Cinema

We have such a wealth of choices when it comes to how, when and where we watch films now, but there’s still nothing that beats the cinema-going experience. In every large city there’s generally several options to indulge in that cinema-going experience (including cinema chains), but how often do you see a film at your local independent cinema?

There’s a scene (SPOILER ALERT!!!!) in Craig Brewer’s fantastic film Dolemite is My Name that I find truly inspiring: after the blood, sweat, and tears of making Dolemite, Rudy Ray Moore fails to secure a distributor. Things come to a head when a radio DJ wants to know when people can see the film. Off air, Moore confesses that they don’t have a distributor, which prompts the DJ to suggest a small cinema that might host the film. Moore would have to pay for a screening, but could keep the profits. And after some enthusiastic hustling to promote the film it not only sells out, but has a genuinely appreciative audience. Thank you, independent cinema owner!

I can honestly say that this year I saw only one film at a cinema chain. The rest of my viewings were at independent cinemas in Wellington (during NZIFF 2019) and Christchurch. This wasn’t a strategic decision…it just turned out that the independent cinemas were screening the films I wanted to see over the blockbuster fare that was available at the cinema chains. As a result, I fell back in love with independent cinemas, and I hope after reading this you will too. Below are some reasons to support your local independent cinemas; both as an audience member and a filmmaker:

They screen great independent, foreign language, and genre films: Parasite, High Life, Amazing Grace, Maiden…chances are, if you were a New Zealander and saw any of these films this year in cinema, it was probably at one of the independent cinemas dotted around the country. Sometimes you don’t want to wait for something to come out on VOD or a streaming platform, and independent cinemas are great at bringing those films to you. They can’t bring everything to the big screen, sadly, but they bring their audiences a very fine selection each year.

They’re a great destination for film festival fare and small festivals: in my home town, Christchurch, we are fortunate enough to have Lumière Cinemas as one of the screening destinations for the New Zealand International Film Festival (along with the Isaac Theatre Royal), but this year they have also hosted the inaugural Christchurch leg of the Terror-Fi Film Festival and are soon to host Madman Reel Anime 2019 as well!

The Hollywood Avondale in Auckland is known for their legendary 24 Hour Movie Marathon, which is in its 20th year in 2019. Check out your local independent cinema, as they can often host great festivals which bring you unique fare (and sometimes before general release).

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They host special and limited screenings: whether it’s a Rocky Horror Picture Show sing-a-long screening, a big screen showing of The Room or a movie marathon, independent cinemas bring you the good stuff. Scrolling through the event listings of an independent cinema on their website can feel like their offerings were tailored for you, and you alone. After seeing Midsommar at NZIFF 2019, I absolutely jumped at the chance to see the director’s cut on the big screen (and traumatise my partner, who didn’t see the theatrical cut beforehand).

There are independent cinemas that are opting to screen some of the Netflix films which were available for theatrical release as well (The Guardian has a great explanation of why some theatre chains are opting not to offer these screenings). I went to see The King on the big screen before it hit Netflix, partly because I wanted to be a sort of ‘guinea pig’ for the small theatrical release window, but mostly because I’m a massive fan of David Michôd’s filmmaking, as well as the Shakespeare Henriad that the film is based on. It was definitely well worth seeing on the big screen due to the battle scenes, but it’s also a bit of a treat to see it before it hits Netflix. It will be interesting to see how this format of screening windows develops in the future, but for now there’s independent cinemas that are embracing it wholeheartedly.

In 2016, Academy Cinemas very graciously hosted the advanced screening and Q&A session of Life Off Grid (a film Film Sprites PR was doing the NZ publicity and social media marketing for). Despite the fact that Quentin Tarantino was in town for the Hateful Eight premiere, ardent fans of independent documentaries and sustainability turned up to welcome the film wholeheartedly.

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They’re designed with cinephiles in mind: the one thing I’ve noticed about independent cinemas over cinema chains is that the independent cinemas are a haven for cinephiles. Plush seating, opulent surroundings, and quite often there’s wine and cheese platters on offer for those who really want to revel in their cinematic experience (also great for date night!).

Enjoy a signature cocktail at an indie cinema bar, or catch up with a friend post-screening for coffee. And trust me, I’ve never met a coffee at an independent cinema I didn’t like.

They often support local content: here’s a tip for independent filmmakers if you are self-distributing (or want to host an event or cast screening of your film): get in touch with your local independent cinema. Often they have reasonable rates for screening films or fundraising nights, so it’s worth checking out what they may be able to do for you. And, hey, you might end up doing a Dolemite….

 

It’s CROWDFUNDING WEEK at Film Sprites PR!

Crowdfunding for Filmmakers

The film funding landscape has changed over the past 10 years. With the advent of crowdfunding, the ability to secure funds for films and webseries has been put into the hands of filmmakers across the globe. It’s a very exciting time to be involved in film, because crowdfunding gives you the ability to manage your funding on your terms. It also has the added benefit of growing and maintaining an audience for your film or webseries.

So…what’s my background with crowdfunding, you may ask? I started my career in film publicity and social media marketing through assisting with crowdfunding campaigns. Initially, this was just by amplifying the signal via social media. When Film Sprites PR was established, this extended to securing publicity for filmmakers and their crowdfunding campaigns and actively assisting with the creation of campaign strategy. I’ve assisted with the successful campaigns for Magpie, Arcadia Bay, Vampire Mob Graphic Novel Issue 1 and RAIN: A Fan Film About Storm as well as the Kickstarter for the award-winning short film Hello World. Most recently, a film I assisted with post-production crowdfunding, Us Among the Stones debuted at the 2019 BFI London Film Festival.

In addition, I also worked at Boosted, the crowdfunding platform of the Arts Foundation of New Zealand as Projects and Operations Assistant, specializing in film crowdfunding. Including 5 years under the Sprites mantle, I’ve had around 7 years of crowdfunding experience across various platforms, including Kickstarter, Social Screen and IndieGoGo. I’ve seen the good and bad of crowdfunding, the pitfalls, the triumphs, the things that people don’t necessarily think about when they set out to crowdfund their film or webseries. Crowdfunding can be exciting…but in order for a campaign to be successful it also requires a lot of planning.

This week on the blog and on our social media we’ll be looking at various aspects of crowdfunding; from planning to some of the unusual things that may crop up in your campaign. If you’re not following Sprites on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, make sure you follow so you don’t miss a second. PLUS- there’s going to be some great FREEBIES headed your way too!

 

A Creative’s Guide to Ditching FOMO and Comparison on Social Media

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Our world has changed significantly since the advent of social media. In fact, I once said on a podcast that Film Sprites PR wouldn’t have been possible without things like social media and the ability to work with anyone in the world from my home office. It connects us to like minded individuals, broadens our perspectives, and allows us to grow an audience for our work as creatives, whatever those creative endeavours might be.

But on World Mental Health Day for 2019 I wanted to talk about the downsides of social…because they most certainly DO exist. As you scroll through your Instagram feed featuring your colleagues and friends, it can be very easy to experience FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), comparing yourself to what you see on your screen. It can be so easy to have a Pavlovian response to an alert on your phone and get gratification from likes, re-tweets, or comments, and feel your heart sink when there’s no responses or feedback. In my working life, it’s common for me to look at social media analytics and apply rationality to the statistics I’m seeing, but when it comes to my personal social media? I’ve been terrible with regards to FOMO and comparison. I’m going to not only share with you my personal experience, I’m going to give you the steps I used to help shake the FOMO and ditch comparison. It’s definitely an on-going project- you have to repeat the steps daily to stop yourself from slipping back into comparison mode, but it’s worth it.

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Sharing My Story

Earlier this year I had the great privilege of being the Wellington Communications Assistant for this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival. I had a wonderful time, working with some incredible people and being immersed in the world of fantastic cinema. But once the Festival had wrapped up and I had gone back home (I had moved to Wellington temporarily to take up the position), I came home…and hit a low. A very hard low.  In the midst of this low, I found myself scrolling through my social media feeds with FOMO growing steadily. Why wasn’t I at a certain point in my career? Why do I feel SO sucky, despite what I’ve managed to achieve this year? It started to get ridiculous, and I started to feel even worse. I also felt unsupported in my endeavours, like no-one was acknowledging the work I had put in over all of these years and that it meant nothing.

I knew I had to do some radical things to change the situation. I had to do things to address the FOMO and comparison. Below are the methods I’ve used to combat FOMO and comparison when using social media.

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Take a break: it can be difficult to step away from social media temporarily (especially if you have to use it for work purposes), but a break can do you wonders. I recently took a social media sabbatical after coming back from Wellington and I was amazed at how much it helped my perspective on things. As I use my phone to listen to podcasts (and I’m obsessed with podcasts), in order to make my sabbatical completely effective I deleted all of my social media apps off my phone temporarily. My phone was for texting, listening to music on Spotify, or listening to podcasts.

According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania, published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology (and cited in this article), participants of a study who limited their social media use to 30 minutes a day for three weeks reported reduced depression, loneliness and less FOMO (I love that FOMO is being studied academically!). As the author of the study, Melissa G. Hunt said, “When you look at other people’s lives, particularly on Instagram, it’s easy to conclude that everyone else’s life is cooler or better than yours.”

Can’t take a complete temporary break from social? Stick to a reduced time for social media use for a week.

Everyone’s journey is different: it can be so difficult not to compare your career progress or goals when you see glowing photos on Instagram. But the bottom line is this: everyone’s journey is different. For instance, if you’re a filmmaker and seeing your fellow filmmaking colleagues and acquaintances winning awards or attending events you’d chew your arm off to be at, don’t forget that they may be at a different career point to you. You might be at year five of your journey, and they’re at year ten. Their goals might also be wildly different from yours, so your path will take you to other destinations that you can’t even imagine right now.

For instance, my journey has been an exceptionally unconventional one. Having an entrepreneurial brain meant I didn’t want to wait for an opportunity to come along, so I created the opportunity myself (and hence Film Sprites PR was born). But it’s been a difficult road at times. Anyone who is a freelancer knows how tough things can be, so it was never going to be a fully conventional road. Add in the fact that I was doing film publicity and social media marketing instead of doing publicity and social media marketing for other things, the nature of the market, etc…yeah…it was never going to be smooth sailing. And you know what? That’s okay. I love what I do. I’m passionate about the services I provide. I’ve come a long way and although I haven’t achieved all of my goals yet, I’m aware that it takes time (and I took a weird road instead of the conventional road!).

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Catch up with people that don’t live on your screen: social media makes it so easy for us to quickly send a message to friends or family instead of meeting face to face, but sometimes catching up with the people you love offline can be exactly what you need. Schedule a coffee date with a friend, pop over to your mum’s place or schedule a short road trip with your besties. If you think you could do with a hug…ask for one! There’s some serious health benefits to hugging. I can testify to that: I have a friend who is quite possibly the reigning champion of hugs, and even though I used to be resistant to hugging I know how beneficial they can be.

People are icebergs- we only see a fraction of their lives: it’s really important to bear in mind that social media is very much a curated version of our realities; a version that tends to lean towards the positives and not the negatives. We’re basically seeing (and sharing) a ‘highlight reel’. You have no idea what’s been left on the cutting room floor at any given time.

Mindfulness helps: we spend so much of our day automatically responding to stimuli, and that includes our thoughts. Mindfulness and meditation can be a huge help when it comes to those thoughts of FOMO and comparison. There’s lots of resources out there to help, including mindfulness and meditation apps. I fell out of my regular meditation practice when I was working in Wellington (I used to meditate twice a day), but I’ve picked it up again and it really has helped. You may also find Byron Katie’s The Work really beneficial, as it forces you to examine your thoughts.

Write out a ‘have done list’: sometimes we spend so much time looking at the achievements of others that we forget just how much we have achieved ourselves. It’s common to make ‘to do lists’…but what about a ‘have done list’? You can choose to examine all of the things you’ve achieved this year, or look at what you’ve achieved in your creative career- it’s entirely up to you.

For example, I looked at what I had achieved this year: I had written articles for The Big Idea, appeared on Radio New Zealand as a result of that, assisted with the social media marketing for a film which won two awards at SXSW 2019, ran a Social Media Marketing for Filmmakers workshop, worked as Wellington Communications Assistant for the NZ International Film Festival 2019, and most recently a film that Sprites had assisted with crowdfunding in post-production had its debut at the BFI London Film Festival 2019. It’s been a busier year than I gave myself credit for. Once you jot your achievements down, you’ll see the same is true for you.

Replace social media time with more beneficial habits: if you’re doing a social media sabbatical or limiting your social media usage, it gives you time for other things. Been putting off a new exercise regime? The time is now. Get your taxes done, declutter a room, get a health check, or do some goal stalking.

While social media is so beneficial when it comes to assisting with creative careers like filmmaking, music and theatre, it’s important to maintain a balance.

 

Bewitching Ways to Connect With Your Audience Via Social Media

Bewitching Ways to Connect With Your Audience Via Social Media

Recently on Sprites’ social media we’ve been revisiting the most annoying things you can do when using social media for your film, but with a decidedly fun and spooky twist. After looking at some scary social media habits to avoid (and given that we’re heading towards Halloween), it’s a good time to look at some great ways to connect with your audience via social media. Here’s some ways to bewitch your fans instead of having them running for the hills- no potions or incantations needed!

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Let your fans in on the process: people absolutely love looking behind the scenes of film productions, so embrace that on social media. Whether you share stills on-set, quirky boomerang videos on your Instagram or Facebook stories, or do quick live videos on location, your fans will appreciate it. Plus, it serves as a poignant record of the process, which is something you can always revisit on social media at a later date for a Throwback Thursday (#TBT) post.

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Start a conversation: there’s so many ways to engage with your social media audience, and starting a genuine conversation about a topic is one of them. It can be as simple as discussing a director and asking your fans to chime in on their favourite film from that director, having a poll via your Instagram or Facebook story, or, if you have a webseries, getting people to guess what they think might happen in the next episode.

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Go live: this ties in with letting your fans in on the filmmaking process. Think about live streaming a Q&A session, getting someone on your team to live stream your red carpet premiere (and interview some of your cast and crew), or provide quick production updates.

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Share fan content, rave reviews and great posts: how many times do you hear from people “oh my gosh, [famous person] re-tweeted me/shared my post”? Make sure you share fan art that’s been shared with you, glowing reviews and great feedback. Even just sharing a heartfelt YouTube comment from a fan can not only make their day, but shows your audience that you genuinely care about their love of your work.

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Let your creativity lead the way: social media isn’t just about posting content. It’s about creating a story and starting a dialogue. And doing that doesn’t have to be dry and boring. In fact, the sky’s the limit when it comes to the ways you can engage with your fans via social media. In pre-production but want to give people an idea of the mood and vibe of your film? Think about creating a mood board on Pinterest, or sharing a collaged mood board via Facebook and Instagram. Listen to certain music while you’re working? Share a Spotify playlist of those songs. People genuinely appreciate creative touches that help with the anticipation of your film or webseries.

So don’t just use social media…make magic happen with it!

Want someone to help you with your social media magic? Check out our services HERE.