Every creative, entrepreneur and dreamer needs a ‘Brains Trust’: people who support you and your efforts and can assist you in various ways. I’ve found the majority of these people seem to pop up almost magically. Sometimes they will be friends, sometimes employers or ex-employers, sometimes people you least expect. I like to think of them as being like the people who give water to marathon runners; refreshing and replenishing them on their route so they can continue to success.
I firmly believe that there is no such thing as a wasted opportunity. Even in your bitterest disappointments, you’ll find a diamond in the ashes. You might have to wait a while to find that diamond (because let’s face it- disappointments are awful and you might ruminate for a while), but it’s there. If you’re in the indie film industry, you’ll know that sometimes productions fall through, you might not get the role, or locations that were initially viable at the start of production are taken off the table suddenly. None of this is a waste of time. A production that stalls or doesn’t go through to post is valuable experience. The role you didn’t get gave you the opportunity to audition and put yourself in front of an agent and director and put yourself on their radar for future projects. The location you had your heart set on that was made unavailable may open the way for a better location
At Film Sprites PR over the years we have had the great pleasure of working with a lot of filmmakers who wanted publicity and digital marketing for their short films. As a result, it’s safe to say we’ve developed a huge affinity for short films. There’s something very special about the short film format, and the filmmakers who are able to weave their vision into a shorter time space than a regular film. While it’s tempting to file away a juicy script and wait for the opportunity to turn it into a feature, there are some definite advantages to short films when it comes to cementing your place as a filmmaker. And if you’ve made (or are thinking about making) a short film, it has advantages beyond screenings. Here’s some of the advantages of making short films.
Recently, I wrote about the optimal times for publicity and digital marketing of independent films (in that post I give filmmakers a handy timeline), but I wanted to discuss getting prepped in pre-production through to filming even further, because these are the key points when you can grow your audience in anticipation of your film’s release. It’s also a great period when you can gather materials that are going to be a huge asset when you submit your film to film festivals, look for a distributor and release your film.
Whether you hire a publicity and digital marketing consultancy for your film or not, it’s vital to have materials available that can be used for press kits, posters, promotional materials, DVD/VOD extras and further social media content. While it’s entirely possible to do publicity and digital marketing of your film solely in post-production and/or release, you have a better chance of succeeding in having people watching your film and your film securing media attention if you have a solid social media presence and materials available that media outlets can use. Investing additional time in pre-production and filming to ensure that you have these materials will save you a lot of time in post-production and release.
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.
Our world is built on stories. Everyone has one! And as a filmmaker you know the power of stories because you weave powerful stories into visual magic with your films. This gives you something very special to work with when it comes to social media marketing of your film. Too often I see people relying on the kinds of annoying social media tactics I wrote about earlier, when they could be utilizing the potential of social media to tell a story. Yes, even Twitter with its character limit!
As natural creatives and storytellers filmmakers are well-placed to use the power of storytelling to connect with the audience. Here’s a few ideas of how to use the power of storytelling via social media.
The story of the filming of Rocky is an underdog story in and of itself (check out the trivia tidbits on IMDb and you’ll see what I mean). Given the success of the finished film, that’s enough to inspire anyone in their endeavours! Here’s a few lessons you can glean from Rocky, no matter what your ambitions may be.
A crowdfunding campaign is very much like having an additional full-time job. It can be tremendously exciting, and when that percentage marker is inching up towards the 100% mark it can be very tempting to work every hour of the day helping to get even closer. I know- I’ve been there! But making sure that you and your team look after yourselves during the campaign period is vital- you need to avoid burn-out.
With that in mind, I’m giving you the advice I have given filmmakers over the past two years when it comes to self-care during a crowdfunding campaign.
2017 is going to be our biggest year ever at Film Sprites PR and we’re looking to make even more of an impact.
In particular we’re keen to help support:
-LGBTQ content and filmmakers
-female filmmakers, screenwriters and cinematographers
-films which promote a diverse range of viewpoints and perspectives
-films which pass the Bechdel and DuVernay Tests
-films which aim to dispel the stigmas around mental illness and help to promote mental health awareness.
Film Sprites PR is pleased to announce that The Halloween Girl, a short film by Richard T. Wilson and the Mad Shelley Films team has recently been accepted into two up-coming film festivals.