How Filmmakers Can Use Social Media As A Storytelling Vehicle

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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 behind the story: people love behind-the-scenes information. By sharing things like on-set photographs, storyboard drawings, images of the script (yes, really!) etcetera you are allowing people their own ‘all access pass’ to your filmmaking. Film fans genuinely want to know about the filmmaking process as much as they want to know about your completed film. Doing crowdfunding for your film? If you have a perk where the actors/director etc are going to sign merchandise of any kind, be sure to capture them on camera signing the merchandise. You can use these images on the crowdfunding campaign page, in updates and/or on social media when you’re highlight that particular perk level. Photographs and/or video footage of table reads are also invaluable- look at how popular table read and first day of filming photographs tend to be on social media for large blockbusters or cult TV series.

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Cast and crew profiles: You might want to take some time to create posts highlighting particular cast and crew and talking about their achievements. This is especially useful if you have name actors. The great thing about this is that if you have name actors with large fan bases it can help amplify the signal even further with re-sharing of content via fans. You can be as creative as you like with this element. Perhaps your DOP has a really funny anecdote about shooting that you can use in a short video, or perhaps one of your actors has a really unusual skill on their resume you can talk about, or showcase in stills or a video.

Everyone’s got an “origin story”: if you’ve followed Film Sprites PR for a while you’ll know that I’m bonkers about superheroes, especially from the Marvelverse. And just like the likes of Captain America or Iron Man, you’ve got an “origin story” when it comes to your filmmaking. Your “origin story” is unique because it’s yours alone. Over the years I’ve heard wonderful stories from filmmakers about how they got into film. Take, for instance, British filmmaker Simon Cox, the brains behind sci-fi film Kaleidoscope Man: his love of Star Wars led to a lifelong love of sci-fi and a desire to craft his own unique sci-fi film that was exciting enough to take on blockbuster films.  People want to know what led you to filmmaking, so share away!

There’s so many avenues you can go down when it comes to using storytelling to promote your film, and it can be a lot of fun as well and serve as a great way to document your filmmaking journey and share it with others.

Want to know how we can assist your film with publicity and digital marketing? Click HERE to find out more.

How To Harness Twitter For Your Film’s Crowdfunding Campaign

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At Film Sprites PR we have a particular fondness for Twitter. After all, it’s how we got started. We’ve seen how incredibly powerful it can be to convey a message, bring people together and grow a film’s audience.

It can also be a powerhouse when it comes to spreading the word about your film during a crowdfunding campaign. In 140 characters you can spread the word, share your vision and have contributors helping to back your creation. We’ve assisted with many crowdfunding campaigns for films, both in pre-production and post-production, and we’ve seen how well Twitter can work for crowdfunding. Most recently we assisted with the successful Kickstarter for Daphne Fisher’s Enough, helping to not only secure the $6K goal but also helping to raise an additional $945.

So how can you, as a filmmaker, harness the little blue bird to help secure the funds you need for your film? Here’s a few tips to help you make the best of Twitter during your crowdfunding campaign:

Make the most of the 140: 140 characters doesn’t seem like a lot to work with, but it can be done! The link to your crowdfunding campaign generally tends to be quite short, but if you want to Tweet things like trailers, links to interviews etc you can’t go wrong with free link shortening services like Ow.ly. Thankfully images are now no longer included in the character amount, which means you can add images to your Tweet without compromising the amount of characters you have left.

Spam is a meat product, not a crowdfunding tactic: imagine you’re staying in a small motel. It’s 6:00am in the morning and there’s a knock at the door. You open the door and immediately, without greeting, someone says: “help me crowdfund my film!”

You’re annoyed and close the door, hoping to get back to sleep, but because you’re in a small motel with no soundproofing you end up hearing every other room in the hotel being harassed by this random doorknocker, piping up with: “help me crowdfund my film!” every time the door is opened. Wouldn’t that infuriate you?

Time and again we’ve seen people who use this tactic for crowdfunding: they Tweet at every one of their followers (and often people who aren’t followers at all) one by one with the exact same message. There are problems with this tactic: 1) it takes the ‘social’ out of ‘social media’ and 2)if people are following you, they’re seeing the same Tweet over and over again, sent to various people. At best, people might mute you on their Twitter feed. At worst, they’ll block you.

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Storyteller, tell your story: you are, by nature, a storyteller. You know your film has an important story to tell. Here’s where you can use Twitter to your advantage to make your followers take notice, contribute to your campaign and spread the word themselves.

Let people know your “why”: hopefully this will come through in your pitch video, so don’t be afraid to share the pitch vid via Twitter.

Behind the scenes footage and photos are particularly effective as well- you would be amazed at how many people genuinely appreciate being shown the inner workings of a film.

People feel included if they get a glimpse into your world. Tweets with images tend to get a better response with followers, so share a range of images: concept art, a peek at the script, images of the (undoubtedly) fantastic perks available at your campaign, poster art…there are endless possibilities.

As well as sharing your own story and filmmaking journey, make sure you share the story of the film itself. Teaser trailers, storyboards, stills from your film….they all serve to tantalize your audience and bring them to your campaign to help make it a success.

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Manners are the New Black: it may be a social media platform, but don’t forget to thank your backers, re-tweeters and fans! An attitude of gratitude goes a long way with your followers. Think about really creative ways of thanking them; perhaps a quick update video on your campaign page thanking each of your contributors…get creative with your gratitude and you will see results.

Where’s the beef? Not on your timeline: a short word on Twitter trolls, but you know this already: don’t engage. Just block them and move along.

Most importantly- have fun. The crowdfunding process can be stressful at times, but it can also be incredibly rewarding and fun, especially when you’re using Twitter to assist with your campaign efforts. Using Twitter in creative ways for your campaign can help you to push that little progress bar right past the 100% mark. Happy crowdfunding!

Want sparkling publicity and digital marketing for your film? Check out what we offer HERE, or download our services pamphlet HERE.