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I’ve been meaning to write a blog about self-promotion for sometime now, but never got round to it. Until I read a recent article on the Raindance website entitled ‘5 Self Promotion Myths In The Film Industry’. A great article that really underlines the importance of promoting your projects and how many filmmaker’s are oblivious to this essential filmmaking skill. With most turning there noses up at the mere thought of a little self-promotion. Buying in to all the myths about why you shouldn’t.

You meet someone, in person, for the first time. It’s highly likely that you will ask one of the following questions:

    • How are you?
    • What’s your name?
    • Where do you work?
    • Where do you live?

Now, most of the time there will be a few minutes of small talk, no real interest in the other person. Passing pleasantries. However, there will be the odd occasion where the person you are talking to will throw something random, about them, into the conversation. For example:

    • I’m dating a celebrity…
    • I’m a filmmaker…
    • Did I tell you about my meeting with the Prime Minister…
    • I’m the CEO of my own multi-million pound empire…

Suddenly, they have your attention. This might be because of a showbiz or celebrity story, or something that you have a real interest in. More than often you’ll think they have a rather large ego, but by that point it is too late, a connection is made. You’ve now found a common ground from which you can comfortably converse. This conversation now has an even better chance of developing into a friendship, a working relationship etc.

My point here is, if the other person hadn’t of thrown in that random nugget of information (let their ego loose), the conversation would more than likely have just ended with each person going their separate ways.

We’re now in the age of social media, in the virtual world of the Internet. There’s a new breed of social media savvy filmmaker’s. By the way, I think it’s about time we dropped the ‘indie’ bit. We’re NOT indie filmmakers! There’s nothing independent about what we do, we work with a team, we collaborate with others and so on. Anyway, there’s a huge community of filmmaker’s out there in the social media world (i.e. on Facebook, Twitter etc). Yet, the majority shy away from talking about themselves, often slating others for self-promoting. They tend to stick to generic topics of conversation, or topics that are a million miles away from anything to do with making films.


Good self-promotion is not to be confused with an over active ego. It’s less about “look at me I’m great”, and more about “here’s what I’m trying to do, thought you might find it of interest”. Always looking for that point of interest within the conversation, a point at which you’ll connect with your audience. It’s all about building an audience, you and your film are nothing without an audience.

What I’m trying to say here is, you have to talk about you, what you do as a filmmaker. It’s how you’ll generate interest, subsequently building an active audience. I follow people on Twitter because I am interested in what they do. I want them to tell me about their projects, how they’re getting on, when the DVD is available to buy, when the next screening of their film will be and so on.

I self-promote, I also do as much as I can to promote others. There’s a fine balance. I’ve had moderate success thus far, especially on Twitter and I’ll state for the record, my ego is well under control. I can see how important it is to make a noise and be heard. Not only will it help me, but in the long run will also help others.

Don’t shy away from self-promotion and support those that are sharing their journey. Not everyone is an expert in communications, so try not to confuse a little stray self-promotion with an over indulgence in one’s ego.

It’s ok having bags of filmmaking talent, but if nobody has seen or heard of you, you’ll not be getting anywhere fast. It’s dog-eat-dog out there.

Do check out the Raindance article here, Elliot Grove’s words are more eloquently written than mine. Well worth a read.

Thanks for stopping by, hope that all made some sense. Do feel free to email me if you want to chat about it a little more, or leave a comment below.


3 Responses

  1. Juno

    it's really nice of you to want to share your experience and for writing this, i imagine it takes time. wish you good luck with your next film. i do film as well but i'm an artist so my projects are a bit different… i think i would love to do 'proper' film, though i imagine i'd end up making something too offbeat, but i can't get past the hurdle of working with other people, which is difficult. (though in my dying hours it might be a number 3 or 4 regret). cinematographically, my favourite work is 'La Haine', i think. don't know why i'm sharing this. but hey. i think what i initially meant to say is that this blog post could apply to an artist too, or a musician… i am so tremendously shy, whenever anyone likes what i do my first thought is that i am doing something wrong, and my second is they're just taking pitty on me… i suppose one has to get past that.
    good luck, i'll look out for your stuff, hope it goes well and you get all the best people and that oscar you so want 🙂

  2. Holly Matthews

    Hi Danny, loved this blog.

    Its so true.

    I am an actress and have always found it extremely difficult to tell people what I have been in or what I am working on. Probably because having done it since I was a child I never wanted people to think I was 'blowing my trumpet' or being big headed.

    Since I met my boyfriend, who is a business man with a keen interest in self development and social media I have completely changed my mentality. I now see myself as a business and see that when I discuss what Im doing or have done, its not big headed, its important so people can understand who I am and what Im about. I am a product and need to sell myself as such.

    So here I am, random facts about me…

    1- I started my career in childrens TV show Byker Grove (for 7 years)
    2-I have appeared in various UK drama series, such as The Bill, Waterloo Road, Doctors, Criminal Justice 2 and Casualty.
    3-I released a single in 2004 under the name Summer Matthews (it reached number 28 in the UK charts)
    4-I eat strange combinations of foods, such as a tuna and pineapple salad (yesterdays concoction)
    5- The cheeky girls once walked in on me naked (weird but true)

    Just a few facts about me! I know your working on some new projects, so have a gander at my website http://www.hollymatthews.net and then get in touch reachme@hollymatthews.net

    I would love to work with you!

    Holly x


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