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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.