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Making a Film Is Not Just About Making a Film

by Ron Valderrama

There is no shortage of talented filmmakers or actors out there.  With the rise of crowdfunding and costs of filmmaking going down, many have taken it upon themselves to make some truly amazing projects.  The biggest problem then becomes, what do you do next?

Films are essentially a product but could also be viewed as a company.  So would any startup simply create a great product and assume that people will just discover it and spread the word?  Obviously the answer is no.  So why then do filmmakers spend all this time making a project only to rely on cast and crew to share with friends and family?  That will only take you so far.  Even if you covered all your costs from a successful crowdfunding campaign, the real goal is to show the world what you’re capable of. 

You don’t have to be a marketing genius or have some Harvard MBA to run your film like a successful startup, but you do need to hustle with the same passion you had while making the film.  That means getting it everywhere possible.  Today we will focus on free options to get as many eyeballs as possible on your film.

Websites & Blogs:

It takes a quick google search to find a treasure trove of websites and blogs that cover film (ProCreate for example).  More specifically indie film.  It is your job to find out who is running the site and either submit your work or ask them to interview you.  Because there are so many, I would prioritize them by checking the site on Alexa to determine which sites have the most page views.  That does not mean you don’t ask all of them, but starting with the most popular sites will give you the most exposure quickly.  

Bookmarking Sites: 

Sites like Reddit, Stumbleupon, 4Chan and Digg can give you a massive boost in a matter of minutes.  The key is to become familiar with each community because they all work differently and none of them want self-promoters.  They all offer specific categories to allow you to refine your audience.  I personally got over 17,000 views in one day from a Reddit post.  

Social Media:

Believe it or not, I think this is the least important way of promoting your project.  That said, it is still very powerful and free.  Facebook has become less relevant for fan pages because of edge ranking unless you pay.  It still makes sense to post once a day from your fan page, then share it on your personal timeline.  Twitter let’s your followers see all your posts but depending on how many people your followers are following, they still may not see it.  The key to twitter is to post throughout the day multiple times even if it is the same tweet.  Google+ has the smallest overall audience, but has two distinct advantages.  For starters they are owned by Google, which means your posts will have better SEO in search results if you tag your film.  The biggest advantage to Google+ is their communities.  They allow you to narrow in on your audience without having to be connected to the people who will see the post.  The “Movies” community for instance has over 34,000 members.  

You worked so hard on your film, don’t treat it as a project that ends once you say “that’s a wrap”.  Look at it as being the first stage of an ongoing process.  Be relentless and constantly collaborate with anyone who will help.  In return offer to do the same.  You will be amazed at how much viewership will grow if you stay committed and run it like a business. 


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