Looking for Something?
Browsing Category

Web Video

Top 10 Viral Videos For 2011 (January-June)

Author:

By analyzing the charts at Marketing Charts I’ve come up with the Top Ten Viral Videos for 2011 (or at least the first half)!

From this perspective I can see a pretty clear division among the topics: cute kids vs. heart-pounding stunts. There aren’t really any “non-produced” videos in this grouping. No Charlie Bites or Double Rainbows! But we do have advertisements, informational topics, fun with the Royal Wedding, and all those stunts.

1. Evian – Roller Babies

I mean really, what’s not to love about this video? It has babies. And rollerskates. And cooing. All to the music of Rapper’s Delight, which gets everyone on their feet! It’s actually been around since October, 2010 but still continues to be a hit with viewers.

2. Volkswagen – The Force: Volkswagen Commercial

Volkswagen keeps generating hit after viral hit with their fun and catchy videos. This one features a pint-sized Darth Vader who uses the Force when he discovers the all-new 2012 Passat in the driveway. It originally aired during the February 2011 Super Bowl broadcast and is super cute. (Hmm, do I see a theme with young ‘ens leading the pack?)

3. T-Mobile – The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

With all the fanfare of the Royal Wedding, it’s no surprise that this one went viral. T-Mobile’s Royal Wedding Dance celebrates the marriage of William and Kate with the help of a host of royal look-alikes and music from East 17.

4. DC Shoes – Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome, France

Like stunts? Race car driving? Insanity? Then this video is for you. Seriously, just the sound of this video got my heart racing, and it didn’t stop racing until well after the video finished!

5. DC Shoes – Ken Block Gymkhana Two, The Infomercial

Another one by the folks at DC Shoes Film. Actually this came prior to the one above! This one was produced specifically to market Ken Block’s first-ever Rally TeamWorks Collection. It includes stunts, surprises, explosions and … more stunts.

6. Danny MacAskill – Way Back Home

A lot longer than most of the videos (at almost 8 minutes), this video is more of a story as it follows Danny MacAskill on his journey from Edinburgh back to his hometown Dunvegan, in the Isle of Skye. Complete with incredible bike skills of course!

7. Skittles Touch – Cat

Okay. This one gets my vote for “viral because it’s weird”. And a little bit disturbing!!

8. Air New Zealand – Mile High Madness with Richard Simmons

What could be a better recipe for viral than throwing Richard Simmons (and a bunch of Jazzercise-style dancers) in a video that discusses flight safety?

9. Call of Duty – Modern Warfare Reveal Trailer

If normal stunts aren’t for you, why not throw in a bit of violence in the form of a video game? You even have to agree that you’re over the age of 18 to watch.

10. David Cornfield Melanoma Fund – Dear 16-Year-Old Me

And then there’s something with a powerful message. The video from DCMF is graphic, but real, with important details to everyone (but mostly to teens) regarding melanoma. Although it starts of fun and silly, the video quickly delves into the complications associated with skin cancer, and the increased risks of developing it with sun exposure and tanning.

You’ll notice that Friday, by Rebecca Black, is missing from the list. Why? Because it was taken down by Youtube for copyright issues. So, while it may have gone viral (and I talk about it here), it’s not here to stay.

Make Better Videos, Part 3: Remember The Passionate Beginning

Author:

Ask any working filmmaker a simple question: “what movie would you make if you could, right now?” After a second or two, you will most likely hear an accurate and intricate description of the movie that plays in his or her mind. A glimmering glow slowly erupting from the depths of forgotten passion, showering you with excitement and energy, capturing a glimpse of the original desire to make movies. Somewhere along the way, filmmakers inevitably forget about their specific origin of filmmaking passion. They get caught up in the professional pursuits of their career and over time lose their excitement. Regardless, as long as filmmakers desire to learn, grow and make better videos, they must continually remember the passionate beginning of their movie-making career.

Taking Your Pulse: Where Are You At Today?
Filmmaking is demanding, time-consuming and expensive. Creatively speaking, it’s hard to keep the juices flowing day after day, year after year. The little experiments that once brought tremendous joy, gave way to minimized risk, lessened satisfaction, and a deep-seated desire to escape the burdens of professional filmmaking. This is a critical part of the unfortunate, yet necessary, journey of the artist (yes, filmmakers are artists). If you can make it through the severe times of drought and doubt, you will become a stronger and more devoted filmmaker.

So, where are you at on your journey? For myself, I have been making videos for about ten years and I am coming to a point where I need to empty myself of all that I have learned, so that I can reconnect with why I initially wanted to make videos: To tell stories that matter.

Over the years, I have grown in my technical abilities, but I daily struggle with maintaining my passion and excitement. The stories became less about subjects that mattered and more about making sure that bills were paid and obligations maintained. Not the greatest ingredients for filmmaking success. So, how do you rediscover your initial enthusiasm for filmmaking?

How Far Away Are You From When You Began?
The first step in connecting with your passionate beginning—–why you make videos—–is identifying where you are at. This will help you to identify and strip away all of the baggage that has piled upon your foundations of passion and desire, things like:

  • Comparing ourselves to other filmmakers.
  • Lusting after the latest and greatest equipment.
  • Arguing about editing software changes.
  • Wishing that we were better at our craft.

As you purge these distractions and de-motivators from your creative process, you will actually see that you are closer to your passion than you realize.

Recapturing The Creativity And Passion Of The Early Years
The next step in recapturing the passionate beginnings of your filmmaking career is to make the film you want to make. Here are a few things that you can do:

  • Make a one to five minute short film about whatever you want regardless of budget, equipment and talent. Break out your cell phone, your home video camera or your professional gear and experiment with new styles that you normally wouldn’t think to utilize. If you are a fan of structure, play with cinema verite or non-linear storytelling. If you don’t like structure, try to be as structured and specific as possible. Essentially do the exact opposite of what you would normally do.
  • Return to the “lab” and experiment with the tricks of the trade. Rent a super wide-angle lens, go handheld, try a dolly-zoom horror/suspense effect, play with focus and composition. There are unlimited tools at your disposal, have fun.
  • Feed your creative soul by reading, watching movies and connecting with others. Need some suggestions? Read Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud or Story by Robert McKee. Watch something funny like Monty Python and The Meaning of Life, a classic like Citizen Kane, something you normally wouldn’t watch like The English Patient or your favorite movie, mine is Time Bandits by Terry Gilliam. If all else fails, call up a friend and have coffee and listen to them talk about their job in cubicle world, that alone might just trigger an amazing surge of creativity and desire to make better films.

By letting the naïve filmmaker within emerge and run free, you might just make better videos that surprise even the internal critic. But in order to do that, you must never forget the passionate beginning to your movie-making career.

Skype Launches an iPad App, Then They Don’t

Author:

iPad and Skype users were excited yesterday when an official Skype app for the iPad was released. Until now, users were having to rely on the iPhone Skype app which operated on a fraction of the screen.

Unfortunately, Skype prematurely released the app and had to pull it down. They tweeted yesterday, “To ensure your best Skype experience, we’ve temporarily removed Skype for iPad which went live prematurely today.”

Some initial tests reported that the app seemed to be working smoothly, but taking a minute or two to load all of your Skype contacts. If you own the original iPad, you obviously can’t participate in a Skype chat or call, but you can view them.

Here’s a video of Skype for iPad, where a user managed to grab a screen shot of the new app before Skype took their video down.

When will we see the Skype iPad app launched again? Not sure, but Skype did say, “We know you’ve been eagerly awaiting Skype for iPad and apologize for the inconvenience.”

We’ll keep an eye on this story and update you again when it is launched…for real.

Marines Head to YouTube for Ball Invitations

Author:

My, my, my how times have changed. Would you ever have thought, let’s say 10 years ago, that a Marine could shoot a video inviting a major celebrity to an event and then get a yes?

Fast forward to the present, and one of the biggest trends on YouTube this week are the Marine Ball invitations that have been given out to stars like Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Betty White and Miley Cyrus.

Sgt Scott Moore with 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines in Musa Qala, Afghanistan asked Mila Kunis to the Marine Corps Ball in Greenville, NC on November 18th. His video currently has over 3 million views. Mila said yes.

Marine Sgt. Ray Lewis asked Betty White to the Marine Corps Ball in Fort Worth, Texas Oct. 29. She politely declined, but Linda Hamilton, yes Terminator Linda Hamilton, turned the tables and said she’s no Betty White, but she would go to the ball with Lewis.

The latest invite was extended to Miley Cyrus from PFC Hart. No word yet if she has accepted.

Just for fun..If you could invite any celebrity to an event, who would it be? Hmmm, I wonder if Bradley Cooper has any plans this weekend?

YouTube’s Most Viewed Cat Video Doesn’t Contain Any Cats

Author:

Cat videos – we all love them, we all watch them, there’s just some about those furry little felines on video that mesmerize the world.

As I was taking a look at some YouTube trends for the past month, I saw on the YouTube trends website that their most-viewed cat video for the past month, didn’t contain any actual cats. There was talk of cats. A lot of talk of cats actually. But no real life cats doing anything quirky or funny. What?!

Have you seen “Debbie” and her “eHarmony Video Bio”? Considering the video received 2 million views in one day, I am sure you have. For those of you who may not have any clue of what I’m talking about, here you go.

Debbie loves her cats!

Okay, so “Debbie” is actually a girl named Cara Hartmann who’s Facebook page describes herself as an entertainer. Her video is still averaging around 100,000 views a day and has over 11 million views at the time of this writing. There have also been numerous parody videos made, which you can see here.

So, let’s ask ourselves the question “Why was this video so popular?” A popular cat video with NO cats! The short answer. Because we were all trying to figure out if this girl was for real. After closer examination and the video becoming so popular, it was obvious this was a joke. And a darn good one at that.

Just for fun, if you put together an eHarmony video bio, what’s the one thing you would say you just loved?

Make Better Videos, Part 2: Keep Your Objectivity… Kill Your Darlings!

Author:

Over the years as a working video professional, I have gotten a lot of sage advice from fellow filmmakers on how to make better videos: “Befriend the person in charge of craft services,” “never date the lead actress,” and my personal favorite, “don’t fall in love with a shot, scene, or line of dialogue unless you’re willing to kill your darlings and leave them on the cutting room floor.” While the first two pieces of advice technically have nothing to do with the final product, the third piece of advice is crucial in maintaining overall objectivity and remaining true to your story and the audience..

“Seeing Around The Edge Of The Frame” – Walter Murch

A lot of time, energy, ego and money goes into making videos and films. Pre-production and production generate an enormous amount of work for a lot of people. Emotions get involved, decisions are hastily made, and the story begins to unfold. Dailies are produced and sent to an editor, who begins to watch them, make notes and construct a rough edit based on the script.

Ideally, there is distance between the production process and the editor, primarily for the purpose of maintaining objectivity. This distance allows the editor to see the story within each shot, and not be clouded by things that happened on set.

In film editor Walter Murch’s book on film editing perspectives, “In The Blink Of An Eye,” he extols the need for an editor to see only what is on the screen. He writes, “The editor, on the other hand, should try to see only what’s on the screen, as the audience will. Only in this way can the images be freed from the context of their creation. By focusing on the screen, the editor will, hopefully, use the moments that should be used, even if they may have been shot under duress, and reject moments that should be rejected, even though they cost a terrible amount of money and pain.”

Murch is known for editing films such as “The English Patient,” “Apocalypse Now,” a re-edit of Orson Welles, “Touch of Evil,” among many other films. “In The Blink Of An Eye” and “Conversations” are two books that every budding and working filmmaker should have in their library as they are jam-packed with nuggets of truth that speak to this idea of storytelling objectivity.

How To Maintain Objectivity In A One-Person Crew

But what about the one-person crew making videos? How can objectivity be maintained when everything is known from start to finish? The answer? Practice!

As a filmmaker, I love making short 5-10 minute documentaries for the purpose of practicing my craft and meeting interesting people. Each video is an attempt to learn how to tell a better story, and in many ways is a lesson in maintaining objectivity. I have learned to let the story breathe and unfold in each stage of creation.

When I get the initial spark of an idea, I think of who the subject will be, the questions I would like to ask them, what kind of B-roll will serve the story, along with technical questions related to production. I may have some shots that I want to try, but I am willing to cut anything that will make the final video weak. From there, I shoot everything that I think that I’ll need. Typically, I shoot roughly 2 to 4 hours of raw video including interviews and B-roll, which I then edit down to the final length of 5-10 minutes.

During the editing process, while I edit to the story that I have constructed through pre-production and production, I also think about issues of pacing and clarity, as well as educational and entertainment value. If one section is dragging, it is often because something that I thought would work, isn’t. By removing a line of dialogue, or even trimming 1-2 seconds, pacing can be improved.

I then think about clarity. Is there a clear message throughout the video? Are the interview clips telling a clear and concise story? Should the B-roll be introduced sooner or later? How long do I hold on the shot of the interview subject talking?

Finally, I think about educational and entertainment value. Did I learn something by watching the final video? Was I entertained? Did other people finish the video with a feeling that they wanted more? Or was there general disappointment in the story told?

Objectivity Is About The Audience

A lot of questions to ask. The truth is that whether you are working in a large crew or by yourself, the final video does not exist in a vacuum. There is an audience that interacts and watches your video, hopefully sharing it with others.

Keeping your audience in mind is the final way to maintain a sense of objectivity. By treating them with respect and telling the story that needs to be told, you will be able to kill your darlings.

After all, you can still release your darlings that were cut on YouTube, or alternatively, as Deleted Scenes on a DVD release.

With that, get out there and practice. Happy filmmaking!

Make Better Videos, Part 1: Emulate Your Filmmaking Heroes

Author:

In an effort to provide valuable information and to learn to make better videos, I am embarking on a series of posts that will unpack some concepts that I learned in college and need a bit of a refresher as I continue the daily journey of filmmaking. The first part of making better videos is an important reminder for all filmmakers, rookies to seasoned professionals: emulate your filmmaking heroes so that you can learn how to tell stories in new and exciting ways.

Emulate. A Dirty Word?
With an abundance of affordable technology in today’s modern digital world, anyone can make a movie. But like any artistic pursuit, each filmmaker strives for originality, to have their own voice and style that is devoid of influence. So, with this framing concept of originality, why is emulation so important to me?

First, to emulate simply means “to imitate in an effort to equal or surpass” (dictionary.com). It is the identification of a style or technique that you want to learn and then imitating what has worked in the past, building upon the accumulation of knowledge to do something of greater value.

Second, emulation helps you learn from the mistakes made by others, why they were mistakes, and how they can be used in different applications or contexts as solutions to new problems.

Finally, emulation goes back through the different periods of art, expressed magnificently during the Renaissance through the relationship of the apprentice and the master painter.

Apprentices started out doing menial tasks around a master painter’s shop, but would eventually start copying the drawings and paintings of the master. If considerable talent was shown, the master would promote the apprentice to work on background and minor details of original paintings, leaving the primary details and figures for himself. If the apprentice excelled at these details, then and only then, would the prospect of becoming a master painter and hiring apprentices be a reality. [1]

Identify Your Heroes and Their Style – How Do They Tell Stories?
As a lover of cinema, who are the master filmmakers that you aspire to be and are inspired by? Are you inspired by the timeless films of Steven Spielberg? The futuristic views of George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers? How about the iconoclastic visions of Terry Gilliam or the comedic offerings of Kevin Smith? There are a million directors out there and identifying your heroes, why they are your heroes, and what you want to emulate is the first place to start.

From there, start looking at the different aspects of filmmaking and how your heroes use them to tell stories. Does a director favor one type of hero/villian relationship? Is the choice of dialogue wordy or sparse? Are there certain camera angles and shot compositions that are a trademark of the director? How is depth of field used to isolate or bring attention to details? How does the lighting change the tone of a particular scene? How is sound and music used in the context of storytelling? Is there music in every scene like Star Wars or is there room for the dialogue to speak for itself? How does the pacing and editing of a scene fit into the movie as a whole?

Using these questions as a starting point of analysis, start studying the work of other directors. Don’t just stop at gaining head knowledge of how a director works, take the time to grab your camera and try out different techniques. By emulating your filmmaking heroes, you will not only gain a deeper understanding of the filmmaking process, but in time you will make better videos, and shape your original voice.

A Shining Example of Emulation
I want to end with a story that has stuck with me for almost ten years. A friend of mine was mentoring a middle school student who had expressed interest in becoming a filmmaker. His desire and ambition led the young student to recreate scenes from Star Wars IV: A New Hope entirely with LEGOs.

Shot by shot, scene by scene, he used the same camera angles and composition, lighting, editing, music and sound effects. It was an impressive undertaking and to this day, I have no doubt that what he learned by recreating and emulating the vision of George Lucas has stuck with him through the years, especially as he continues pursuing a career in Hollywood.

With that, I encourage you to pick a scene from your favorite movie and do your very best at recreating it shot-by-shot. You might just be surprised at what you will learn about the art and craft of making better movies.

Happy filmmaking!

[1] The Renaissance Connection, http://www.renaissanceconnection.org/artistslife.html

Mastering Your Mobile Marketing Mojo

Author:

… by Doug Devitre

The power of a computer in the palm of every person enables our society to receive, disseminate, and share information faster than ever before. The mobile phone we once relied on only made calls. Now we can watch videos, communicate face to face, and share documents from anywhere, anytime, and in any format.

Entrepreneurs can now be more flexible in servicing client needs with minimal investment and without being physically present. Innovations like cloud computing, mobile video, and apps systematize business operations. The time saved by integrating these into practices gives professionals more time to focus on prospecting, appointments, and sales opportunities.

Cloud Computing
Take a look at the My Documents folder of your computer and ask yourself which documents do you send out most to clients, customers, or partners on a regular basis. A company brochure saved as a .PDF, template employees can edit in a .DOC. file format, or .XLS spreadsheet that others can perform calculations from the equations you create.

Two tools www.Box.net and www.Dropbox.com will store the documents others request online and give everyone quick access to preview, download, and share. Every document and folder of documents is assigned its own unique hyperlink.

Download the apps for Box and Dropbox to your iPhone, Blackberry, etc. and when logged in all of your documents will be ready to share right from your device. This way when you are sitting in the fast food drive thru and someone requests your company brochure you can send it without waiting until you get back to the office.

Vivacious Video
Would you rather watch a 2 minute video or read a 500 word article? Personally I like videos because they explain advance concepts with visuals rather than trying to interpret text. YouTube videos are different than other video hosting providers because they can be watched on most devices just like they can be on a computer. Every video uploaded to video is a link. This link can be shared by email, text message, Facebook, or Twitter and watched on the mobile phone when clicked.

Instant Lead Follow Up
A website that asks for customer contact information in exchange for a special report, product offering, or service inquiry must be responded to quickly or lose the opportunity. The contact information can be emailed to you however few people check their email every 5 minutes. In addition to the receiving the lead by email set up a system where you receive a text message. Every mobile phone carrier has an email to text message address. Find yours here. Include this email in your website follow up system in addition to your business email address so that when someone inputs their contact info you receive both a text message and email in order to follow up.

Apps
The mobile phone that rests in your pocket runs applications very similar to the ones on your computer. Although they may not have the same functionality the ability to access contacts, documents, and budgets make it is easy to follow up on the fly. Some of my favorite iPhone apps are Box.net for online document storage, Kayak for booking travel, Tripit for storing travel plans, and Groups for email groups and group instant messaging.

Small business owners have many options to run their business while on the road and there is no one single solution. Those options can be customized to fit your specific needs by innovating solutions that the provider may not have intended. The more creative, practical, and succinct you are at arriving at your objectives the easier it will be to make more money from your mobile device.

Doug Devitre, Chief Experience Officer of Doug Devitre International, Inc. helped real estate professionals, brokers, and associations save money, time, and creates value using affordable technology solutions all over the world. Join Doug on the conversation on Facebook, on Twitter @DougDevitre or subscribe to Doug’s blog to get the freshest ideas on how to use technology in real estate.

Andrew Zarian (Guys From Queens Network) Says: ‘Be Consistent’

Author:

I recently had the chance to chat with Andrew Zarian – founder of Guys From Queens Network, a web based television network covering a range of topics – from Technology to Entertainment and more. Andrew was willing to divulge his advice about finding sponsors for your show, and his key piece of advice (which works for anyone generating content) is to “Be Consistent”!  Here’s what else we talked about:

What was your initial goal for starting Guys From Queens Network?

My initial goal was to keep me busy! I had just recently gotten laid off from my IT job. I was about a month into looking for a new job and I was just trying to keep busy. It was a hobby. I’d never tried podcasting before, I didn’t know much about it. I was a big fan of radio growing up, so I decided I was going to start doing a podcast with one of my friends. It kind of spun into a full time job within 6 or 7 months. It became a real thing and a year and a half later, we started making some money. It kind of spun into what it is now. I had never gone into it with the goal of, “I’m going to create this network and I’m going to make a lot of money.”

I see you started off in podcasting, what made you switch to video?
I did a couple audio podcasts and I kind of wanted to get some feedback from the audience. We discovered Ustream, Justin.tv, and Stickam so we kind of moved it into a video-themed show. It’s pretty much always been a video-based show, we just have a podcast format because we release it in audio and video.

I kind of wanted that connection with that audience. It’s totally different when you’re in a room with a person and talking with them, or when you’re broadcasting and you see 5,000 or 6,000 people. You see their comments and it’s kind of a connection because you change the way you do the show, because they’re interacting with the show.

What is your main content focus and has that shifted at all over the past two years?
We started off, it was a variety show. The network is pretty broad, we try to have something for everybody. We have a comedy aspect, we have a shock-jock type show, we have a tech show, we have a men’s call-in show. We try to base our network for everybody. That’s our goal. We want to attract as many people as possible.

The core has always been technology. That’s something we can’t ever eliminate. So we try to cater to them a little more than anything else.

What shows did you launch with?
The first show was the Andrew Zarian show.

And how did you choose to add shows after that? Were you going for more variety?
We started off with that and then one of the viewers wanted to do a technology show. He reached out to me and we tried it a couple times. It worked great. We have a couple viewers who became part of the network. A couple people I knew that wanted to get into this field ended up coming on board. So, it’s just here and there we added shows and it grew.

You say it took some time to start making money with the site. Did you search for sponsors initially or did you wait until you grew your audience? How did you go about monetizing the show?
I never wanted to reach out to sponsors without having the audience. I know a lot of people want to monetize, and you need to monetize if you plan on doing this long term. But you need to realize you need an audience and a certain type of demo that’s going to attract advertisers. I really waited, about a year, until I started looking for an advertiser. We reached out to a number of companies early on, but we didn’t hear back because we didn’t have any press or any name-recognition, but we started off with GoDaddy, Audible and some affiliate stuff. About 8 or 9 months ago Hover reached out to us. They’re big supporters of the network, they really push the network. They’re long-term sponsors of us.

I would advise everyone, it’s always great to look for sponsors, but many times they’ll reach out to you. I was told by somebody that’s really involved with this, that there’s more companies looking to spend money than there are looking to accept the money. So you’d be surprised!

What types of marketing do you implement to drive readers to the site and shows?
I’m always a big fan of providing good content. If you do good content, people will come. I really haven’t pushed online. Facebook and Twitter are a huge huge help. If you tweet on something interesting, people will find you based on that.

So, How much time does the network spend on social media?
We have interns constantly on Facebook and Twitter, monitoring what people are saying, and will Tweet about it, we’ll reply. Pretty much all day we’re on!

Now, what about your blog? How does that work tie in with the shows?
We just started doing some blogs, about six months ago, so we’re taking it slow. We’re looking to add more that tie into what we talk about each week. The blog has been kind of separate but we’re bringing it all together so the blog is an extension of what we do on the shows.

If you could offer one bit of advice for someone new to podcasting or video blogging, what would it be?
Try to get through 22 shows. If you can get through 22 shows, you know that you have something good. I notice a lot of people give up after a couple weeks because they realize it’s not working out the way they’re doing it, it’s not what they expected. I would tell people to stick to it for at least 22 weeks because you’ve got to craft and fine-tune what you’re doing.

It’s a funny question, because I have a hard time explaining to someone that there are no shortcuts. People think that there’s some switch you turn on and you get an audience. It’s a combination of things. You really have to keep doing it and be consistent. If you’re consistent, you’ll grab a couple of people. But don’t be discouraged if you only have ten or twenty people watching.

If you’re reaching out to 50 people, and those 50 people are going to tell somebody, you’re going to grow what you’re doing. That 50 could easily turn into 1000. If you’re consistently putting out a decent product. The worst thing you could ever do is say, “Ah, I’m not going to do it this week.”

If you’re not there for a week, they’re going to forget about you. There’s so much good content on the Internet. What are you doing that’s so different from anybody else? If they feel that you’re not into it and giving it 110%, they’re not going to stick around.

So pretty much, be consistent. If you’re consistent you can grow your brand.

Thanks Andrew! You can find Guys From Queens Network live blogging at BlogWorld NY and Andrew is speaking for the Digital Broadcasting track.

Redefining Cinema In A Digital World

Author:

As an independent filmmaker, it is a great time for cinema thanks to the technological advances of the 21st century digital world. While there have been numerous advancements made in the equipment and software needed to technically make a film, the most impactful changes have occurred in how a film is funded, distributed and promoted. Let’s take a look at a few ways that the digital world is redefining cinema.

Kickstart Your Funding With A Proof Of Concept.
One of the hardest aspects of making a film, let alone any creative project, is raising the necessary funds for pre-production, production and post-production costs. If you don’t have the benefit of being backed by a major studio in Hollywood, you are either self-funding your project with credit cards and savings or borrowing money from friends and family.

Enter a new way of funding: Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com). Kickstarter allows you to creatively raise money for your project by designating how much you want to raise and how you will reward and recognize financiers based on the amount they give. Additionally, you can add text, images or video that will help sell the viability of the project as well as your passion, dedication and motivation for creating the film. If you reach your goal in the set time, you receive the money and Kickstarter takes a small percentage to cover their costs. If not, the people that pledged money will not be charged and you can try again.

Recently I was talking with a friend who was the Director of Photography for a film project called Cardboard Dreams which was successfully funded through Kickstarter. He said that the secret of success was in the creation of a “proof of concept.” They filmed the first six pages of the script and the resulting footage was edited to show what the finished film would look like.

There are many examples of successfully funded projects on Kickstarter’s website and I would encourage you to take notes and get creative.

Where Can I See Or Buy Your Film?
It seems that as each year goes by, there are more and more online distribution channels for independent filmmakers. Video sharing sites like Vimeo (http://www.vimeo.com) and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com) provide great resources for people who want to broadcast trailers and short films in a wide-range of lengths and resolutions. But what if you want to sell your film and recoup investment costs? While you can go the traditional route of creating DVD and Blu-Ray copies, there is an intriguing option called Openfilm (http://www.openfilm.com).

At first glance, Openfilm looks and functions a lot like YouTube and Vimeo. But as you look into their different user types, some amazing functionality is added based on how much you are willing to spend. By spending $2.95 per month, you become a “Plus” user enabling you to accept donations from major credit cards through PayPal, guarantee TV placement through a partnership with TiVo, Boxee and HCC TV, and even sell mobile versions of your film. Upgrading to $9.95 per month makes you a “Pro” user and gives you added features such as selling digital copies of your film and even renting your film.

Openfilm appears to be a groundbreaking website for independent filmmakers who are looking to not only gain exposure, but to create a sustainable and profitable distribution channel.

Get The Word Out By Putting The “Social” In Social Media.
Social media is leveling the playing field when it comes to promoting independent film. There are so many different ways to get the word out ranging from Twitter to Facebook and everything in between, that it is almost impossible not to create an effective marketing campaign using these tools, as long as you follow a few simple rules:

  1. Fight the urge to spam people.
    Social media is about engaging in a conversation, not spamming people about how great your film is, or even how awesome of a person you may be. You are a person connecting with other people. If you take an interest in them, most likely they will take an interest in you. Crazy things happen when you respect and engage others.
     
  2. Have somewhere to send people.
    It pays to have an online landing page to send people to allowing them to learn more about your film, watch a trailer, buy a DVD or digital file or even find out how they can help spread the word. This can be as simple as a one-page website, a Facebook fan page or a profile page on Vimeo, YouTube, or Openfilm.
     
  3. Seek out people with online influence.
    By seeking out people who have online influence and engaging them in conversation, there is a tremendous opportunity to not only develop a great relationship, but to establish an advocate that would “advertise” your project to their sphere of influence.
     
  4. As the Hollywood machine continues to crank out “safe” movies based on superheroes, award-winning novels and sequels, there is tremendous opportunity for original ideas to be funded, distributed and promoted through these new and innovative ways. All it takes is the vision, passion and action of a creative and self-motivated filmmakers to realize that the power is in their hands, should they ultimately want it.

Learn About NMX

NEW TWITTER HASHTAG: #NMX

Recent Comments

Categories

Archives