Jeez, what hasn't it taught me? I was a on a producer track in film school and I did a bunch of production work and film festival work after college. I even helped to produce a film called "Dead in Love" in 2008. Even after all that, nothing prepared me for what I encountered working on "Sam Bailey".

The film's writer and director, Tennyson Stead, had a vision that we could use all of these social media innovations like Facebook and Twitter to build an audience and intrest in our films before the film was even in preproduction. By releasing content online, linking all of our ensemble's social media, and directing it towards our audience, he felt that we could build a following that would make Hollywood sit up and take notice. Even two years ago, people were Poo-pooing the value of social media while even CNN technology corresspondents were sheepishly admitting that they had gotten facebook accounts and twitters. "Oh, god, its so self promoting, so narcissistic" people would say.

Well, yeah, it is! As a writer, actor, director, whatever, you're promoting you! You are the product! So go ahead, promote yourself! Be a little self serving. I'm here to tell ya peeps, it works! 2 years later we're getting notice from all sorts of directions in hollywood from stars to agents to producers of major motion pictures!

Since then, all of the social media stuff I've learned and am now less intimidated by is helping me spread my own pet projects far and wide! This is no longer the future, this is now! You can pick up a phone or a simple flip cam, shoot something that is simple, entertaining, and broadcast to millions around the globe in days. And get this...you don't have to ask for permission anymore!

So stop spending all your time groveling to bored industry people and doing mass mailings to waste baskets! You ARE the industry!

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Replies to This Discussion

Good point Gerard. Writing something as we speak and filming it next year. You've inspired me to put together a trailer and get it out there. Hope all is well.
Things are good Chris! Whats up with you, man? What are you working on? Hows beantown?

Chris DeChristopher said:
Good point Gerard. Writing something as we speak and filming it next year. You've inspired me to put together a trailer and get it out there. Hope all is well.
Hi Gerard, love it, we are the industry. For "We Are the Hartmans" we started social networking months before we started filming. Only our relatives (donors) cared at that point because it's not real to most, even with a promo reel. Once we got the behind the scenes footage up during production, our fans got excited and responded more. With Twitter I find it more of a challenge--who do I want to Twitter with? Should I Twitter with other filmmakers? DIY Marketers? Our film features 3 bands, 2 'underground' performers, the "Dude, You're Getting a Dell" dude and the legendary Richard Chamberlain. So I find that I'm partial to searching for their fans and letting them know about the film, more so than twittering with other filmmakers. Richard Chamberlain fans are particularly supportive and passionate. FYI One of our producers attended Film Finance Forum NY and reported that in the big leagues, having one million fans on Facebook means a $21 million marketing budget vs a $25 million one--ie, investors aren't looking to cut costs on marketing a film.
Cielto, the angle you took with Twitter is a great way to use social networking tools. In many ways, the net is a great way for like-minded enthusiasts to connect and chat about their shared interests. If you can put your project in the same light as a TV program, band or movie you are on your way.

I often think of the tactic that Marvel Comics head honcho Stan Lee used in building his brand back in the early 1960's. He just up and made it happen. He coined the Marvel Bullpen of creators (even though they all mailed in their work and the Marvel offices consisted of two desks and one phone) and created unique terms such as FOOM (friend of ol' Marvel) and such which made the readers feel like there was a friendly charismatic community just waiting for them to join up. Then... there actually was.

Twitter, Amplify, Facebook and the like, when properly used, can create a community and build support for nearly anything. As Gerard said, there's no need to ask permission when you can just do it yourself!


Cielito Pascual said:
Hi Gerard, love it, we are the industry. For "We Are the Hartmans" we started social networking months before we started filming. Only our relatives (donors) cared at that point because it's not real to most, even with a promo reel. Once we got the behind the scenes footage up during production, our fans got excited and responded more. With Twitter I find it more of a challenge--who do I want to Twitter with? Should I Twitter with other filmmakers? DIY Marketers? Our film features 3 bands, 2 'underground' performers, the "Dude, You're Getting a Dell" dude and the legendary Richard Chamberlain. So I find that I'm partial to searching for their fans and letting them know about the film, more so than twittering with other filmmakers. Richard Chamberlain fans are particularly supportive and passionate. FYI One of our producers attended Film Finance Forum NY and reported that in the big leagues, having one million fans on Facebook means a $21 million marketing budget vs a $25 million one--ie, investors aren't looking to cut costs on marketing a film.
Hi Cielito!

Good to hear that things on "We Are The Hartmans" are coming along. I see it is scheduled for release next year! Do you have a trailer for the film that you have posted here yet? If not, please do so if you are able! We would be happy to help you spread the word. On the subject of Twittering, I'd say, twitter to anyone who will listen! It's good to target a specific fan base, but try to seek out those who are not yet you fans but could come to know and love your product in time. The more followers you have, the better and yes, definitely keep that dialouge open with your fanbase. Filmakers like Joss Whedon, Paul W.S. Anderson and Sylvester Stallone (as well as us here at 8 Sided) have been finding this invaluable.

Cielito Pascual said:
Hi Gerard, love it, we are the industry. For "We Are the Hartmans" we started social networking months before we started filming. Only our relatives (donors) cared at that point because it's not real to most, even with a promo reel. Once we got the behind the scenes footage up during production, our fans got excited and responded more. With Twitter I find it more of a challenge--who do I want to Twitter with? Should I Twitter with other filmmakers? DIY Marketers? Our film features 3 bands, 2 'underground' performers, the "Dude, You're Getting a Dell" dude and the legendary Richard Chamberlain. So I find that I'm partial to searching for their fans and letting them know about the film, more so than twittering with other filmmakers. Richard Chamberlain fans are particularly supportive and passionate. FYI One of our producers attended Film Finance Forum NY and reported that in the big leagues, having one million fans on Facebook means a $21 million marketing budget vs a $25 million one--ie, investors aren't looking to cut costs on marketing a film.
Interesting point Jamie. I haven't thought as much about how powerful simply naming your group or giving it a slogan like "Make Mine Marvel!", is. Stan Lee always addressed the readers as "True Believers". This kind of made us kids feel like we were in on something that adults or non comic readers weren't. That we were cooler, more underground and special.

Jameson Lee said:
Cielto, the angle you took with Twitter is a great way to use social networking tools. In many ways, the net is a great way for like-minded enthusiasts to connect and chat about their shared interests. If you can put your project in the same light as a TV program, band or movie you are on your way.

I often think of the tactic that Marvel Comics head honcho Stan Lee used in building his brand back in the early 1960's. He just up and made it happen. He coined the Marvel Bullpen of creators (even though they all mailed in their work and the Marvel offices consisted of two desks and one phone) and created unique terms such as FOOM (friend of ol' Marvel) and such which made the readers feel like there was a friendly charismatic community just waiting for them to join up. Then... there actually was.

Twitter, Amplify, Facebook and the like, when properly used, can create a community and build support for nearly anything. As Gerard said, there's no need to ask permission when you can just do it yourself!


Cielito Pascual said:
Hi Gerard, love it, we are the industry. For "We Are the Hartmans" we started social networking months before we started filming. Only our relatives (donors) cared at that point because it's not real to most, even with a promo reel. Once we got the behind the scenes footage up during production, our fans got excited and responded more. With Twitter I find it more of a challenge--who do I want to Twitter with? Should I Twitter with other filmmakers? DIY Marketers? Our film features 3 bands, 2 'underground' performers, the "Dude, You're Getting a Dell" dude and the legendary Richard Chamberlain. So I find that I'm partial to searching for their fans and letting them know about the film, more so than twittering with other filmmakers. Richard Chamberlain fans are particularly supportive and passionate. FYI One of our producers attended Film Finance Forum NY and reported that in the big leagues, having one million fans on Facebook means a $21 million marketing budget vs a $25 million one--ie, investors aren't looking to cut costs on marketing a film.
Thanks Jameson. Are you related to Stan Lee? : ) He was brilliant in focusing on creating a tribe/community and we're aiming the same way. Beginning with the fact that we (director, producers, actors) for the most part feel the project is a "we" and not an "I".
CP

Jameson Lee said:
Cielto, the angle you took with Twitter is a great way to use social networking tools. In many ways, the net is a great way for like-minded enthusiasts to connect and chat about their shared interests. If you can put your project in the same light as a TV program, band or movie you are on your way.

I often think of the tactic that Marvel Comics head honcho Stan Lee used in building his brand back in the early 1960's. He just up and made it happen....
Thanks Gerard. An updated trailer is coming soon. Our editor is cranking away for a couple of upcoming test screenings in NYC. I will certainly post it when it's ready. We have a teaser from 3 months ago--it's so far from what the film is now I hesitate to post it!
CP

Gerard J. Marzilli said:
Hi Cielito!

Good to hear that things on "We Are The Hartmans" are coming along. I see it is scheduled for release next year! Do you have a trailer for the film that you have posted here yet? If not, please do so ...

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