Filmmakers Get Social: A Short Recap of What I Already Knew

Filmmakers Get Social – A Recap
Last Wednesday I attended the Filmmakers Get Social event (thanks to a sweet discount courtesy of reading Erin Crumpacker‘s blog Briefly Noted) at the Roger Smith Hotel. It was a spirited evening of short film, panel discussion, and free Ultimat vodka (and the bartender knows how to pour!)

The Films
Among the films shown were Crooked Lane (dir. Chase Bailey), Tony and Cal (dir. Ryan Gielen), and Power (dir. Ari Gold). Nailing Jello, the film for which funds were raised, was never shown due of DVD difficulties (hmm, old tech on the way out: an appropriate segue…)

The Panel
The panel that followed was comprised of a diverse group of content producers. Leslie Poston, co-author of Twitter for Dummies, had some interesting things to say, as did Michelle DeForest of Next New Networks which puts out all The Key of Awesome videos (see the hilarious “Lady Gaga Beyonce Telephone Parody” below!), and John Knowles of Panman Productions.

What I Walked Away With
I walked away from the gorgeous Roger Smith Hotel with a few new nuggets of insight like

  • It’s still about quality over quantity
  • Tumblr is an awesome way to share “snackable content” (so now I’ve got one)
  • Crowdsource for content
  • Use http://www.search.twitter.com to find your audience.

There was also a refresher course of sorts on things I know very well (or learned from attending DIY Days a few weeks prior), such as

  • Actual filmmakers prefer Vimeo over YouTube for easier access to quality content
  • Make everything about the audience
  • The “Law of Least Effort,” or posting content on sites that integrates with other social networking sites
  • Be open to experimentation in everything you do
  • Never be on more than five platforms
  • A transparency of process builds anticipation and a fan base for a film.

And, of course, there were things that I didn’t agree with, primarily

  • Scheduing tweets and Facebook status updates via Hootsuite and other clients
  • Keeping a content calendar

A Note on Community
I was reminded of an article that appeared on Indiewire called “The Take-Back Manifesto” which outlined a cessation of all discussion about social media, DIY marketing and new distribution models (and one could infer a deadening of any form of progressive thinking while we’re at it!) when talking, writing, or blogging about anything film-related. This, of course, goes completely against the natural Tao of the universe, so it’s no wonder why the majority of the people I’ve met think this is the sorriest excuse for a manifesto ever. Above all, however, this idea goes against the idea of community.

As a community, we owe it to ourselves to go to events that will offer us even the slightest shard of new information that might help us fit the puzzle together, to help us better comprehend the chaos swirling around us. This way, when it all comes to a halt and decides on a form or forms (and hopefully not some Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man!), we will be able to be among the first to fully make use of its endless possibilities. And we will have done it together.

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