7 Ways To Make Your Film
& Your Film Career  Stand Out

By Elliot Grove

There are lots and lots of people, just like you, writing scripts and making movies these days. The digital world has lowered the technical and financial barrier to entry to practically nothing.

It seems to me that the key to a successful career is to make a key strategic plan that encompasses the best of traditional filmmaking and film culture along with the fresh and the new.

1. Specialise

The film industry needs a huge and wide variety of skills. Everything from accounting to camera technicians to ccaterers and drivers. If you really want you career to pop,get known as the 'go-to' person capable of delivering on-the-spot without fuss and bother, and you will soon have work lined up for you areound the block.

2. Filmmaking is a conversation

You need to know your audience. You can do this by concentrating on social media, or by using classic PR techniques of being reviewed or interviewed. For some of you, it might mean building direct one-on-one relationships (so called networking). Never ever forget that the film industry is a collaborative industry. It's not what you know, it is whom.

Which ever way you do it, the trick is to develop the knack at being at all the right places and saying or doing something that creates a lasting impression.

3. Utilise the new rules of publicity

The internet is flooded with a host of differing social media platforms. You have to utilise these tools for a successful career. From the monute you think of making a film or writing a script, start a flow of Tweets, FAcebook posts, Youtube videos, Pinterest and LinkedIn updates. This will build your potential audience and also, allow you to learn to know who uyour audience is (Number 2 above). This valuable feedback can be integrated into your project.

This works for all types of film people:
William C. Martell is a great example of a screenwriter with a successful blog in which he is always testing new script ideas and gauging the effect on his audience. Scriptsecrets.net
Peter Marshall in Vancouver uses his blog to promote his film directing.
Philip Bloom uses his blog for his camerawork.Check Philip Bloom out here

4. What about shorts and documentaries

The techniques for elevating and enhancing your career profile are the same regardless of genre or type of film.

One important element is the inclusion of well written and consise bios f everyone that has inspired or helped you. These bios should be short and contain these three elements: Previous experience, awards won and anyone famouse they have worked with.

Well written bios are useless without great publicity stills.

5. Create a PR strategy

Getting good PR is probably the simplest and cheapest way you can get yourself noticed. The trick is to come up with a hook that journalists and bloggers will seize and publish. Take the time to consider potential hooks, and then test them through your own networks, both online and offline (to your friends and colleagues)

A tried and tested tecxhnique is to use 'newsjacking' where you take a news headline and attempt to relate the headline to your story.

We use this technique at Raindance, and when the founder of Apple passed away, I wrote 7 Things Filmmakers Can Learn from Steve Jobs - as a way of promoting Raindance.we managed to time the article as momentum was building, and the page was promoted by dozens of bloggers and websites resulting in over 8,000 views in a day.

6. Pictures and videos

This is the film industry and you better have loads of pictures and videos that display your wares. Get good at taking pictures that show movement - pictures that show you doing something. Make videos that show you doing things or demonstrating how techniques.

Filmmaker Dave Reynolds used this technique to perfection and created a series of videos and updates on his Underwater Realm Kickstarter campaign. He was originally hoping to get $60K bit closed out at over $100K - mainly die to hsi videos he executed, and how he was able to collaborate with other filmmakers like Philip Bloom.

7. Hire a PMD

A Producer of Media and distribution (a phrase coined by Jon Reis) is the person responsible for creating and maintaining your social media presences and devising your PR campaigns.
A PMD combines the old-school skill of a publicist, and merges them with the new-age social media skills.Once your film is finsihed, a PMD will also be able to know how to mentise your crassly called 'product' online.

Fade Out

If you can nail these skills you can really make headway with your film and your career. As you can see, there is nothing terribly demanding in any of these areas - it is however, hard work!

Yours in filmmaking

Elliot Grove





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About The Author

Elliot Grove Elliot Grove founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993, the British Independent Film Awards in 1998, and Raindance.TV in 2007.

He has produced over 150 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of £278.38. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Japan and America.

He has written three books which have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS LAB 2nd Edition (Focal Press 2008),  RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009).  He was awarded a PhD in 2009 for services to film education. His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year.

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7 Ways To Make Your Film Career Stand Out