7 Things Filmmakers
Can Learn From Perez Hilton

By James Burbidge

Who is Perez Hilton?

Perez Hilton Perez Hilton is the name of Mario Lavandeira’s hugely successful celebrity gossip blog (www.PerezHilton.com). Perez has made millions for Mario because it is read by millions everyday – it averages 260 million page views a month.
That is some success story. And something we can all learn lessons from.
Here are the 7 things every filmmaker can learn from PerezHilton.com:

1. Find an idea you have passion for.

Perez blogged about celebrities “because it was something I was inherently curious about, fascinated with.” Make sure your film is something you’re passionate about. You’re going to be working on it for at least 2 years and you’ll need to stay enthusiastic both to work on the film and to work on promoting it long after its finished.

2. Find an idea there is an audience for.

Celebrity gossip pulls in a big crowd and Perez has capitalized on this. Your film should have audience appeal, whether it be for the quirky festival circuit followers or prepubescent girls. Try to avoid making a film about a deeply traumatic bus ride you once had unless it says something to someone else.

3. Be consistent.

Perez posts about 40 times a day, on average. That is a fearsome work rate but he does it because he loves his blog and he needs to keep working at it to keep it working.  If you’re writing or planning your film you need to make sure that you’ve a  work ethic just as strong. Be consistent, set goals and strive to meet them everyday.

4. Be unique.

Have a voice that stands out from the crowd. There is no point churning out the same films as everyone else, be they genre blockbusters or cut and paste indie arthouse. Perez differentiated his blog from other gossip pages with personal touches such as writing messages on the photos. Your film too should project your personal voice loudly and clearly.

5. Do not be censored.

Perez gets in trouble for saying what he thinks. Every time he does it and a celebrity attacks him, his blog gets more popular. Stay strong and don’t let you’re creative vision waver. Make the film the way you want to make it.

6. Experiment with monetization.

Perez realized that he could monetize his blog, experimented with several different advertising formats and now gets paid up to $54,000 for a short campaign. As a filmmaker you need to have a good idea about how your film is going to make its money; look to the distributors yes, but also check out crowd sourcing, social media marketing and other self-distribution techniques.

7. Develop your career.

Perez started with a blog but has grown a media empire of TV shows, book deals and even clothing lines around his persona. Have a long term plan and remember to work towards. Develop friends and contacts in the industry, make yourself known and refer to your goals. Make sure you have an answer when someone asks you “what’s next?”

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About The Author

James has been out of university for a year now and no-one has walked up and offered him a job - yet.

He is, at the moment seeking shelter and solace in the warm bosom of a Raindance internship and hoping that the recession will have gone away by the time he emerges from the cocoon-like cellar.

At the moment he hones his (already razor-sharp) skills by writing articles and timetables for the above mentioned festival company.

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7 Things Filmmakers Can Learn From Perez Hilton