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Archive for October, 2006

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Marketing Your Film Online

How does one effectively utilize the internet to promote and market a film project?

St. John's: The Narrows

That was the question raised by filmmakers and members of the National Film Board and Telefilm Canada that spawned the workshop “Marketing Your Film Online”, an event sponsored by Telefilm Canada at this year’s St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival that wrapped up this week in Newfoundland.

Pattie Lacroix from Catapult Media in Halifax and I held a panel talk on this very issue for the participants at the festival this year. It was a ton of fun and the people in attendance gained a lot from the session, based on their positive responses in the aftermath. We gave the talk from the perspective on how filmmakers, producers and directors could potentially freely, literally, tap the internet and the many social networks that are out there to explore, to better promote their work. This information on the basics of online social networking can obviously be applied right across the board to just about anyone with something to sell, show or share!

Pattie started the discussion off with an introduction to the next generation of the web: social networks and softwares and how user-generated content effects users today in how people connect and collaborate online, and how the web is more about event driven experiences than about sites.

Before heading off to the East coast, I sat down with the person who first taught me all about this world of social networks and softwares, to formulate the talk in a constructive and useful manner for the specific audience: krug – THE social software guru junkie.

And here’s how that all looked and unfolded in the end:

  • Blogging – A general overview on blogging and the importance of linking and tagging. We looked at WordPress, Blogger and Typepad and I quickly walked them through setting up a WordPress Blog – they were amazed at how fast and easy it was to complete.
  • Video Sharing – We talked about the YouTube and Revver services, the similarities and differences, and looked at some examples of both. What was nice for all to see was the user-friendly, non-intimidating interface of both sites.
  • Photosharing – Flickr – Not only a place to post and highlight anything under the moon for your own purpose, but the connections you make in growing your community and commenting on other photos is priceless.
  • Social Bookmarking – delicious and digg – Here is where illustrating the purpose in tagging became prevalent and more understood.
  • Event Calendar – Upcoming – Trying to stay “in the loop” is sometimes tough, and the idea of having a site where one can quickly announce or reference city events was an attractive site for this particular audience.
  • We also looked at LinkedIn, MySpace, last.fm and zaadz

Case Studies:
I then moved into highlighting several examples to better illustrate how other television and film projects used some of these free social softwares in the past for promoting their work:

  • The Inconvenient Truth documentary – used both YouTube and MySpace to create the buzz and promote the issues related to the film
  • Snakes On A Plane – The Blogosphere Craze!
  • Battlestar Galactica the TV series – The buzz that was created through the Producer’s podcast and blog

The whole talk, with questions and conversations that were generated from it, took up about 2.5 hours – we could have gone all day!

St. John's: In The Rain, Drizzle & Fog

As I mentioned, the info was all really well received and most of the people were truly blown away by the vastness of this space. We, who live in this web 2.0 bubble, can perhaps sometimes take it for granted. There is a whole world out there that knows very little, or sometimes, nothing at all, on how powerful the internet has become, and it felt great to have the opportunity to transfer what I have learned to those people who are open and ready to learn it as well.

Thank-you to Pattie for having the foresight to bring someone like me back to the East to take part in this endeavor. We’re hoping to continue working as a team on more workshops in the future – it was a lot of fun teaching this stuff!

Thanks to Telefilm Canada for sponsoring the event.

Thank-you to Krug for all of your help, knowledge and support, as always!

And a thank-you to Kelly Davis, the festival’s Executive Director, and her crew this year. You did such an outstanding job. I look forward to seeing the festival grow in numbers and participation in the coming years and to hopefully coming back to take part again!

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St. John's: The NarrowsChecking In From The 17th Annual St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival

This year’s International Women’s Film Festival in St. John’s has a vibrancy and energy that would seem to be nonpareil from years past. The opening night gala was no exception.

The people, filmmakers and film goers of St. John’s, and filmmakers from around the world, packed into the sold-out theatre, The Arts and Culture Centre, to be welcomed by the festival Chair of the board, Noreen Golfman. Our premier, Danny Williams, looking dapper in his cool, soft, black velvet jacket, white-collared shirt and no tie (yes, our slick Premier also has great fashion sense!), was the first Premier in the festival’s history to make an appearance, as he acknowledged the plentitude of brilliant talent in this province.

Mary Walsh directed, co-produced, co-wrote and starred in the film that opened the gala, “Young Triffie’s Been Made Away With”, and was as entertaining and charmingly colourful as ever. The film was co-written by Ray Guy, Newfoundland writer and journalist, so the result is predictably witty, funny, dark, quirky, bizarre, and has a fantastic payoff.

My Panel: The Social Web

Pattie Lacroix from Catapult Media in Halifax invited me to join her here to share our combined knowledge on social networks and softwares. Since locating me last week, we’ve been communicating and preparing for this workshop at the festival on the social web and how the film industry can take advantage of the tools available. With Pattie’s years of experience in the industry of web design and consulting, and my knowledge and familiarity of some key social softwares, our panel discussion was quite well received.

The room was full (extra chairs were needed!) and while Pattie explored the concepts of the next generation of the web, the new culture of the unregulated and unbounded internet, I introduced several social softwares and walked the room through some of the more useful ones that are relevant to the film industry in promoting and marketing their work online:

Of course we spoke about the importance and influence of the blogosphere. I set up a quick blog in WordPress, just so they could grasp how easy it is to initiate the process and start the tinkering.

I took a look at some case studies of how podcasting, vlogging and blogging can be used to market your film with: The Inconvenient Truth, Snakes On A Plane, Battlestar Galactica.

We also all learned of another resource for filmmakers from a woman who was in attendance, Celtx, a local software company here in St. John’s that has developed a social software for filmmakers to form communities and promote their work.

Over the following days, there are workshops and films – over 80 shorts and features – to take in throughout the city. If you’re reading this from outside of this great province, make your plans to get into the festival or at least visit Newfoundland next fall to see for yourself all there is here to offer in the rich flavours of the people, the history, the culture, the art, the talent and the pride. But don’t tell too, too many people about this – we like to keep our gem somewhat on the down-low!

I apologize for the lack of photography. My digital camera is busted and my roll of film I’ve been snapping is still sitting in my Minolta waiting to be all snapped up!

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Web 2.0 on the East Coast

Sharing Web 2.0 In Eastern Canada

St. John's International Women's Festival

I have been invited to speak in Halifax and St. John’s next week on everything and anything web 2.0, social marketing and social softwares to help filmmakers, producers and directors in showing them how they can better utilize the internet to promote their work.

First I will be heading to Halifax to sit on a panel along side Annette Clarke of the NFB and Pattie LaCroix from Catapult Media. Then it’s off to my hometown, St. John’s, Newfoundland, where I will be conducting a workshop at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival.

Pattie, Annette and I will be discussing the various current trends and aspects of the social web – learning how to properly utilize the internet as a marketing tool is vital for filmmakers of short films and documentaries in an area of the film industry that gets very little marketing attention and support.

I’ll be documenting my week away on The Standard, blogging and recording some podcasts from the “right” coast and watch my flickr account as well.

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