Picture this. Someone posts on a film forum that they’re looking for a crew or cast member. They’re looking for x, and x is what you do. Your friend recommends you. It’s a professional gig — yay, you could get paid.
The first thing this potential client is going to do is check out your website. They’re going to google. They’re going to see if you have a twitter, a blog, a Vimeo or youtube channel, a facebook page. Basically they’ll check your online presence, to:
- see if you have one (an online presence that is);
- see examples of your work; and
- decide if they want to work with you.
(I suppose there is also 4: find your contact details.
Three of my friends have had this situation in the past two weeks. If you don’t have a website, then you could be missing out on work.
Filmmakers nowadays have to be their own brand. In every meeting, you could be meeting a potential collaborator or a potential client. You are effectively pitching and selling yourself as a commodity with every interaction. There is a lot of competition in this industry, and it is difficult to break through that noise.
Film is a relationship industry. When hiring cast or crew, producers make their decisions based on the following, in the following order:
- people they have worked with before (and like);
- people personally recommended to them (by collaborators they trust);
- people who look professional.
This latter point can be covered by people who have a good amount of credits, credits from reputable professional projects, and people who have a personal brand.
This could be through having a social media presence (twitter, instagram), by having a reputable blog, by having an up-to-date profile on industry pages (shooting people, filmandtvcrewpro), or, most importantly, having a professional looking website.
You need to develop a personal brand identity. I’m not going to go into that now. If you’re interested in finding out more about personal brands, check out this post from Raindance.
But what I am going to cover is the basics of setting up a website, and some of the pros and cons of different social media.