Is social media useful for film makers or a distraction?
Last Sunday I did a live radio show in LA, Film Courage, which went out to thousands of film makers around the world. I blogged about it in my last post where you can hear the podcast here. The final question in the show is actually given to the guest, and so I thought I might challenge the new considered wisdom that ‘social media may not be very useful…’ I was in part being purposefully contentious to open up debate, but I also wanted to highlight a trend I have seen – some film makers have started to rely more and more on the internet and social media, distancing themselves even further from traditional media. I believe this is a mistake.
Boy did it spark a mini controversy!
Above is a video response from PMD Adam Adam Daniel Mezei. And below is some of the chatter from Facebook. I will respond to these points in the next few days, as well as add some more thoughts, but I just wanted to give you the chance to add you voice to the debate. Please leave your thoughts at the end of the blog.
OK Adam was good enough to transcribe some of my comments for those who have not listened to the show. Here we go…
“Is all of this social media stuff really worth it? I mean, is it really wise to be gunning for those small 5,000-strong ‘audience ghettos,’ or should we instead be aiming to make films that have the capacity of landing half-a-million-strong audiences, 1M-sized audiences, or even 4M-sized ones?”
His response is the video above. Below are a few of the FB comments.
Adding to this–Robert Rodriguez was discussed in this thread. You can also mention Quentin Tarantino, Spike Lee and others who are branded with character, personality and individualism. Do they… always make the best films all the time? Depends who you ask–but most people who watch movies know WHO THEY ARE.
Those who ask “is it ‘worth’ the effort” might consider going to square one to really learn about the dynamics of “social affiliation” and how all the dimensions of the web today are colluding to propel people, products and brands forward (…or NOT, depending on how one engages). The film industry is treading the same path that music did 8 years ago…old models are fast dying and indies have to embrace the new realities of DIY/online marketing and self-distro options. Denying its “worth” leaves you with little more than denial of the new realities of integrated marketing. It also leaves you with the old “push” style marketing – and that alone just won’t cut it. (brilliant comments, Miles!)
Yet while we’re in the middle of this transitional storm, there is a wealth of newly democratized film — and sorry to use the word — shlock — that we as an industry must digest and contend with despite clear signs from the market that there’s no stomach for that sort of “art.” Moreover, and this tracks back to something Jones said in the interview — filmmakers not only have a fiduciary responsibility to their investors to pay back sums forwarded, but they also have a responsibility to the legions of filmmakers who follow in their wake to ensure that the scene is not sullied by their irresponsibility. Adam Daniel Mezei
All food for thought. Go on, leave a comment with your view.
Onwards and upwards!