ESSENTIAL SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS FOR FILMMAKERS TO NETWORK
Being a filmmaker can be a solitary lifestyle but one of the most important, and undervalued, aspects of a filmmaker’s job is networking. Building and maintaining a map of relationships is an essential part of being a creative professional.
We’ve come a long way since the days of MySpace and now there are an overwhelming number of social media platforms to help connect you with your audience, other filmmakers, and job opportunities. So get ready to spruce up your social media profiles because what we’ve got for you is a list of the best social media platforms to help filmmakers to build their network.
Though it’s been said that Facebook is on the decline, it’s still the biggest game in town. Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher didn’t make The Social Network for nothing. Since Facebook’s fan and business pages have throttled reach now it’s a good idea to join a few different groups. Here are some we recommend:
- Louisiana Indie Filmmakers
- Filmmaking in MS
- Screenwriters Down South
- Freelance Filmmakers
- Nola Indie Filmmakers
- Movie Set Memes (some of the best, saltiest humor on the internet)
- Don’t underestimate the relevance of maintaining your own personal profile or the reach of your existing network. Keeping your profile current and curated can go a long way.
- Contribute meaningfully. Facebook isn’t just a place to post your video, shamelessly self-promote, and generate likes. Engage in real discussions, offer genuine advice, and comment on user’s posts. Think of it as building a reputation as an authentic participant in the online community.
Speaking of places to engage authentically with your community. Twitter is the place to start conversations, respond directly, and interact with other filmmakers.
- Follow One Perfect Shot. It’s worth it.
- Use the New York Times rule. As in, before you post, imagine if what you just wrote were published in the New York Times.
The Gram is a fantastic place for content creators to share their work visually. If you’re a cinematographer or photographer this is where you can build an organic and engaged audience. Fable House’s own cinematographer, Matt S. Bell, has had some great success using the platform not only to promote his own work but find new collaborators:
- He hired a gaffer he found on Instagram who is now a go-to call.
- He uses it as a verification tool for vetting new hires.
- He shares clips of his work and educational lighting diagrams to start discussions on approaches to lighting.
- He’s connected with bands via the platform.
Probably the most underutilized platform by filmmakers on this list. LinkedIn is the world’s largest network for professionals. It may feel stuffy or corporate, but make no mistake — if you’re a professional filmmaker you need to be where other professionals are. We’ll be adding a post soon all about how filmmakers can use LinkedIn. But for now, some tips!
- Set some connection goals and send requests.
- Get your tagline right. Make it punchy, descriptive, and memorable.
- Post interesting content. A reputation as a thought-leader in your field is a huge asset for booking new work.
Mandy bills itself as the world’s largest creative community of film and TV crew, theater professionals, child actors, voiceover artists, dancers, singers, musicians, models, and extras. However, after being on it for almost five years, I’ve had limited success. If you’re a Mandy pro and have consistently been able to book work through it, I’d like to hear about it. Get at me in the comments!
The self-described world’s largest social network and educational hub for film, television, and theater creatives.
A little dated? Sure. Tedious to update? Yes. But absolutely essential to have and maintain? YES. If you work in entertainment one of the first places people go if they search for you online is IMDb.
- Show yourself in action. Curate the best photos of you doing your job. Less is more.
- Don’t neglect the bio.
- Remember the details. You can update your “Known for” position and projects. Make sure your page says exactly what you want it to.
- Go Pro. IMDb Pro is well worth the $150 annual subscription fee. If you need to find contact information for agents, producers, or other professionals you can usually find it there.
Depends on your preference but these are the two most prevalent video hosting sites for filmmakers to showcase their work. YouTube is ubiquitous but many filmmakers prefer the clean design and look of the Vimeo player.
Another great place to share clips of your work. Less formal, and a shorter lifespan for posts, but if you post a lot, Snapchat stories are a great outlet.
Behance is a portfolio site that is something like a cross between Instagram, LinkedIn, and Mandy. It’s mainly aimed at professionals working in visual mediums and is specifically designed for clients looking to hire talent.
The community of forums about anything anyone has ever been interested in. There’s a deep well of subReddits for just about any filmmaking topic or question imaginable. It’s a fantastic place to start or participate in ongoing discussions with a very active and very engaged community.
Letterboxd is a new, but growing, platform where users can create film lists and share what they’ve been watching. It’s a great place for cinema enthusiasts and professionals to connect and discuss their thoughts on the films they’ve seen.
Now that you know the spread of social media platforms, how can you use them to grow your network? In a word: authenticity. Find your community of like-minded filmmakers and genuinely interact with them. Keep it honest, constructive, and fun. You’d be surprised how much of a relationship you cultivate online this way. Remember, it’s a two-way street. Share your work natively so that you can be on both sides of those conversations.
If you get along with someone, don’t be shy, send them a DM. Taking the conversation into a private space can let you talk more freely and get more specific in your questions and conversations. And when you get that point, try to meet in real life (IRL). Going to film festivals, conferences, tradeshows and networking events is a great way to solidify the relationships that you started building online. Some of my favorites are SXSW, Produced By, and the New Orleans Film Festival.
We hope this short guide helps you to build your professional network and takes some of the guesswork out of which one’s you should be using. Have you had any successful experiences on the platforms we mentioned? Which platforms are your favorite? Are there any accounts you recommend we follow? Do you feel like we missed any important ones? Let us know in the comments!
Fable House is a video production company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana that specializes in production for film, video, commercials, and TV. Our team are experts in physical production, post-production, and VFX. We produce content for major brands, TV networks like Syfy and Lifetime, and provide production services to Louisiana’s never-say-die indie filmmakers.