How does the phrase content creator apply to today’s modern filmmaker? In fact, what does the term content creator even mean?
According to Content Engine: “A Content Creator is someone who is actively creating and publishing original content to an audience on one or more media platforms.”
It’s really not even a question of content creator vs. filmmaker. It’s virtually the same shebang and you can call yourself whatever the hell you wish to be called but the understanding of content creation and how it can work for you as a filmmaker is vital to the survival of your creative storytelling and why I’m taking the time to write this article just for you. It’s about developing and using the mindset of a content creator through the process of filmmaking that I think is making room for new ways of innovating, that are healthy for the entertainment industry as a whole. Look what’s happening with Gear 360.
The future is bright for filmmakers who evolve within the times they are living in. I’m fairly certain Charlie Chaplin would agree. Traditionally, being a filmmaker meant getting someone to drive behind the wheel of your project, whereas today, you need to be the driver.
You need to do more than just create your story. The idea of independent film when you think of a director like Robert Rodriguez who has mastered as many facets of making a movie as possible carries over to the modern filmmaker as content creator today. Before him you had John Cassavetes. We can keep going further back in the timeline of cinema history but for purposes of this article, we won’t. There are too many great filmmakers to discuss who have always experimented and pushed the limits of the technology they had at the time of making a story come to life.
The same idea goes for you.
The idea of learning everything you can and going out to make a film is the mindset any storyteller working in digital media needs to comprehend. It’s not just only about large sets and a 200 person crew with people specializing within a specific area for the movie. Although this is a wonderful process, it won’t be conducive to the independent filmmaker.
I’m talking to people who have limited resources and want to realize a project with the digital media tools we all have access to. There are no excuses stopping you from using digital cameras, social media, blogging and other means of empowering your story content.
Where do you start?
I’ve written about the 6 steps I’ve taken to making a short film that you can use as a guide for your own creative endeavors. There is no one way to make a project happen, there will always be obstacles that will be unique to your own experience but there are particular principles that can be shared that will provide information that may be beneficial to your own journey.
It’s all about doing more than just making your own film or series. A filmmaker needs to be a content marketer and at the bare minimum learn the basics of what it takes to market and promote your project in today’s creative ecosystem.
I’m giving you three reasons why you need to look at making film or video projects through the lens of a content creator/marketer.
Reason #1 – Audience
By nature, you are a storyteller or you are someone who aspires to share a story. This need comes naturally to you as you desire to give voice to your narrative. The natural tendency to share a story is inside all of us. Look around you and notice all the storytellers exchanging images, videos, text with their friends, family and followers. The democratization of media has given an amplified arena to society to be heard by expressing things that matter to an individual.
But where do you fit into this spectrum as a filmmaker?
You have to be an audience builder.
I’m pretty sure you want people to actually see the work you create, right? Well, you then need to make sure you are taking advantage of content sharing/marketing.
Use social media tools like Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat and take people along your journey to making a film, video or series. Give us a behind-the-scenes look into your work. Talk to us and connect through images and video all the while building your audience and getting them excited for your project release.
Reason #2 – Leverage
Having a way to leverage the content projects you create is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself in the entertainment industry. It’s why I’ve written about the need to build your own platform. When you have a platform built and an audience to you engage with, you have greater opportunity to not only continue what you love doing but also leverage what you’ve built.
Yes, it makes things easier for you to network and make some deals to create future works but also producing content will help you work with people in your industry even before such deals get made.
You will be able to negotiate and barter opportunities for yourself because you have an audience in place.
I’ve personally worked with some of the top studios in NYC for color correcting my film or audio mixing my film because I’ve been able to leverage my content to enhance the quality of my work. Otherwise, such collaborations would have run me into the thousands. I’ve been able to do this in pre-production, production and post-production for my film, ‘98 ST – Playland‘.
Reason #3 – Networking
There are a ton of content creators and influencers getting discovered each day from the large follower counts they’ve built. It didn’t come easy for them and it didn’t happen by chance. Such influencers put in the work every single day no matter what to connect with their audience based on the content they produce themselves. Platforms like YouTube and Vine have greatly changed the game and the way creators market their work.
When you have built a larger base of fans/followers you have more leverage when signing up to make deals with larger venues. The so called gatekeepers of old media have not disappeared. They still exist and are highly interested in working with new content creators and storytellers coming out of this digital age.
You are more likely to strike up a deal when you have a following.
Your audience speaks for itself and people in the entertainment industry will take you seriously. Popular Youtubers are working with major brands and entertainment companies to develop creative projects because they have proved to be entertaining and have a respectable following.
Why not you?
Those are just three reasons for you to think about and consider the importance of how content creation and content marketing can work for your storytelling.
Filmmaker as Content Creator is for real and you have nothing to lose by giving yourself the opportunity to produce content that will feed projects you desire making.