The world is filled with all sorts of data and databases. The world swarms with experts and consultants who analyse this content called metrics. The metrics of your Twitter, your Facebook, your YouTube and other video outlets.

As screenwriters and filmmakers it’s easy to be overly impressed by all this data, all these metrics and so-called KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators). Best to ignore all of these tantalising bits of information and instead look only at the really important ones.

5 Metrics Filmmakers and Screenwriters Should Ignore and Why

1. Your script is good

Really? It’s good? Who’s telling you that your script is good? If it’s your mates and friends then it is totally meaningless. The only ‘goods’ come from agents and producers. And chances are, if they say your script is good, they really mean that they don’t think your script is good enough.

Remember that the only ‘good’ that counts is when someone gives you a cheque.

2. Loads of people are looking at your website/blog

Really? You get tonnes of people looking at your website? It’s totally meaningless unless they stay there for a really long time (2 – 3 minutes) and then call you with work, or want to get a ticket to a screening of your film. Are your web pages set up properly?

Remember that your website landing pages should be set up to clearly get the result you want. If it’s work you want then be clear about it.

3. Loads of people are looking at your YouTube videos

Really? Are you pointing people to your Youtube videos? Have you set your YouTube up to monetise the views you have?

Remember when you have monetised your videos then the only metric worth looking at is the kerchings into your PayPal account.

4. I really want to be in your film

Lets say you bump into Benedict Cumberbach and you pitch your guts out and he says he really wants to be in your film and gives you his business card. And another actor the same. Just forget about it. It is totally meaningless. It’s what is called an ‘expression of interest’.

Remember the only thing that counts from an actor is an expression of intent: I will be on your set on these days. Bingo. That is real.

5. I went to a film networking event and came back with a hundred business cards

Really? How did you get them? Walk around the room offering candy? It’s totally meaningless that you got a hundred business cards. It’s the networking equivalent of cold calling. Blindly collecting business cards is one of the networking faux pas that filmmakers make.

Remember it’s far better to go to a networking event and form one or two solid contacts and really talk to them than to participate in the killing of another tree in exchange for all that wasted paper.

What other metrics do you think filmmakers and screenwriters should ignore?

About 

Elliot Grove is the founder of Raindance Film Festival and the British Independent Film Awards. He has produced over 700 hundred short films and also five feature films, including the multi-award-winning The Living and the Dead in 2006, Deadly Virtues in 2013 and AMBER in 2017. He teaches screenwriting and producing in the UK, Europe, Asia and America.

Raindance trailer 2017

Elliot has written three books which have become industry standards: Raindance Writers’ Lab: Write + Sell the Hot Screenplay, now in its second edition, Raindance Producers’ Lab: Lo-To-No Budget Filmmaking and Beginning Filmmaking: 100 Easy Steps from Script to Screen (Professional Media Practice).

In 2009 he was awarded a PhD for services to film education.

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