Being an independent filmmaker is a dream job. Making a profit by creating works of art under your direct control is a major achievement, but the barrier to entry is lower than ever before.
Thanks to the advent of online streaming platforms and the widespread availability of cost effective video and audio recording equipment, just about anyone can make an earnest attempt at forging this dream job for themselves. However, doing so is no easy feat, and you’ll have to contend with a number of obstacles in order to succeed. Here’s what you need to know.
The single most important part of making a creative career for yourself will always be the quality of the work you produce. However, that quality will often fall upon deaf ears without the benefit of a solid online presence. This starts with building a website for yourself that can serve as a repository for your work, not unlike a portfolio.
Unfortunately, hosting your own website is only the beginning, because you’ll also need to make sure that it’s secure for users visiting your page. SSL encryption certification is an essential tool for protecting your website itself, as well as the users who frequent your site.
Encryption is one of the most fundamental cybersecurity features available, so much so that you would be forgiven for thinking it’s native to the internet as you know it. However, you’ll have to pay for certification for your website in order to have this necessary feature.
Social Media Marketing
While it’s true that you need a professional website, getting people to see it will require making your presence known by other means. Primarily, social media will be the tool by which you can accomplish this. Social media has been many things, but it cannot be overstated how integral it has been in the rise of independent content creators online.
Social media is a potent marketing tool in the right hands, and using it effectively means understanding the basics of search engine optimisation, otherwise known as SEO. Simply put, most social media platforms allow users to use hashtags to categorise their posts, and this makes your posts more visible to people who search for those categories and even similar ones.
The best way to grow an audience on social media is to categorise your content as thoroughly and as accurately as you can. You want the maximum number of eyes on your posts as possible, but providing erroneous hashtags will provoke the ire of the public and, potentially, the social media platform itself.
An important topic for any creative person is that of intellectual property, commonly referred to as “IP.” Protecting your IP can most easily be accomplished by having your works copyrighted and/or trademarked, and that will require you to go through the proper channels.
In the US, the United States Copyright Office will be the primary objective when trying to secure your IP, but you also need to know the basic rules and regulations involved in order to apply successfully. For example, you can copyright many aspects of a creative work, but not all of them. For example, you can copyright the title of your work, provided that the title is sufficiently unique. This stipulation is to prevent the abuse of copyrights for individual words or generic titles.
For example, J.K. Rowling was able to copyright the title “Harry Potter,” but copyrighting either name individually would fall outside the purview of copyright law. Likewise, the name of the character is not sufficient grounds for a copyright, whereas it can be copyrighted as the name of the work itself.
While becoming a filmmaker is a dream job, it’s never been more plausible for the average person to make that dream a reality. It’s not easy by any means, and it will still require separating yourself from the pack with true demonstrations of skill, but these tips can help you manage the rest.