Since the internet was invented, it has increasingly become more and more important to use this ingenious tool to promote oneself in your career. For filmmakers this is no different, it has become a fantastic way for indie/low budget/ starting out filmmakers to showcase their work and make a name for themselves. You have all heard of YouTube but what other websites are there? There are a lot of websites to do this and finding the right one can take some time, so let Raindance do it for you! Here is a list of the best websites with which to showcase your work.
SnagFilms is a unique video sharing website which exclusively streams advertising supported documentary films. All the documentaries are free to upload and watch and are featured from channels such as National Geographic and PBS. Other such notable documentaries such as Morgan Spurlock’s “Supersize Me”.
With such a wide range of Documentaries on the site, this is truly the best website for a Documentary filmmaker. The fact that users can watch them all for free is really big selling point.
Like SnagFilms, Blip is a video sharing website with a unique aspect about it. The unique aspect is that it offers a platform for original web series to distribute and monetize their productions. It has many different categories such as animation, comedy, drama and entertainment.
The main selling point of Blip, in my opinion, is the fact that filmmakers can make some money from it. There is an agreement whereby advertising revenue is split 50/50 between Blip and the user. This is what could make it appeal to new filmmakers who have an idea for a web series.
Vimeo is probably the only website on this list that closely resembles YouTube for the reason that it doesn’t just stream one genre of film. However, it takes on a more classy persona than YouTube. It really isn’t the website to go to if you want to watch kittens playing pianos or babies biting their brothers finger. It chooses quality over quantity. As a result, Vimeo has gained quite a sizable community of indie filmmakers, their films and their fans. It is a place where filmmakers can share their films, shorts and other media content and network with other like minded people. Also if you don’t want a certain audience form watching it, you can encrypt your video with a password.
If you choose to distribute your film online, I would definitely recommend Vimeo.
So this is the one you’ve probably been waiting for. The big daddy. The video sharing monster of the Google machine, YouTube. YouTube streams a very wide variety of user generated clips such as movie and TV clips, trailers and music videos. As well as this, it has a large number of amateur content in the form of video blogs, short original videos and educational videos.
Although most of the content is uploaded by individual users, a large number of big companies now have their own ‘channels’. Companies such as BBC, HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Vevo, Sky all promote their content via YouTube and so should you! Why? The answer is obvious, it is the most visited video sharing website in the world!
Which One Do I Choose?
I once knew a filmmaker at University, lets call him Brian, who was so reluctant to post his content onto YouTube because it was ‘too mainstream’. Anyway, Brian said he would rather post his films exclusively on Vimeo because he knows that’s where his peers will watch it. But I think Brian missed a trick and didn’t think of the bigger picture. YouTube is the way to go because EVERYONE uses it.
So for an indie filmmaker, this popularity and brand awareness will be useful in sharing your film with a large audience. By all means he should post his work on Vimeo, if his peers are on Vimeo. But by posting it on YouTube as well, Brian could potentially generate some word of mouth for his work and thus more opportunities.
This situation doesn’t just apply to Vimeo, it can be applied to any one of the websites I described. YouTube has such a wide range of genres that you can post anything on there!