September 26th, 2011 | Comments Off
A couple of weeks ago we told you how you could use Facebook in the film making process and today we carry on with social media advice by telling you how you can use Twitter for research, production and promotion.
While some people use Twitter only to tell the world what they did on a Saturday night it can in fact be used as a tool to get your documentary made or to get an audience for it.
In this post we give you 10 ways how.
1. To source information for your documentary - It might be just 140 characters but you will be surprised how big your audience can be, especially if you use a certain hashtag connected to a keyword. For example, you can ask “Who knows any girls who have competed in beauty pageants? #models” If that is what you want to know more about, once in contact with them you can ask more.
2. To get subjects for your documentary - Let’s say you are traveling through China and you are looking for people to interview in certain places then why not ask Twitter, the easy RT options allow your tweet to go faster than the speed of light.
3. To get the people you need in order to produce your doc - Unfortunately it does happen, day three of shooting your film and your cameraman gets ill, everything is hired and paid for and you need someone now. Ask Twitter! You can make sure you have some contacts already or look and ask around. Of course, it does not need to be a last minute thing, you can also just look for regular staff via this medium.
4. To raise funds - Do you have a campaign going on a crowdfunding platform such as IndieGoGo or Kickstarter then use twitter to promote your campaign and raise the funds you need.
5. To gain direct access to critics - Especially when you are not working on a big budget film it can be hard to get noticed by the critics, and they often do hold the key to the general publics attention. Find out who they are and start following them so you are on their radar. If your film is moving around you can look more city specific for critics.
6. To get into direct contact with production companies and cinemas - Everybody needs a way in, right? Well this is yours. All production companies, big and small, are on Twitter nowadays and this way you can get their attention. The same goes for independent cinemas – be bold.
7. To get in contact with viewers - There is nothing better than personal attention. This goes for documentary lovers as well as the general public. You can keep an eye out for people talking about your subject matter and make them aware of your film or look at influential tweeters in specific areas.
8. To provide background information on your documentary’s topic – Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times provides a good example of a Twitter presence which draws their viewers into the subject by providing them industry information and news articles on the newspaper itself.
9. Release trailers, stills or other visuals - If you are building up to a release, if you want to create a fanbase or want to attract viewers, give them something they can see and pass on to others.
10. Have contests – give away free tickets - Now here is engagement at its best, well for documentary lovers anyway, give away free tickets, make them RT your tweets, get more followers and thus fans.
Do you know of more ways in which Twitter can help other documentary makers then leave a comment so we can include it in this list – and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter!
Written by Alexandra Zeevalkink
Alexandra Zeevalkink is a Dutch-born journalist living in London who founded DocGeeks in August 2011 in order to have a legitimate excuse to watch every documentary under the sun. She freelances for various publications and writes mainly about documentary films, art projects and social inequalities. When she is not blogging or watching films she enjoys theater, photography and reading loads of books. She is always on the look out for potential partnerships with other creative minds.
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