Get Your Short Film Seen
A Very Quick D.I.Y. Guide
by James Rosario
You’ve made the world’s greatest short film, what do you do next? Well, that’s easy, sort of.
Before you even go into production, you should have some idea as to where you want your film to end up and who you want to see it. It used to be that you would have DVDs or maybe even VHS tapes made, but for D.I.Y. filmmakers like us, those days are long gone and passé. Streaming video content online is big, big business, and exactly where you should be looking to show your film, because that’s where everyone else will be looking, and watching.
Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime are options, but chances are that if you’re reading this, those big streaming sites may be a bit out of your league (and price range, it’s expensive to get on those sites). Companies like Distribber can help, but there’s still a hefty price tag involved. But hey, don’t fret, there’s lots of cool options to help you get started and get noticed. You’ll get your movie on to Netflix one of these days, but let’s start a bit smaller and a bit more D.I.Y. shall we.
Start Small (with millions of potential viewers)
Vimeo and YouTube are great places to start. They’re free, and millions of people visit them every day. Don’t worry about what you read on someone else’s blog about Vimeo being for the “serious” filmmaker, and how YouTube is just a bunch of amateurs. Nonsense. When you’re just starting out, you have to use every resource available to you. Remember, if you’re like me, you don’t have much of a budget, so why limit yourself on where people can find your work. Just get it out there.
You can’t just upload your film to a site and expect people to see it. You’ve got to promote it! Again, you have to use every resource available to you. In the case of promotion, there are a ton of free social media sites out there that I’m sure you already know all about. Use them all! And not just you, get the entire cast and crew of your film to sing its praises as well. And why stop there? Find a way to coerce, blackmail, or strong-arm every friend, family member, and vague acquaintance into being your own D.I.Y. PR firm. It’s amazing how far your reach really can be when you give it your all. Make cool posters, t-shirts, stickers, or anything else you can come up with to help you promote your film. Everything helps.
Another great way to get your film out into the world is to start submitting it to short film festivals and short film websites. Film Shortage and I Love Short Films are great sites to watch your fellow filmmaker’s at work. In fact, while writing this, I stumbled upon what is probably my favorite short film of all time. I hadn’t seen it in years. It’s great! There is tons and tons of amazing films on these, and similar sites that will either make you either extremely jealous or inspire you to make better films, depending on the sort of person you are. Which leads me to…
Do Not Give Up!
I know your film is amazing, but be prepared for some pretty harsh criticism, especially if you’re still learning the ropes, like me. People will be mean, it’s that simple. The only way to stay sane is to take any negative feedback you get with a grain of salt. But you also have to recognize and learn from your mistakes. There’s a good chance that you will be among your own harshest critics, and that’s fine, but don’t let anything stop you. Use all criticism constructively to grow and become a better filmmaker. Don’t give up and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.
Keep at it, and before you know it, your agent will be calling you about that Netflix deal, I just know it.
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1036 Bee Tree Road
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