NYWIFT Recap: Create the Buzz, Audience Will Follow

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Cheree Dillion, Kristin McCracken, Gary Hustwit, Roz Murphy, Marisa Vitale, Angela Tucker, Elisabeth Holme, and Jorge Rivera. 

The power of social media in independent film is undeniable. Which is why filmmakers want to know how can social media can increase their film’s visibility and audience reach.

Held on November 21, Create the Buzz, Audience Will Follow was the second installment of NYWIFT’s DIY Series and focused on engaging and connecting with your audience. I was thrilled to moderate the talented panel, which featured Elisabeth Holme (producer, Welcome to Pine Hill), social media consultant Kristin McCrackenGary Hustwit (director, Helvetica), Jorge Rivera (writer, Lenox Avenue), and Angela Tucker (producer, AfroPop, The New Black).

With diverse experience in film, TV, and web series as well as with Kickstarter campaigns, the panelists offered tips on leveraging social media to promote your project:

  • Building your audience before production begins is a key part of successful distribution. Interact with fans/audience members. They are your advocates as well as your audience
  • A social media plan can help build an audience that will watch and share your film
  • Start wherever you currently have an online presence and build from there
  • Utilize social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram not just to promote films but also to cast, staff, and fund projects
  • Drive sales and viewers for your film by building a social community where filmmakers can reach out directly to the audience
  • Storytelling is vital to successful social engagement. Social media allows you to extend your reach
  • Create content that entertains and educates
  • Post/update consistently
  • Support your peers’ projects

The speakers discussed their storytelling campaigns. Tucker talked about engaging her fan base across multiple social media channels. While, Hustwit shared the importance providing interesting content and engaging with followers. Holme, who is Kickstarter’s film program director, encouraged filmmakers to use social media to not only raise funds but also build an audience community.

A big thanks to our speakers, attendees, and my DIY series co-producers Cheree Dillion and Marisa Vitale.

ROZ MURPHY

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