17 Jun case study: promoting a snowboard short
“new media,” “internet distribution,” “going viral,” what do they mean and, more importantly, how does one utilize them?
these are questions that I’ve been exploring, investigating, pondering, and testing the past couple years. there are millions of people watching videos online everyday. and out of those millions there must be thousands that would be interested in my latest music video or short film, right?
so how do I find those thousands? or how do I find the hundreds that will attract the thousands that will attract the tens of thousands and so on?
the methods I’ve been working on recently include: posting and interacting with people via my twitter account, my blog, updating and maintaining my mailing lists which includes several Yahoo filmmaking groups, posting on facebook/myspace, and directly contacting blogs.
in marketing an internet video, blogs seem like one of the best bets. they represent a “reputable” 3rd party which adds legitimacy to your project. it’s one thing to say “hey, check out my video, it’s AWESOME.” it’s another to have someone you don’t know say “hey, check out this video, it’s AWESOME.” additionally, a blog will have its own unique set of readers… a group that you probably don’t know and wouldn’t have access to it. if one of them likes it and passes on to ten of their friends and one of those ten likes it passes it on, well, you’ve effectively promoted your project in true grassroots fashion.
for my snowboard travelogue, “Chingón Aguilas: Turn it to 11” I set out to do this for the first time. the first question to answer was, “who is my audience?” I figured that fans of Chilean snow sports, snowboarders, and lovers of Super 8 filmmaking would be interested in the project. with the help of my intern Mustan, we searched the web for blogs that fit those categories AND had history of posting videos. He would compile a list of potential sites, then I reviewed and contacted the ones that I thought were a good fit.
the responses were overwhelmingly positive, people liked the film. But I didn’t just want them to just say “cool film”…I wanted them to post the film on their sites.
of course, anytime you put yourself out there, you risk getting a response like this from www.angrysnowboarder.com.
What do you want me to tell you? That it looks like a bunch of guys went and shredded Chile and didn’t even venture off into the real terrain most people should go there for? Or that it’s all filler and like zero thriller?
I’ll be honest it doesn’t do shit for me as a snowboarder, writer, or someone that has had some whacky ass trips that have been documented. To me it just seems like 2 guys went to chile had fun and shot it in super 8 (sick medium that I love personally) but over all isn’t something I’d ever care to watch again. I love raw and gritty shit classic example is I love what June and Esthera are doing with Peepshow when that movie came out I was like, “holy fuck an all girl shred flick I can actually stand to watch”. My .02 cents is you got skills with a camera either next time show the turmoil of getting there and shredding or show me the goods none of this artsy fartsy shit. Also more metal in the edit, the world needs more metal. Running free by Maiden would have been a good one.
interestingly enough, some of the things he didn’t like about the film were the very things I was trying to accomplish. but that’s besides the point… if you share your work with strangers, you have to be prepared for some of them not to like it.
of course, some of them will really like it. another site, www.shayboarder.com, liked the film enough that they interviewed me about the trip and filmmaking process for their blog.
here’s a little excerpt:
Often snowboard journeys are undocumented travels, lost in our memories and shared secrets between friends. Snowboarders from California Luke and Will shared their journey in a super 8mm film for the world to see and while many Chilean travels are left to the pros, I enjoyed the passion and creativity that came out from their film.
I caught up with Luke to find out more about their travel experience to Chile and how they documented the experience in a short film.
read the rest of the interview here.
and from Shayboadrer’s interview the site www.shredunion.com tweeted about the post & film, sharing it with their 2,300+ followers. those are 2,300 potential viewers that I didn’t have access to before! I’m not sure it went too much further than that, but all and all I’d call it a successful first foray into the world of blog promotions.
promoting and distributing short form projects on the internet is something that I’m still learning and experimenting with. I’d love to hear any experiences, thoughts, or stories you may have!