Home » BelowTheLine »Sheri Moss Candler » Currently Reading:

Who Wants To Understand the Power of Little Networks?

March 23, 2011 BelowTheLine, Sheri Moss Candler No Comments
The humans in your audience; they aren’t mere eyeballs

I came across this post from Brian Solis about audiences. I found that it really helps to demystify why social networking platforms have made such an important impact on society. I don’t think most people really realize the impact; they simply see social networking as either a hobby, a waste of time or a free way to self promote. Or they say this type of networking has always existed, it has just moved online. I don’t agree. I think what is happening now is a complete shift in how we communicate and with whom we communicate. It isn’t just the tools available to us, but the creative and exciting ways we use them to reach people and assemble those people into spheres of influence.

“The cultural impact of new media is profound as it weaves a new fabric for how we connect and communicate with one another. As a digital society, we are ushering in an era where everyday people form a global network of self-empowered social intermediaries that accelerate and proliferate the reach and effect of information and experiences.”-Brian Solis

In Solis’ post, he references the words of Jay Rosen from 2006 where he addressed the people of the media from the perspective of the people formerly known as “audience.” While some see audience as the faceless mass waiting to be entertained or reduced to eyeballs needing to be captured, Rosen points out that audiences now have the means and ability to make their own work. Hence, the glut of content now available and the multiple distractions competing for everyone’s time. This could be perceived as a bad thing or as a good thing.

A bad thing because all of the content being produced isn’t what some would call “professional” or worthy of attention. It also makes it that much more difficult to wade through the crap to get to the gold bits(from the consumer perspective)  and that much harder to raise your gold to the level of consciousness in order to make an impact and a living (from the creator perspective).

A good thing because more people will have a newfound respect for those with talent (it isn’t easy to create content worthy of an audience) and a network of creators can be harnessed to spread work much further than an expensive ad campaign can do. When everyone can speak, you are no longer dependent on the words of the few with access to broadcast (or the means to buy media space) for recommendation. By making connections with those most interested and inspired by your work, you are creating a web of interconnected communication that helps to spread the work faster and further and more cheaply. They speak for you, with you and amongst each other, but ONLY if you have made those connections. How do you make the connections? They are made by 1)using the networking tools to communicate (dialog, not monologue) and 2)knowing who you are trying to reach. Really knowing them, not having a vague idea of them.

You must stop creating work without thinking about the audience. Those faceless people, those eyeballs, must become real. You must think about the human with whom you are trying to communicate. After you devise the story you want to tell (NOT after you make it, but while you are creating it!), I want the next thought in your head to be “who is going to love this?” and be able to visualize that person in detail. I hope you can see someone similar to yourself. The key to knowing that audience is being a part of it yourself and everyone who works on it also must be part of it in some way. You cannot hope to build an audience for your work if you cannot say who they are, exactly, and how you are going to tell them about your work.

Also, it isn’t enough to hire the most talented person or the person who will work the cheapest. The people you hire (or collaborate with) should also have a voice that can be used to help spread the word of your project. Really take that last sentence to heart, both as an employer and as an employee. Your worth as a craftsperson is no longer only judged on your abilities, it is also being judged on how big of a network you personally bring to a project. I can hear the balking already, but just think about this. What is the value a film star brings to a project? It isn’t just acting ability and how good looking they are on screen. It is how well recognized and how big their personal audience is that determines their worth. Studios know this, distributors know this, that is why star vehicle films are MUCH more attractive buys than non star driven films. A celebrity’s personal audience is worth a lot financially to them and so it should be to you and so it should be to the person employing you. Those personal networks didn’t spring up overnight, they were carefully cultivated over time and it is something you too should be doing every day. Personal networks should no longer be prerequisites only for those on screen, they should be considered for everyone and everyone should believe enough in the projects they are working on and want them to succeed that they are willing to evangelize them to their personal networks. Lots of little networks on a project grow into bigger ones so it is beneficial for you as a creator to cultivate a team around you who all have little networks that are similar to your own and to the audience you are trying to reach.

The power of building audience lies in the aggregation of little networks and genuinely knowing the humans behind the networks.

ACTORSandCREW is fully psyched to be featuring Sheri Moss Candler’s 411 for the PMD. PMD stands for Producer of Marketing and Distribution and this is the person in a production whose sole job is marketing and figuring out the distribution path for the film so the producer and the rest of the production crew can get on with their work. Sheri is an expert inbound marketing strategist who helps independent filmmakers build identities for themselves and their films. Through the use of online tools such as social networking, podcasts, blogs, online media publications and radio, she assists filmmakers in building an engaged and robust online community for their work that can be used to monetize effectively. She collaborates with filmmaker/author Jon Reiss (who coined the term PMD) in his TOTBO workshop series by teaching filmmakers about utilizing social media and building personal brands. For Sheri’s complete bio visit her site, here.

Click here to read Shari’s original post



Edoardo Ballerini is an actor and a writer. He has appeared in over forty films and television series, including Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and the indie hit Dinner Rush. He was last seen on Theater Row in New York in “Honey Brown Eyes.”You can reach Edoardo on Facebook or Twitter

Actors, What Kind of Success Do You Want?

success

In the span of two hours I was referred to as a “semi-celebrity,” and had a woman write me asking “Who are you?” (Why she bothered to write is entirely a mystery, but hey…) Still, it did illustrate the murky waters of notoriety actors can swim in. Somewhere circling amongst the “A-listers,” the “has beens,” and the “never should have beens” are the “aren’t you?… no, never minds.”

Between the Taping and the Viewing…

waiting-300x225

In the acting life, there is also a falling shadow, and it comes between the gig and the screening. Between the filming and the airing… Theater is different, of course, but for now let’s stick to the world of screens. After you walk off set for the last day, there’s a good chance you won’t see your work for months, if not even years, or if ever.

Reviews: To Read or Not to Read (h/t to @edoballerini)

A friend just opened a play last week and he was very excited. Weeks of hard work had …

ACTORSandCREW is fully psyched to be featuring Sheri Moss Candler’s 411 for the PMD. PMD stands for Producer of Marketing and Distribution. Sheri is an expert inbound marketing strategist who helps independent filmmakers build identities for themselves and their films.

The Emerging Skills Needed by #Film Publicists

Thumbnail

The Mindset Change of Social Media

authorwill

I was recently interviewed for a blog and was asked about using social media for marketing a film. It really got me thinking about that question. Is that all most filmmakers see social media being used for? One big promotional effort only to be used when they are looking to sell something? I think within 10 years this will be a non issue as everyone will be adapted to social media. Those who have refused to start will be so left out it will be like the people who held out on rotary phones and terrestrial TV signals.

Using #Pinterest as a tool for your #Film #Marketing

pinterest-blow-dryer-done-52

Speaking of Pinterest…I only recently started using it for the Joffrey project which is why all of my boards are devoted to that. Looking at them gives a good idea on the kind of thing you could use it for on your production. In my workshop presentations, I talk about posting regularly on your social channels and not just information directly about your film, but also about the interests of your audience; those who would be a fan of your film and of yourself as an artist. I am using the boards to show Joffrey history through pictures and videos. The ballets they created, the ballets they revived, their alumni dancers, Robert Joffrey through the years as well as photos of the merchandise available to buy through our site. It’s a balance of audience interest and promotion for the film.

Meet a Member!

Meet Some A&C Talent: Daniel Fernandez, Director of Photography

I am a Director of Photography with experience shooting both film and HD. My credits include…

Meet Some A&C Talent: Patrick Reis, Cameraman, HD

I have 15 years experience in the field of video production. I…

Meet Some A&C Talent: Jai Moi, Actor/Director

Another essay…I wish I could say I like these things but I don't. I am …

Meet Some A&C Talent: Tania Zapata, Voiceover Artist

Tania Zapata is a business owner, voice over talent and aspiring filmmaker. She co-found a…

Meet Some A&C Talent: Graham Rhodes, Writer

Freelance scriptwriter, thirty five years at the cutting edge of corporate communications having written for a/v, video. …

Meet Some A&C Talent: Ally Weinberg, Television Producer

I've been working for several years in various producing…

Meet Some Talent: Padriac Farma, Utility Assistant

I am a utility man. I can fill in any spot, and perform with skill and…

Meet Some Talent: Mary Sarah, Actor

Acting since my first play which I wrote at the age of nine, I have been mesmorized by the…

Meet Some A&C Talent: Donald Morgan, Actor

In the 70's and 80's I grew up with a skateboard and a soccer…

Meet Some Talent: Pedja Radenkovic, Director of Photography

I'm a freelance Cinematographer and Camera Operator available for film projects throughout the country. I have…