Tagged marketing

Podcast – Content as a Brand Builder: Part 2 Interview with Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle – Film Insight S03E04

Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle is back for Part 2 of our interview! In this episode, we talk about Alex’s use of previous content to market his latest project on Seed & Spark, a crowdfunding site for independent films, and as perks to incentivize contributions. We also hear a great anecdote which relates his experience running a gourmet olive oil business to being an indie filmmaker and content creator.

Looking for Part 1? Click here to listen!

This week’s guest– Alex Ferrari
Website: https://www.indiefilmhustle.com/
Twitter: @indiefilmhustle
Contribute to the This is Meg crowdfunding campaign! www.thisismeg.com
Indie Film Syndicate: http://www.indiefilmsyndicate.com/

Mentioned during the break:

New E-Book: The Entrepreneurial Producer

Watch our online video courses: Producer Foundry Workshops 

Indie Film Hustle Podcast Episode 15 with Ben Yennie

Edited by Alexander Nigro

Hosted by Ben Yennie
Main site: http://www.theguerrillarep.com/
Twitter: @TheGuerrillaRep
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGuerrillaRep/
AFM book: The Guerrilla Rep: American Film Market Success on No Budget

Hosted by Evan Pleger
Main Site: evanpleger.com
Twitter: @IndieEvan

Film Insight is a production of the Producer Foundry
Main site: producerfoundry.com
Meetup group: http://www.meetup.com/Producer-Foundry/
Twitter: @ProducerFoundry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/producerfoundry/

Want to be a guest on Film Insight? Fill out this form!

Why Producers Shouldn’t Ignore VidCon

When I bought tickets to my first VidCon last year, I was very excited. I had been interested in the online video revolution for quite a while and as a burgeoning video producer myself, I was convinced years ago this was the wave of the future of digital distribution and entertainment. However, when I’d eagerly tell friends and professional colleagues I would be attending, most hadn’t heard of it, didn’t think it was for them, or didn’t think it a credible or serious industry event. However, after only a few years, I could see that VidCon was quickly becoming the hub for online entertainment. So, with a Creator badge around my neck, I dove into something very new, vibrant, and innovative. After my experience last year, I knew I had to come back and I will be attending this year’s convention in Anaheim this June 23rd-25th. I feel that even “serious” independent video producers should not ignore what VidCon has to offer.

VidCon started as a fan convention founded by noteworthy YouTube celebrities Hank and John Green (Vlog Brothers). The first convention in 2010 had 1,400 attendees and an “industry day.” In 2016, more than 20,000 attendees are expected to attend and there are now separate Industry and Creator badges with their own content.


As the convention has grown, so has its incredible offering of insightful panels and workshops. This year, Industry track attendees will have access to “22 master classes taught by top industry experts,” as well as the inside scoop on what’s new in the business of online video. The Creator track, which was started last year, acts as a video production school, teaching up-and-coming vloggers about cameras, lighting, and script writing, while improving the skills and knowledge of veteran producers with tips on branding, legal concerns, and expanding production. Creator track workshops and seminars are taught by YouTubers and online video producers which give you a look into online production workflow.


I attended last year as a Creator and personally found a lot of the workshops to be fairly basic, having been to film school. However, these teenager to twenty-somethings were receiving a pretty comprehensive crash course in video production. With dedication to producing regular content, taking an iterative approach to their craft, and checking in yearly at VidCon to learn more and receive advice from other content creators, I could see that these young creators had the potential to outperform and outgrow the current media industry, without having to pay for a film school education! For me, and those of us who had experience with production, I found some great insight from attending Q&As of noteworthy creators. Other creators and I had the opportunity to ask questions about the process and received a transparent look into what it took to make videos like theirs.


The entertainment industry has taken notice of VidCon. Many of the large media companies have digital or online production arms and many of them are setting up shop at the convention. The Hollywood Reporter even ran a story on VidCon in its 5th year stating, “VidCon Matures as Hollywood Descends.” The Reporter sees, “VidCon’s growth [as] symbolic of a larger shift in online video.” I’ve even written about brand collaboration and integration in online video, citing the development and success of YouTube channels like “Lizzie Bennet Diaries.” Influencer marketing, internet optimization, transmedia storytelling– these are the trends being developed and discussed at this convention.

As a content creator, I would highly recommend staying abreast of what’s happening at VidCon. When you stand in the convention hall, you can feel the pulse of innovative energy that will sustain new media growth. The information available from industry professionals, creative content producers, and interested fans is incredibly valuable. Be warned! A majority of attendees still are those tweenage fans of internet celebrities and a huge portion of the convention is dedicated to their enthusiasm and entertainment. (See inflatable fun zone below.)  But, the potential for networking in and learning about a powerful media sector shouldn’t be passed up. I got my tickets early and badges are currently sold out, but you can tune into the live stream. Plus, there’s always next year.


I want to close with a quote from Hank Green, co-founder of VidCon, who revealed during 2014’s keynote speech a bit about the incredible momentum there is in online video creation. He said, “I don’t know what I’m doing. I have no idea. I don’t think that any of us know what we’re doing. There is a wave, and it’s made of technological things and sociological things, and it’s individual people making individual decisions about how they’re going to spend their individual time. And we are riding it. And that’s impressive. But it is not as impressive as understanding the wave.”

The wave originates at VidCon. Cowabunga.

Film Insight Season 2 – Episode 12 – Scott McMahon AKA Film Trooper

This week on Film Insight, we have some excellent Independent Film Marketing Advice from the one and only Film Trooper.  Scott spent nearly a decade at Sony before branching off on his own to make a feature on his own with only 500 dollars.   After that, Scott found himself in the trap most Independent Filmmakers do, which is how to market your film.  Scott chronicled his experiences in learning how to market an independent film through his website, and cultivated his own community online.

Scott also wrote a book on the subject, How to survive the Hollywood Implosion.  

Get Scott’s FREE Gear Guide through his website so you can make your own 500 dollar feature!

Follow Scott on Twitter here,

If you listened to Ben in our commercial breaks, and would like to check out his book,


Also, Check out Ben’s Workshop on The American Film Market here.

Save 10 dollars with code FilmInsight!

Film Insight is Hosted and Produced by Ben Yennie (@TheGuerrillaRep) and Randy Hall (@RandyHall)

Edited by Alex Nigro

Film Insight Season 2 Episode 7 – LA Macabre

In This week’s Episode of Film Insight, Ben and Randy decompress about the Recent SF Web Fest, and Ben interviews the guys behind LA Macabre.  LA Macabre is a horror webseries currently doing a crowdfunding campaign for it’s second season.  In the interview, we talk about how the guys went about building their audience, marketing their webseries, and preparing to run a Crowdfunding campaign.

If you’re listening to this at Launch, then you can still donate to the LA Macabre Kickstarter by clicking below.


If you want to see season one of LA Macabre



If you listened to Ben in our new commercial breaks, and would like to check out his book,


If you would like to learn to pitch better, check out the Producer Foundry Workshop, IndieFilm Investor Pitching 101

Hosted and Produced by Ben Yennie (@TheGuerrillaRep) and Randy Hall (@RandyHall)

Edited by Alex Nigro

3 Things to Prepare Before Calling Hollywood Agents

In order to make a profitable film the traditional way, you need three things.  The first is the money to make it, the second is someone to distribute it, and the third is a recognizable star to sell it.  Without all three things, it’s very difficult to make a profitable independent film if you spend anything more than about 25,000 dollars.  Unfortunately, in order to get one of these things, you often need to have the other two in place, so the only thing you can do is bark up all three trees at once.

You’ve got to remember that these people get dozens of offers every week, and they have to sift through them quickly.  If all you have is a script by a first time director with no distribution or financing, it’s going to be a difficult sell to even get the script into the talent’s hands.  It’s not impossible, but If you have distribution or financing, the road is much easier

I’ve personally attached talent to in development projects from films like Twilight Eclipse, Babylon 5, and Disney’s Atlantis, and there’s a formula to it.  There’s a certain process on how you go about doing it that isn’t always taught in film schools, so I thought I would write a post on how to go about doing it the right way.  What follows are the three things you need to do to get ready to call agents about your script.

Step 1.  Write or Find a Good Script.

The first, and arguably most important piece in getting Talent attached to you film is a good script.  If you’re an indie filmmaker, it’s unlikely you have the money to get the actor to do the role just for the paycheck.  Luckily, every actor (and by extension every agent) is looking for good, juicy roles that can propel them and their clients to the next level.  You need to have a memorable and deep character and compelling story to capture the interest of a name actor.

The actor will need to emotionally invest in the character you’re looking for them to play if you’re going to have a shot at attaching them.  Every actor is constantly seeking his or her next big, juicy role.  Actors have a brand they need to protect and expand, and in order to do that they need good roles.  This doesn’t necessarily need to be an Oscar worthy role, but a deep and compelling character that fits with the actor’s brand, which brings us to our next point.

Step 2.  Research.

Not every actor is right for every role.  You’ve got to do your research and find your top 5 candidates you’d like to play every major role in your movie.  Think about movies they’ve worked on in recently, and look on their IMDb Pro page as to what they have in development.  In the indie film world, having an actor that’s the right fit for a role is almost as important as having a big name actor, just so long as they have a resume of recognizable work behind them.

If this is your first feature, you’ll also want to see if they’ve worked with first time directors recently.  Also look to see if they have a particular interest in the themes of your movie.  Looking up interviews they’ve done on late night talk shows can be a good insight into the sort of person they are when they’re not performing.  You can find a lot of those interviews on youtube.

Even if they’re a huge name, if they’re not really working you may be able to get them.  Most actors act because they love the craft, and if they’ve got huge projects that have paid them really well recently and some time on their hands, they might well be willing to vastly lower their rate just to play a compelling character.

Step 3: Figure out what you can afford, and what you can offer.

If you’re an indie filmmaker, more than likely you won’t be able to come close to the actors regular salary if they’re a big name.  Try not to insult them, but make sure you don’t give away the craft services money.  Even if they’re interested, you need to know when you have to walk away from the table.  Walking away might mean not having your dream cast, but it’s better than screwing your movie because you just spent all the crew’s pay on the lead actor.

One thing you can think about is what sort of perks you can offer that would be extremely low cost or even free for the production.  Does your uncle own a limousine company?  Maybe he’d transport the actors for free in exchange for a signed headshot from them.  Maybe your cousin works in a winery, a case of wine could be donated to the production and given to your actor.  Are you shooting in a ski town?  Maybe the mountain would give you some passes for the actor’s day off.  There’s lots of things you can do like this, just be creative!

Once you’ve done these three things, you’ll need to go on IMDb Pro and find the phone numbers for the agents that you’ll need to talk to.  For tips on doing that, and a sample call script, stay tuned for next week’s blog!

About Ben Yennie
Ben Yennie is one of the Founders of Producer Foundry, an Author, Producer’s Rep, Film, and Startup Consultant.  In a past life, he was the Chapter Leader for the Institute for International Film Finance.  you can follow him on twitter at @TheGuerrillaRep and find his book by clicking below.
Guerrilla Rep Cover

Available From Amazon and Barnes and Nobles!

Film Insight Season 2 Episode 4: Making Waves with your Webseries Part 4 – Marketing

webseriesFilm Insight is back with a 4 part Web Series Panel. The audio is recorded from an event that took place in August as a partnership between the Bay Area Women in Film and Media and Producer Foundry.

In the fourth and Final installment, the panel shares some excellent insights on how to target and define a niche audience, who to send a press release to, how to get press and gain a following within your niche, and measure engagement to see if your marketing is working.  In the words of Pamela Day “It’s pretty easy to measure things that just don’t matter.”  Take a listen and get a better idea of what does matter so you can spread your project far and wide.

In the words of Pamela Day “It’s pretty easy to measure things that just don’t matter.”  Take a listen and get a better idea of what does matter so you can spread your project far and wide. Subscribe on iTunes to get all four parts!

Panelists include:

Maya Zuckerman
Co-Founder of TransmediaSF

For Bios please check out the original event on eventbrite

Check out the Producer Foundry Page and Group on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Join Our Mailing List!

7 ways to become a leader in your filmmaking (or any) community.

Photo copyright Producer Foundry 2014, taken by Evan Pleger
Ben Speaking at the first Producer Foundry meetup

Successful entrepreneurs and filmmakers have a way of becoming leaders in their communities. The qualities required for both are remarkably similar. What are those qualities you ask?  Fear not my intrepid reader, I’ve shared the top 7 ways to become a leader in your filmmaking (or any) community on LinkedIn.  While you’re there, feel free to connect and join the Producer Foundry Group!

Personal Branding

personal brandingFor Filmmakers who haven’t taken marketing courses, a brand is far more than just a logo.  A brand is the collective experiences customers and business partners have with any business.  In essence, a brand is essentially a company’s reputation. On a personal level, it’s about far more than just developing a look.  It’s about managing every aspect of your image, and the interactions you have with everyone you do business with.  If you want to achieve success in any industry, your personal brand is very important, even more so in the Film Industry.

Since I had a rather long blog about the importance of developing a look, I won’t cover too much of that here.  The biggest thing to keep in mind when establishing your personal brand is managing all of your interactions with potential business partners, clients, and especially potential customers.  This means that you’ve got to maintain a certain level of professionalism any time you do business.  One key element to this is covered in my blog on Reciprocity, but there’s more to it than just that.

Read more

Film Insight Episode 4: Marsha Levine on Product Placement

Marsha LevineRandy and Ben talk with Marsha Levine, owner of A-List Entertainment, a LA-based product placement agency. Definitely helpful to know how product placement (and clearance for brands) happens, even for indie films!

Film Insight Episode 2: Prasenjit (Pras) Chaudhuri, Digital Marketing Strategist

Pras ChaudhuriBen and Randy talk briefly on the wildly popular first Producer Foundry meetup in San Francisco before turning to talk to Pras Chaudhuri, digital marketing and monetization strategist for Reliance Entertainment, as your hosts seek to discover how current or emerging filmmakers can identify and target their audience, even before they have a film!


Also, look for special film festival coverage coming soon from both the Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival from last month, and the imminent Sonoma International Film Festival! Randy is going to be talking with anyone he can stick a mic in their face!