5 Amazing Ways Social Media is Affecting Photography and Film


5 Amazing Ways Social Media is Affecting Photography and Film

Social media is one of today's world digital wonders, capturing billions of users and still growing. In 2017, there are an estimated 2.8 billion social media users that log on at least monthly.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest either solely or largely rely on pictures and videos for browsing and interacting with others. Instagram facilitated the slang term Instagram model for attractive people, usually females, who seductively capture their good looks and sex appeal in photos and videos to build generally-insurmountable piles of followers, likes, and comments. Companies use this same strategy to showcase their portfolios. Social media is unarguably changing photography and film. Here are 5 truly outstanding manners in which social media has and is currently modifying traditional photography and filmmaking.


Marked Drop in Prevalence of Photo Booths

Back in the days of shopping malls, most of them featured photo booths where friends and family members could take pictures with one another for money, then automatically print several prints out at the kiosk. In place of the standard photograph vending machine from the 1980’s, private photographers and open-air photo booths have largely taken over.


Advertising is Different

Social media photographs often incorporate funny imagery, inappropriate happenings, and other content that has the chance to go viral. Traditional pictures do not incorporate as many viral-capable types of content as today's pictures.


Apps Utilize Short, Brief Content

Snapchat has partnered with a number of media outlets to craft app-specific content characterized by short, minute-long or even shorter clips. Users click through series of short videos rather than traditional forms of watching video: for minutes at a time. Many content creators are opting for short-form content, interactive content, or 360 vids, rather than traditionally-filmed, longer-than-today's brief videos.

Social media has shortened many already-short videos due platform creators' acknowledgment of the average person's attention span. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds, dropping down to merely 8 seconds in 2015.


Professional Cameras are Becoming Less Popular

As smartphones continue to be released with cameras of increasing capability and resolution year after year, bulky, traditional cameras are are going the way of the dinosaur. There's really no need for large cameras when most smartphones can provide a similar or identical quality.


Photography Can be Easily Used to Meet and Connect with People

Instagram relies primarily on photos as its choice of digital substance. People take and share pictures with short captions to impress and connect with others. Rather than text-based posts making up the majority of posts, pictures and videos make up nearly the entirety of social media posts.

The advent and proliferation of social media has undoubtedly changed photography and film. Pictures are getting easier to take, media can be used to interact with others, and professional photographers are moving closer to relying on smartphones to capture content. What's next with social media and cinematography? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comment section!

Photo Credit: startbloggingonline.com



7 Ways To Market Your Production Company


7 Ways To Market Your Production Company

A production company is an invaluable source of inspiration for the people who enjoy its entertainment. Whether you produce quality radio, television, or Internet entertainment, you're doing the world an enormous favor by creating original content that they can enjoy. Many new production companies are frustrated by the lack of recognition for their efforts and wonder how they can go about successfully marketing their productions. There's no one easy answer for this dilemma. In the beginning, things are hard for most production companies. What they need is attention and recognition for their efforts. These 7 marketing techniques may help you market more effectively online.


1. SEO for your production company website


Search engine optimization is vital for production company websites. No matter matter how high the quality of your content, you're never going to succeed until someone discovers it. Search engine optimization is perhaps the best way to market your website in the very beginning. Production companies especially are rich in content and you want people to be able to find it. SEO is such a broad term that it can encompass just about anything you do on a website, but for this purpose, be sure you build it into the design of the production website. Make your content easily discovered by both people and the search engines they trust. If you don’t have an internal SEO team, consider hiring an SEO consultant to work closely with your web design and marketing team.


2. Blog about your productions

A good production company website should have an active blog. This means that the content pops alive regularly, not just weekly. Remember, your blog isn’t just an outlet for internal press releases - it should provide content that is valuable to your potential consumer base. Pro tips, how-to’s, insider information, and industry rants can provide great material to stock your blog with great material. Never let a day go by in the beginning without a great blog post about your productions. Regularly blogging about your content makes it easier for search engines to pick up keywords and index you higher in their results. It also makes it more likely that a visitor will stumble upon your content and share it on a social media website. Speaking of social media...


3. Use social media to link to your content

The major social media platforms are wonderful places to share your vision with your audience. They give you an ongoing conversation with the very people who are interested in what your production company is creating. Someone sharing even a single piece of content from your social media website can generate thousands, or in best case scenarios, millions of people flocking to your content. This makes it very important to set up good, quality social media accounts that link back to your production company content.

Photo Credit:  howtostartablogonline

Photo Credit: howtostartablogonline


In the beginning, it may be only a few loyal visitors sharing your content. Once word of mouth spreads, you bring in legions of loyal followers. Constantly update social media accounts to encourage sharing of your production company's content. In the meantime, you can boost your social media following by submitting your film to festivals via services such as FilmFreeway, the exclusive film submission site used by SLIFF Online. Festival’s provide a great deal of marketing for individual projects as part of their business models. After all, their product is your content.


4. Networking is still important

Face to face contacts are still important in today's world, and you can definitely participate in or put on plenty of events with your production company that will land you real world contacts, for the purpose of this article, networking means making contact with popular online websites that might be very interested in your content. If you've got a production company that is creating funny, interesting, or educational material, then there are a lot of booming websites out there that would love to showcase that creativity. There are many ways you can go about this, from simply emailing site owners to let them know your production company exists and has important content, to doing guest posts about your productions on sites that invite this.


Thanks to the quick advances made in live chat technology, online seminars and live video chats allow people from around the world to network from the comforts of home. If your production company takes advantage of these tools and you and your peers attend these events, you can make valuable friends in the media production world that will propel your business further.


5. Keep your eye on creativity

All the marketing techniques in the world aren't going to do you any good unless the material you produce is engaging. While marketing is important to any production company, don't forget to allocate funds toward your actual product: the productions you create. There are far too many free or near free marketing options to take advantage of to let the quality of your production company suffer due to a bloated marketing budget.


In other words, talk a big game in marketing but also make sure that your creative work lives up to the hype. Believe in the work you do. Put funding behind it. Give it room to grow on its word of mouth reputation, too, and keep a smart marketing budget that is equal to the quality of the work your production company releases to the public.


6. Press releases can help early on

Early on, people might not know much about the work you're doing. Word of mouth on the Internet only works when the entity is already established. Before SEO takes hold, and your marketing has a chance to work, there might be a slew of potential fans who don't even know your production company exists. A good lineup of press releases can take care of this. In some cases you'll pay for these releases, in others you can simply write them yourself and post them.


While in some worlds, there's no such thing as bad press, for production companies the rules are a bit different. Make sure that you post press releases to reputable distribution sources online, like PR.com or Presswire. Being associated with disreputable news sources can be even worse than being unknown in the beginning. Be smart about where you put the name of your production company.


7. Find your voice and use it often

Every company needs a vision, a voice that is theirs and theirs alone. No matter what your specific focus, make sure that there's one special thing someone could remember your company for. Sometimes this "one thing" will develop over time. In the traditional marketing world they call it a USP or a Unique Selling Proposition. Sometimes it will be there from the beginning. It might be the seriousness of your work, or the hilarity, or the fact that your team is always friendly when they get feedback. Try to find that voice within your production company, something so memorable that when your fans hear it, they'll know without seeing the name on it that it belongs to you.


Continue to Produce

A production company is there to produce something that is memorable for film festivals, buyers/distributors and, of course, the viewing public. Your marketing techniques can be tweaked over time and you can learn from what does and doesn't generate a big response. From the beginning of your company's life until the end, though, your inspiration should be to produce something that will stand the test of time. The content you introduce to the world should be original, meaningful, and above all memorable. If it is, all of these marketing strategies are only going to bring you more success. Great creativity from a production company will inevitably draw solid attention over time. All it takes is a little patience on the part of you, your team, and audience that wants to love what you produce.


5 Ways to Make Your Web Portfolio Look Professional


5 Ways to Make Your Web Portfolio Look Professional

If you're a filmmaker in today's world, then you definitely need an online web portfolio. This is the best way to get people interested in you and your projects and to let others know what you're doing.

Obviously, you want your web portfolio to be the very best that it can be and to stand out with a polished, professional look. Well, lucky for you, achieving that perfect look isn't difficult, not if you follow a few simple tips.

Tip #1: Update Regularly

First things first, know that there is nothing worse than a web portfolio that looks like it hasn't been updated in ages. This sends a sign to anyone who happens upon your site that you're not active and that the site has been abandoned, along with your career.

Even if that's not true, it's how it looks when you let your site go for long periods of time without updates. So, even if you think nothing exciting is going on, find something new or relevant to post to your portfolio at least once a week, preferably more, so that you don't lose touch with your audience.


Tip #2: Be Original

 One big mistake that people make when they want their web portfolios to look more professional is simply copying the ideas or site design of others. This is not fair to the people who they copy from, nor is it a good idea.

The whole point of being a filmmaker is to be original and to have something fresh and distinctive about you, and it's definitely hard to showcase that if you're copying other people's portfolios. So, be fresh and original with your portfolio; dare to do something different and unique!

Tip #3: Pick a Distinctive Domain Name

You might not think that your domain name really matters when it comes to your web portfolio, but it does! You'll want to have your own official domain name, something that is memorable and relevant.

People are a lot more likely to remember you and your portfolio if it has a simple but effective domain name.


Tip #4: Include Production Photos

Undoubtedly, you've heard the old saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and it's definitely true, especially when it comes to your web portfolio.

People do not want to stare at a wall of text; they'll get bored fast. So, make your site interesting by including production photos from your latest project. Choose fun, colorful photos that grab attention. For example, doTERRA's Instagram makes excellent use of professional, well-lit images to drive engagement and release product-related news. Make sure your production photos are similarly high-resolution and well-lit, and also convey a cohesive style that accurately and flatteringly captures your cinematography style.


Tip #5: Have Somebody Vouch for You

Finally, whenever possible, be sure to include positive information about yourself on your web portfolio. This could be reviews from people who've liked your films in the past, from people you've helped in some way, or just kudos from other people in the industry who can vouch for your abilities.

 If you can follow these simple tips, then there is no reason that your web portfolio can't be as polished and professional as possible.



360 Vids and You


360 Vids and You

Geek out time. Our friends over at Vimeo just published a terrific primer for getting started creating 360 videos and you've got to read it here.

From brand films to sci-fi, this exploding tech is an undeniable part of the future of video production and consumption. No other format immerses you so completely, allowing for endless storytelling possibilities while the technology continues to grow.

Want to see it all in action? Visit our friends at perception2.com, leaders in pushing the boundaries of video possibility - with incredible results.





Guest Judge Carlos Bernard Selects Three Diverse Shorts For Monthly Online Film Competition

(Canton, NY—May 7, 2017) St. Lawrence International Film Festival has announced its official selections for May, 2017 via the SLIFF Online format.

Establishing itself as a leader among online short film competitions, SLIFF Online tapped TV and Film star and director Carlos Bernard (24, 24: Legacy, Hawaii: Five-0, Criminal Minds) to guest judge its May round of digital screenings.

The three diverse short films screening online at www.stlawrencefilm.com are:

  • Documentary “Split by the State,” (6:20) Australia – Dir. Gina Shakespeare
  • Narrative “Foodie,” (4:22) US – Dir. Brendan Malone
  • Narrative “Echo Park Blues) (17:10) US – Dir. Michael Bofshever

Previous official selections include “Embers and Dust” written and directed by Patrick Biesemans (SLIFF Online April Winner), “Tears in the Rain,” from Christopher Harvey, documentary “Between Us” directed by Brad Rothschild, web series “Popp Over America” directed by Joe Popp and March winner “Ici ou La-bas (Right Here or Over There)” directed by first-time filmmaker Pauline Mabille.

Online screenings begin the first of each month and run until the last day of the month. Rolling submissions for subsequent months open the first day of each month. Filmmakers can submit at www.filmfreeway.com/festival/stlawrencefilm or link to the submission site through the Festival website www.stlawrencefilm.com.

The objective of the new monthly online format is to celebrate and promote emerging and professional filmmakers with the greatest accessibility possible. Official Selections receive promotional laurels, promotion to the Festival’s database and on social media. Winning projects each month will be featured on the Festival’s Filmmakers to Watch page for the year, receive prizes from partners such as filmmaker networking platforms iPitch.tv and InkTip.com and are promoted to the Festival’s curated list of entertainment industry influencers.

ABOUT Carlos Bernard

A prolific actor and filmmaker (Hawaii Five-0, Criminal Minds, Your Father's Daughter), Carlos Bernard has starred in various films and television series, including Madame Secretary, Scoundrels, Castle and Dallas. However, he is probably best known for his portrayal of Tony Almeida in Fox's Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning series 24, and 24: Legacy for which he received two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations, two Alma Award nominations and three Imagen Award nominations. 

ABOUT St. Lawrence International Film Festival

The 2017 St. Lawrence International Film Festival (SLIFF Online) seeks to provide filmmakers of short-format works exposure to a global audience and a highly curated list of entertainment industry decision-makers and influencers on a monthly basis. The Festival advisory board is lead by industry notables Sara E. Johnson (Oscar-winning Executive Producer of “Birdman” and “The Hunting Ground”), Mark Valley (“CSI”), Aaron Woolf (“King Corn, Peabody Award-winner), Drea Clark (Programmer Slamdance Film Festival & Los Angeles Film Festival), Gloria Campbell (Managing Director of the American Pavillion at Cannes), Lenore VanderZee, Carol Smith Pynchon, Brian Hauser (Co-Editor of The Journal of Short Film), and Bob Penski (Founder of Penski, Inc) and actor/writer Scott Alan Smith.





Determining Responsibility for a Movie-Related Injury


Determining Responsibility for a Movie-Related Injury

As part of SLIFF Online's commitment to serving our filmmaker community, we're happy to present a new Blog section dedicated to tips and info we hope you'll find interesting whether you're a newb, old pro or a fan. As always, we welcome your feedback and hope you'll share posts you like - Ed.

Filmmaking can be both exciting and hazardous, especially with today's action-packed productions. In the event of an injury to a member of the cast or crew, someone should be financially responsible for damages. However, it may not be easy to establish exactly who is liable, which is why the victims of movie-related accidents need the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

The Many Risks of Making Movies

The scenes that bring thrills to movie audiences can involve great risks to those who work in front of and behind the camera. Motion picture production also involves many other potential hazards that are associated with transportation, construction, remote settings and the assembly of large numbers of people.

Common injuries occurring on movie sets include broken bones from falls, muscle strains associated with heavy lifting, burns related to the use of flammable materials and cuts stemming from the operation of machinery. Additionally, such health conditions as dehydration and hypothermia may result from the prolonged exposure to harsh terrain or climates.

What to do After a Movie Accident

The primary concern to everyone should be for the care of those who have been physically harmed. Even injuries that seem minor could present long-term problems if they are not properly diagnosed. The failure to seek proper treatment could also affect any subsequent legal action.

Those injured may be eligible for worker's compensation, but coverage is not universal and may depend upon where the accident occurred. Alternatively, it may be possible for the victim to take direct action against the studio, which should have its own insurance provider.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Compensation may be sought to cover medical expenses, lost wages and even the emotional pain associated with the injury. However, it will be necessary to determine the degree of responsibility and how a particular act of negligence contributed to the injury. It will also be necessary to determine who is most culpable among the many parties that are often involved in making movies. The responsible party may even claim that the victim should have been aware of the risks. It is for these reasons why it is important to obtain proper representation.

A lawyer will serve as the victim's advocate throughout the legal process, arguing the case before a jury if necessary. It is the personal injury attorney who can help ensure that the victims of movie accidents receive the justice that they deserve.



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