How to Find Your Audience


Distributing Your Film Online


Lesson Info

How to Find Your Audience

So now we'll focus on how to find your audience it's really this is so key now that you kind of have your blueprint you figured out your distribution you've got the early stages of it now you need to find your audience so that you can actually start working on that lets some anyone working on a project that we could talk about how to find your audience yeah, well um I made a short film okay already made it but ok that's right? The goal is for it to be a web series I wasn't yeah okay I mean whenever I definitely does have ah target audience already like what is the target audience south asian diaspora pretty much I guess so what is diaspora um I don't know um like well probably also indian american so okay indian americans who live probably outside india okay, um one who brought up here so maybe um first generation okay, you made a short film and you would like for it to be a web serious yet and what is it called my hot mom gonna be okay and what is it about? Um just like one line pitch...

? Yeah. So south asian american couple driving around the streets of san francisco trying to figure out what to be for halloween and each costume is racially or politically sensitive so it goes in back forth from them talking comedy yeah, so the political company and it's cute he sounds really cute I'm not cute it's a political comedy and ok, so what you want to do then is wow ok that's a fun one so what you have well, all of the cultures of all of the people that are involved right and which I'm sure they're hungry for yeah it's in it played in a and this is my first time, so I'm beside myself congratulations you played in a film festival in november and playing in campus next month's ok, yeah ok, so when you're at the film festival, is it, um you know, are you collecting any well, here's what my suggestion you when you're at the film festival, bring a clipboard and collect all the names of the people in the audience, ok? Because they're never going to remove it? Do you have a web site for the film? Yeah, okay, so you will probably direct people to the web site, but they will never remember right? Go there, you can even give them a postcard of stickers, postcard and stickers because they're like great thank you and they keep it in less than two percent will even go there they look at it now, I won't remember they'll they'll think they want to go there that we all want to go there, but they never do so you have to be proactive and you have to be a clipboard and you have to collect it and then you send them a nice email thanking them for watching coming to the theater to see a movie I've been figuring out a way to keep, you know, keep them engaged to let them know where else it's going a house they can support the movie. Um, I think that that is the first tier of your audience that you will start to grow and cultivate cause they'll tell other people yes question, but I kind of want to get your thoughts, especially with borat right now with, um, you know, the road that distribute your film and people's approach like the kind of one of the first steps figured out your audience moving forward and let me know if I'm getting the story there on because I don't know the full details of the story, so knowing that it is cool that she brought a web serious because it seems like right now a lot of people are gaining steam with getting recognition for their work with web series, you know, like a new to, for example and yeah, you know, just catching people's attention and as it goes on it's getting better and better so too shows that come to mind are workaholics I guess those guys had that they had a kind of similar to workaholics, but I don't think I was workaholics like web syria's going out with those unemployed guys and whatever in ah kian pill right now. So both of those air comedies is comedy central, and so they picked them up from whatever their projects were on youtube web series style. Um, I'm just wondering, kind of how did how did those two are? Men are those just kind of, like small percentage chance of you have a popular web series that comedy central was interested in and picked him up, and now they, you know, have any shows that they even know who their audience is going to be with these, you know? So my guess is I don't watch those shows, but it is a small percentage, but don't don't let that discourage you because I'm guessing I have heard of those shows, they were passionate about what they wanted to d'oh, so they went and did it. They had fun doing it, there was an energy around it that was fun doing it, and they built up a following that following gave them leverage and power so that they could then negotiate to go into, you know, to other platforms, because every platform wants to have some sort of hot property or hot you know, project that they could build an audience with a swell or to feed the audience that they have so it's just really important to, to be, to be passionate about what you're doing and have fun doing it, because that kind of translates into the whole process, you know, it's, you make something you made a project because you you've probably knew what the audience who the audience was made for yourself first because you wanted to be you. You wanted to see that project, but like, for instance, indie flicks and he looks is my movie, so to speak, even though it's a company because I do this, I have to do the same thing that a filmmaker does as filmmakers were all entrepreneurs, I mean, that's, that's what we have to be in today's landscape, but our our lifestyle kind of store well, our demographic is a lifestyle kind of store people who care about how they spend their time and their money, they want to know the story behind things, they eat organic, they travel, they love wine and art, and they have children, they're educated and they have money and they don't mind spending five dollars a month toe watch content, so now that we've learned who are who are audiences, we find content that serves that audience they like to have conversations around film and they like to share it with people and they want to have an easy time discovering it so I'm always looking for ways to serve that up to them so if you're making your movie, you want to make sure that you made it for you so observe what you liked about it how you found it think about how you're going to know get this content to these to this audience once you've identified it it's kind of like if you're going to date somebody, you kind of have an idea in mind of like, who you want to date what do they look like much money do they make? Are they you know like do they share the you know, the vision of having children with you? You always want to have a vision in your mind of what you want so now we'll talk about this I mean big big this is big to me I get asked this all the time, which is I don't know howto tweet I don't know how to post I don't want people to see my personal business, you know, like how do I build a social network? Well, we you know, is everyone here on twitter or facebook or both instagram? Ok, so you're on the basic ones that's good I have a rule of thumb everything you do online is everything you would do offline you're not going to go into a cocktail party or dinner party and to start talking about yourself you're going to first talk about them, you're going to say hi, how are you what's your name? You want to try to introduce yourself just a cz you would offline on ly you going to do it online and you're gonna ask them questions you're going to learn and going to say, well, how am I going to ask a question on twitter? So how you know? So I think nice take it a step back even more. I didn't know how to start on twitter, so my first thing wass my first tweet was terrible actually, um, I was tweeting for at south by southwest is an ambassador when they were in a beta version and they said, well, you tweet for us, it will be on all these big digital billboards, and so I thought, ok, what is it? And I said, just say what you're doing? So I tweeted just arrived at south by southwest and I don't have a comb or a brush! My second tweet was went to the store to buy a comb or a brush, but it's a liquor store and they don't have either my third tweet was I'm at the red bull party playing halo three and I keep killing myself halo three hadn't been released yet a friend called me three weeks later and said you did you see your tweets in the economist and I said seriously and they said yeah as a good tweet because I had a location I had what I was doing and it was just my original voice and I learned from that and that is just for you you could say ok, I'm joining twitter I have no idea what I have supposed to do this that's okay too the internet while you can't see a face gives you an opportunity to just be authentic to just be you it's okay to be afraid or to be vulnerable always give before you ask and um and just started listening to people get feedback about who they are so that you can serve up what they want I think I just covered most of this but basically and, you know, there's a company's ah tool called hoot suite where you can actually write a whole bunch of tweets in advance and just put them in. So if you want to sit down for two hours and come up with a whole host of tweets and facebook posts and linked in, I think it a link to everything except instagram and you can schedule it so that it will come out throughout the weeks, two to three times a day, you can tweet or post on facebook and then just check in periodically to see if someone is re tweeted you. And what do you say when someone retweets you? Thanks for the re tweet, then they actually know that you did that and they're going to pay more attention to you and you will start to grow and is more people do that it's unbelievable how it goes. I tweeted some guy who flies on air force one and works for the washington post. I follow him and he tweeted something and I said to go, my god, I love this negro's! Thanks! That was like, wow! Like he actually, but he has like a million followers. How did he see that? But they dio especially people who are polite and her kind always use hashtags and is it everyone here know what a bit ly linkous billy links use billy links because you wantto start tracking what how your social poster doing, you're going to start learning what gets retweeted what gets commented on and you're going to start learning which ones are the most effective. You don't want to tweet all day long, and you don't want to ever tweet the same one twice, change it up and you contract things with hash tags and billy links analytics are important just like writing keeping your food diary when you want to lose weight or tracking your your mileage, you know when you're running always be telling your story and keep it interesting. Don't be boring, it's really important to do that in your social posts in your pitches? When you talk to your film crew, would you write your story when you're pitching a platform? Anything you do tell your story, make it interesting so I'm a big fan of conversation again. Everything you do offline, do it online um be authentic, clear on your ask do the heavy lifting for people and collect the data always carry clip what I carry clipboard everywhere I go actually, I don't know I might even have one out there and I would collect all of your e mails so that I could stay in touch with you it's really important. So where does your audience live and what do you want them to take away? Yes, I guess the social media aspect began and how do you kind of approach how often you tweet? Ah, to people where we're, um, in relation to where your movies in production, how do you feel like it's? I think if you have it's almost like how much do you feel like talking when you're at a party? Right, so you're going to if you're not really in a talkative mood don't talk because not going to be interesting if you've got something that you're excited about, go ahead and talk about it don't over talk about it because no one wants to just hear them talking about themselves but if you got something exciting going on, sherritt shared a couple different ways a tweet last I think a couple of seconds so you know only those that are actually on it that time watching I think their stats they change all the time but there are times that tweeting is bigger you know what people are on more than other times so I think a good rule of thumb is once or twice a day at the minimum and then if there's something exciting going on tweeted go for it the same people are not going to see it all day long if you give a little breath in there it's like talking too fast I always kind of slow down a little bit of you tweet tweet tweet tweet tweet is too much and people might say ok, this is too much for me and you know of course don't you share your joy, your exuberance, your good news or something and I find it the most sort of the most responded to a re tweeted aren't things that have an image or a video or something and even share how much like if you have a little video that you're going to show, tell them it's ninety seconds if you don't give them a time frame, they're going to automatically think it's too long, and they're not gonna want to click on it. Yes, that subject actually you mentioned hoot suite, for example, is a way of creating pre planned out scheduled as as a twitter consumer, I can usually tell which tweets have been I said they're cynically saying, oh, well, they probably scheduled that a week ago, and I'm wondering, do you concern yourself with the fact that your audience is going to know that this isn't me genuinely right now tweeting and do schedule out different types of tweets for advanced tweeting versus tweeting life? You know? And back in the day I had more time to, like, put my tweets together and get organ organized by sort of fell off the wagon, and so I tweet on an as needed basis, but when I was on the schedule, I actually I would go in and then tweets a little bit of my own in between, so I don't think you could tell us much, you know, I kind of feather like you can prepare for a dinner party a few things in advance and then there's the stuff you got to just cook the day off and I don't think when it's all out I don't think anyone really knows that part I wouldn't be too concerned about that, but again make your scheduled tweets really authentic you could even say so I'm so glad I could do some of this in advance, you know? I mean, you can always own it I think it's really important to do that so you know next yeah, that region more people than just your followers, you know, are you posting like your your twitter, you know, film, name and certain forums air spreading it out on well, certain blog's like, how are you? You know, because you're trying to reach more than just like your twitter? Yeah, where is like the overall audience if you think it's going to be interested in your film that's an excellent question, I actually am a fan, I used to think it would be good to have a special handle for your film and a special handle for whatever, but I'm now I'm just you just you everything that you touch, you talk about it just like you're not gonna have, um, someone you know someone on your crew go, they're going to talk about the film, but from their standpoint you don't want them to go and represent you you want to represent you you want to represent your film in the next film, the next home, because as you grow this audience, the whole point of it is to then take it to the next project and the next project. And then it becomes again, your leverage. It becomes your it's, it's, a commodity and sits. It gives you the opportunity to help other people, and I'm a big believer in sharing resource. Is this well? You should be tweeting his project you should. Between her project, I should be tweeting both your projects. We should help each other. Don't tweet it if you don't really believe in it, on ly treated, if you really believe in it and you don't have to tweet just on an exchange.

Class Description

Your film doesn’t have to appear in theaters to find its audience. Distributing an indie film online is an effective way to increase the visibility of your movie, get compensated for your efforts, and validate your work.

Maverick independent film entrepreneur Scilla Andreen was done with the one-sided deals brokered by the big guys. She wanted independent filmmakers and producers to have more options, so she built one: – a platform for DIY film distribution that Variety magazine calls, "The Netflix for Indie Films." In Distributing Your Film Online, Scilla will detail the distribution landscape and teach you how to find your audience online. You’ll learn:

  • How to distribute your film online
  • The benefits of online distribution
  • How to monetize filmmaking

Scilla will discuss the no-nonsense architecture of online film distribution and help you reduce and navigate the layers of distraction between making a film and having people actually see it. You’ll learn how the IndieFlix model works and how it, and other online distribution platforms like it, make money for independent filmmakers.

If you are ready to find an audience for your indie film, Scilla Andreen can show you how it’s done online.


a Creativelive Student

This course is only an introduction to online distribution for films. It doesn't go deeper in any aspect nor gives you concrete steps depending on your film project. So if you've never heard or thought about distribution is a good place to start in a few hours, but if you are looking for a deeper analysis or information to reinforce the online distribution of your film, it isn't there in my opinion.


Was this an instructional video, or a plug for a commercial enterprise. Light in detail, this series does offer a few gems for those searching for answers. It did put into perspective the odds of finding distribution in a marketplace crowded by competition where everyone is looking for ways to maximize a return on investment and offers alternatives to those wishing to tackle the job of online distribution themselves. Because "once a film is completed, the real work begins." it is important to know what these alternatives are. David W. King, Michigan Movie Media 2.0