PUBLICITY

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Dave Watterson
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PUBLICITY

Post by Dave Watterson » Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:29 pm

You'd think as movie makers we would be good at communication ... but ...

How many clubs have a publicity officer who actively seeks coverage in the local newspaper, on local radio and tv, who contacts other organisations, schools and official bodies when there is something vaguely relevant to their interests? How many round-up their troops to attend and cheer at festivals where their work is screened? How many make sure the work of the club and its members is reflected in the newsletter and on their website?

How about you film makers? How much thought do you give to promoting your work? Have you a "press-pack" with stills, portraits of stars, director etc, CVs and notes on the production? More and more festivals ask for such details. What about your own website - and/or putting your films on view on the web?

I know some people even make A3 and A4 sized posters for their movies. A handful of clubs have premiere events at local cinemas. A few make DVD versions of their movies complete with cast and crew interviews, out-takes etc.

Does anyone make trailers - apart from spoof ones?

In general we Brits seem better at promotion than most Europeans ... but that's not saying a lot!

Don't we want to encourage people to see our work?

When you've created something ... TELL PEOPLE!

Dave

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stingman
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Post by stingman » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:47 am

As speaking on behalf of my club, we don`t do any promoting whatsoever! I am very dissalutioned with it. When I was club sec for the 9 months :oops: I promoted the club all round the world. When the new sec took over (a 60 year old lady), her enthusasiam isn`t so strong as mine! This stopped and now I don`t really know what she does. She doesn`t speak in front of the club members or encourage them. I get on with her well, but is this benefitting the club? We have 3 or 4 `open evenings` where we show the best of our films. We used to put posters up in the librarys etc. We didn`t get much responce. We used to put a free add in the local `upcoming events` in a free mag. I think that stopped. I wanted to reinstate our film shows onto Solent TV (Sky Channel 219) but due to a few stubborn and snobby people that didn`t come to anything. We used to suppy them with 30 minute shows. I was even going to edit the new version and I had some good ideas for links between each film like doing an on location interview with the filmmaker at one of the films locations. They just were not bothered. They moan because the numbers arn`t so great or not many new members. All the members are old, me being the youngest. Soon I`ll be the only member! So to sum a club point of view up. They don`t do any advertising etc.

On a personal note. I don`t do much either. I mention my films on this forum like we all do. I got a little uptake with my `Film Swop` idea. I don`t really like YouTube as there is alot of bad films on there that give young people really bad ideas. One of the films I saw on there had this lad `surfing the TGV train`. He was riding on the back of it with it was hurtaling through the countryside. It looks fun but gives the wrong impression to young people. And we are mean`t to feel sorry for them when they get killed! :shock: Because of this, I refuse to surport Youtube.I make a yearly DVD of that years films and give them to friends, family and anyone I want to. I like it this way. I send a dvd out and I receive them from all over the world. It`s great. You never know you may be asked to help out somewhere. I am currently editing a film, through a contact, for a dvd that will hopfully be in the shops later this year. This could lead to other projects and ideas. You never know who your`ll meet, or get involved with!

PS. My video camera is playing up! (*rap). I must save harder for my new one!
Ian Gardner
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Publicity

Post by edin » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:16 pm

Publicity can help a club to get new members, but that depends on the enthusiasm of the club membership, a one man band cannot resolve all the ails of a diminishing and aging membership. When a club gets below a critical point - maybe due to the lack of numbers/ filmmakers in the club then it may become just a social event for members. The key question is there a future for amateur film makers and if so how do you go about regenerating a club?

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Willy
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Re: PUBLICITY

Post by Willy » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:34 pm

[quote="Dave Watterson"]You'd think as movie makers we would be good at communication ... but ...

Dave wrote :
How many clubs have a publicity officer who actively seeks coverage in the local newspaper, on local radio and tv, who contacts other organisations, schools and official bodies when there is something vaguely relevant to their interests?

Publicity Officer
We have a publicity officer, Dave. Yvette has the email addresses of all local newspaper correspondents. They always need articles ready-to-use. The more articles that are published in newspapers and magazines the more chance we have to become "cultural ambassador" of our town for one year. The big advance : we get money for it. Some years ago it was £ 1,250. The last two years £ 700. Of course that's money for our club funds. Every year there are three "cultural ambassadors". The last 5 years my club "Focus Vaartland" was one of the lucky ones, but recently also an egotripper, who does not belong to our club, applies for this title as well and he gets the money for himself to the great annoyance of my clubmates. You can apply for this title as a club or as an individual. Michael Slowe has usked us to try to show less sensitivity and he's right. Therefore it's better not to dwell on this subject.

Reflection
Why have the local authorities taken this initiative ? Because thanks to newspaper articles our cultural life is reflected in our region and even in Flanders and this is good for the reputation of our community.

Dave wrote :
How many round-up their troops to attend and cheer at festivals where their work is screened?

I don't have any problems with it. In some weeks the regional proclamation will take place. Two out of six clubmates are selected for the national competition. But we will be there with about 20 participants and they have to pay for the reception. About 5-6 years ago one relatively young filmmaker of my club even attended the IAC-festival in Bedford without having an entry.


How about you film makers? How much thought do you give to promoting your work? Have you a "press-pack" with stills, portraits of stars, director etc, CVs and notes on the production?

That's something I don't like. There are no stars in our club. We are just hobbyists. If friends ask me a CV then I will give them one. But this is not so pleasant. Everybody is different. Some friends enjoy standing in the spotlights. I really hate it. I also hate articles about me. Most newspaper articles are about my results at BIAFF, Guernsey, etc... , but I feel much better if our publicity officer can also send articles about clubmates. Therefore I ask friends like young Samuel Faict, Douglas Boswell and others to enter festivals. Douglas is our professional filmmaker as you probably know. He's the best in the world !

Dave wrote :
I know some people even make A3 and A4 sized posters for their movies. A handful of clubs have premiere events at local cinemas. A few make DVD versions of their movies complete with cast and crew interviews, out-takes etc.

Does anyone make trailers - apart from spoof ones?

In general we Brits seem better at promotion than most Europeans ... but that's not saying a lot!


Dave, you must be a Eurosceptic ! Also in Belgium amateur filmmakers make A3 and A4 sized posters. It is even stimulated by our organisations.

At the Benelux festival for instance there is also a competition for filmmakers who have made a poster. These posters are usually shown in the bar of the festivity hall and the visitors can vote for the best poster. I think it's a good initiative. Some filmmakers make weak films, but they produce very good posters. They too can be champions !
Willy Van der Linden

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billyfromConsett
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Post by billyfromConsett » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:38 pm

Edin - Re Reviving a club.

I've taken the publicity officer role at our club for the last 3 years.
The main focus of the role which I set for myself, was to make more non-club people aware that our club actually exists, and to make it look attractive for them to come and check us out.

I got our name and contact details on as many internet boards as I could find.

We distributed A4 flyers (if you've got Microsoft Publisher I'll send you it - to critique).

We have tried to make ourselves more visible in the association centre where we have our club meetings - by getting laminated flyers on some of the walls around the place.

When I make docos or stuff for motorbike clubs or schools etc, I put a note on the DVD about our club.

We get a weekly message in all the freebe papers up here in the Newcastle area- in their "special interest societies" This has had the most impact. New people visit us

I could email certain movie night details to these papers in the hope that they might publish the ads. I've not tried that yet.

I have started to doing film shows in local churches and speaking to the assembled crowd about us. This has got us a new member. :)
It seems to me that if we can get a big group of people to come and watch our movies, then at least some of them might want more to do with us.

But this above task is actual work. And at every club there will probably be a number of our members who won't really get involved in any of these things. That's life, and I won't whinge about it. If you want your club to continue on for years, you have to go out and make it happen.

We will hold a public film show in October in the big hall at our association centre. We must really attract strangers to this night if its to work for publicty.

See us at http://www.newcastleaca.co.uk

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Sun Apr 01, 2007 5:59 pm

Publicity can help a club to get new members, but that depends on the enthusiasm of the club membership, a one man band cannot resolve all the ails of a diminishing and aging membership. When a club gets below a critical point - maybe due to the lack of numbers/ filmmakers in the club then it may become just a social event for members. The key question is there a future for amateur film makers and if so how do you go about regenerating a club?
This reminds me that there was a thread a few weeks back about the future for the IAC ... which also tends to be made up of older people and is perilously close to critical minimum numbers despite some valiant efforts by a few officers.

You can try a complete re-invention of the club - not unlike the way both major UK political parties have been doing. Not much of the old is retained bar the name ... but you don't lose the momentum of years of work. Some old-hands complain but the majority of members go along with the new way.

Billy's ideas are sensible - though round our way you need to provide the newspapers with a little story rather than just an email if you want a free mention. They charge for adverts - that's how they make a living. Our local hopsice is very good at that and it is worth seeing how yours gets publicity - because all hospices need to raise a lot of cash to keep going.

Of course many newspapers and magazines like pictures - which is where the press-pack idea comes in again ... have some good pics to send them. Have a portrait session with major players in the club so that you can send out a different image with each news story.

Ask your local library if you can work with them on a special display - their books on movies and movie-making with, maybe, a self-contained DVD player/screen showing some of your work interspersed with plugs for the club.

[Note for our European friends - most clubs in the UK get no financial support from outside. They have to raise all the money for hiring a meeting room, creating publicity, buying equipment and so on by themselves. The exceptions are those clubs which are part of a school, college or workplace.]

Dave

PS Did you notice the neat way Billy worked his club's website address into his message?

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Post by ned c » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:34 pm

Working to keep an organisation afloat in hard times is very difficult. What are the hard times we face? The traditional club is generally around retirement age, enough in itself to put off many (most) younger film makers. The film style of older film makers is far removed from that of the younger film makers and the two "groups" regard each other with some degree of suspicion. What is happening to clubs in the UK? Static, declining, growing? Here in the USA the few clubs left are small and with a couple of exceptions, struggling to stay alive. As in the UK there is no government money available for "hobby" organisations

For billyfromconsett a lot of hard work and one new member!

I don't wish to be negative but press packs, public shows, are unlikely to hack it on the basis of the information here. Anyone with programs that have brought in new members? All suggestions welcome.

Ned C

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Post by stingman » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:51 am

David `PS Did you notice the neat way Billy worked his club's website address into his message?`
Yes!
I think the best way to get new members is always the personel invitation. You invite a friend or a mate to come along to one of the `open evenings`. Here the best films are shown. You do have to point out that everyone doesn`t make as good films as the ones shown. If you don`t then they say that they are great but look to good for me to do!
I don`t think posters work. You may get one or two members this way if your very lucky.
The best does seem a mixture of having an open day and inviting a friend.

Click on the link about our video club.
www.gardner44.freeserve.co.uk
Ian Gardner
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billyfromConsett
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Post by billyfromConsett » Mon Apr 02, 2007 9:58 pm

ned c wrote:For billyfromconsett a lot of hard work and one new member!

I don't wish to be negative but press packs, public shows, are unlikely to hack it on the basis of the information here. Anyone with programs that have brought in new members? All suggestions welcome.

Ned C
We've had more than just one member! Our new members must be up to around 20% in the three years I've done publicity, not that I'm claiming all the aclaim! But even if the numbers are small in the first year, and you can appraise the impact of your efforts, there is every chance that those numbers will keep going.

We did do a public show a couple of years back without a new member appearing. But on reflection, we had too many members pals who turned up for a one-off social evening, and not enough ordinary local Joes who got our message that we out calling.

We don't do public shows often, so I'd say that the local media need informing (after all- it is news!) with a month good notice to let people know.

Peter Thomlinson

Do film making clubs have a future?

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:21 am

I think the sad answer to this is simply "no."

I first joined a club in 1992 and spent 12 years as a (pretty active) member. I have not been a member now for over 3 years.

When I look back I can see that there have been so many changes in clubs, people's lifestyles, the membership make up etc., etc.

I have seriously thought of rejoining, or trying another club, and I visited my old club once in the last three years.

Recently I have been trying to get to one of their meetings, but have not made it. I'm not sure that the incentive is there. I "might" however, get back into film making, but I'm not interested in having my own filming or editing equipment any more. The technology aspect now really turns me off. (Although it did not in the past).

Peter

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Re: Do film making clubs have a future?

Post by billyfromConsett » Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:34 am

Peter Thomlinson wrote:I think the sad answer to this is simply "no."
I think your speaking for yourself Peter. As long as people want to make or watch films, our clubs have futures.

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Post by Dave Watterson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:53 am

Some people like working with clubs, others do not.

What surprised me on first contact with the movement is how little time most clubs spend making movies or even talking seriously about how movies are made. So much attention seemed to be paid to technicalities - in my early days cine cameras with mainly manual exposure and focus controls, later NLE computer editing - and to competitions to get gongs or certificates.

Of course news of equipment is valuable and understanding how to use it is important ... but somewhere in all that we seemed to forget the purpose of it all: making movies. Or maybe the notion was that individual creativity should not be constrained by discussion just supported by information and celebrated by awards.

Many people do find clubs inspiring and visiting a good one is an uplifting, positive experience.

Dave

Peter Thomlinson

Re: Do film making clubs have a future?

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:28 pm

Peter Thomlinson wrote:I think the sad answer to this is simply "no."
billyfromConsett wrote:
I think your speaking for yourself Peter. As long as people want to make or watch films, our clubs have futures.
Re: Do film making clubs have a future?
I did say "sad" answer.

But of course, I may be wrong, and I hope I am. I am out of touch, but my memory was that membership was falling, and the amount of films being made and the quality was falling.

I would seriously consider a club again, but the points Dave has made are also quite pertinent, and I quote --

"Some people like working with clubs, others do not.

What surprised me on first contact with the movement is how little time most clubs spend making movies or even talking seriously about how movies are made. So much attention seemed to be paid to technicalities - in my early days cine cameras with mainly manual exposure and focus controls, later NLE computer editing - and to competitions to get gongs or certificates.

Of course news of equipment is valuable and understanding how to use it is important ... but somewhere in all that we seemed to forget the purpose of it all: making movies. Or maybe the notion was that individual creativity should not be constrained by discussion just supported by information and celebrated by awards."


I would love to go back to the club situation and the atmosphere of 15 years ago and longer, but in these sadly changing times this is just not possible. (That may be a contradiction, seeing that I quoted Dave, but that's life!)

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Post by billyfromConsett » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:07 pm

Peter- I can tell you that the member numbers in my club- Newcastle ACA - is increasing. That's fact. I do publicity and pay attention to the member numbers.

You sound like you want to get something out of our pastime, but for whatever reason, aren't really happy with how you can join in.

Dave was making an observation that has occured to him, at a particular time. If he came to my club, he would see a bit of what he mentioned- and he would notice other things as well - that he would like. Clubs are all different. My club was quite different three years ago than it is now. We're going for a trip out to York next week- just a jolly. Don't know if anybody will film anything, it's about being amongst friends.

My club is a buzzing club, that has plenty of people who want to make films. We don't always make them together, often in smaller groups. But there is always a new film being put together.

There must be one near you Peter. A club that hasn't got members just whittering about their new gear, but will indulge in social crack and still take interest in making and talking about films being shown by its members.

If you don't want to keep up with the computer brainies then, hey, no problem! We all don't do that you know.

Maybe you don't feel cool about just going to a club and watching the movies. Be cool about it. Don't feel that you must show off your stuff. Enjoy what we can all give, and give a movie if you want to.

I hope you reply to this- with even a little ounce of grabbing the positive. It should be there for all of us.

Peter Thomlinson

Post by Peter Thomlinson » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:50 pm

billyfromConsett wrote: Peter- I can tell you that the member numbers in my club- Newcastle ACA - is increasing. That's fact. I do publicity and pay attention to the member numbers.
That's good, and in your club it obviously works.
billyfromConsett wrote:
You sound like you want to get something out of our pastime, but for whatever reason, aren't really happy with how you can join in.
Well, I was in a club for 12 years. I was very active, took part in lots of shoots, made my own films, entered competitions, directed a club production (including writing the script, and editing it), and I also took part socially.
billyfromConsett wrote:
Dave was making an observation that has occured to him, at a particular time. If he came to my club, he would see a bit of what he mentioned- and he would notice other things as well - that he would like. Clubs are all different. My club was quite different three years ago than it is now. We're going for a trip out to York next week- just a jolly. Don't know if anybody will film anything, it's about being amongst friends.
I also liked being amongst friends. But sometimes this is not enough. I was also at times on the club committee, and acted as treasurer for two years.
billyfromConsett wrote:

My club is a buzzing club, that has plenty of people who want to make films. We don't always make them together, often in smaller groups. But there is always a new film being put together.
Likewise, such things also went on.
billyfromConsett wrote:

There must be one near you Peter. A club that hasn't got members just whittering about their new gear, but will indulge in social crack and still take interest in making and talking about films being shown by its members.
Yes, there are. And there is my old club. But things are different there now.
billyfromConsett wrote:
If you don't want to keep up with the computer brainies then, hey, no problem! We all don't do that you know.
Well, I was actually one of those too!! And I still keep up.
billyfromConsett wrote:
Maybe you don't feel cool about just going to a club and watching the movies. Be cool about it. Don't feel that you must show off your stuff. Enjoy what we can all give, and give a movie if you want to.
Point taken, and yes, I probably would do that - sit back and only get slightly involved.
billyfromConsett wrote:
I hope you reply to this- with even a little ounce of grabbing the positive. It should be there for all of us.
I have!! I would join your club, but its too far away!

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