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Ed_David

Risking it all to Promote your work, and the rewards of this.

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Here’s my story - I promoted “Lessons for a Tailor” I film I shot for Galen Summer back when Vimeo first came out.  I submitted it to tons of blogs.  That then got buzz and that was the start of my career.

Later, I helped my friend and former roommate Sean Dunne promote the film I shot for him, “The Archive” - that eventually got picked up by a hip hop blog then the big break - Gizmodo. That then led by his own submission to Sundance, then acceptance!  Then it went on PBS POV and got a Doc and News Emmy nomination!  Me and him were the perfect team of promotion!

That was then, around 2008.  The land of blogs.

Now in 2015, we have facebook and twitter and instagram and I still promote films the old fashioned way - well not so much - but I still try to email people about the film.

But I think more and more “Gatekeepers” of good online films are more immune to this than ever.  Now you need to get creative.  And of course it’s just persistence - knocking on doors, believing in your film, not caring about rejection.  It always has been and always will be.  Eventually someone will give it a chance and play the film.

Recently a lot I have taken to twitter to promote my work - most recently -”the Quiet Escape” - and overall it’s been great.  It got the film to be seen on Gothamist.

But today I got called out by a blogger.  I won’t name her name, because maybe she’s just having a bad morning but this is what she said:

@eddavid

 delete your twitter. You are spamming ppl and idk who told you to do this, but whoever it is hates you.

Fair enough, that’s par for the course.  I did tweet to about 10 bloggers today, because I still haven’t beyond gothamist for non filmmakers to see the film, which is of course an important thing for me.  I want my film to spark a conversation on whether living in NYC is worth it or not.  That’s my goal.  To start a dialogue.

But the blogger on twitter’s reaction was so visceral it hurt me emotionally and made me stop trying to get my film out there.  And I’m sure she didn’t mean anything personal, she probably doesn’t know I’m a real person and an artist to push myself, but jeeze, I feel so bad for everyone who is just trying to get their idea or book or blog post or film out into the world and can get that kind of response..  

I remember years ago I got a direct message from someone on vimeo about their film and I was snappy about it because I thought it was just a long impersonal “hey look here” and he got upset, then I apologized, I watched it and enjoyed the film.  I felt like a douche bag.  And never again, after this one tweet from this blogger will I treat any email from a person just trying to get their 2 cents in, their viewpoint or their film, with anything but respect.

At the end of the day there is a person on the other side of that keyboard or phone.   The energy, negative or positive, must go somewhere.

And maybe in the future I send out customized twitter messages only - tailored to that blogger so they don’t think I’m spamming them. Maybe that’s my take-away.

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There are just too many people being far too proactive about their own art. Too many "artists" talking about themselfs and letting the world know how much of an artist they are. Specially older people who don't get the internet, and in general wierdos. 

Whenever I see someone refer to himself on the internet my inner bullshit alarm starts ringing, and I know this is true for a lot of people. We all do it sometime (refer to our own person), but if it starts to get persistent you're not doing yourself a favour.

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There are just too many people being far too proactive about their own art. Too many "artists" talking about themselfs and letting the world know how much of an artist they are. Specially older people who don't get the internet, and in general wierdos. 

Whenever I see someone refer to himself on the internet my inner bullshit alarm starts ringing, and I know this is true for a lot of people. We all do it sometime (refer to our own person), but if it starts to get persistent you're not doing yourself a favour.

​There is truth in that - but the other thing - is in any artform, more and more people have access to trying to get their voice heard.  This is the democratization of film - now anyone can shoot a film on their own on a cheap camera and help connect other people to ideas.  

Yes that will of course create a ton of crap, but it will also create some truly great work.

Anyone who promotes themselves may be seen as "egotistical" and "selfish" or also "brave" and having the bravodo to believe in what they are doing.  There are certain people who share both qualities - myself included.

I will not deny that I am highly selfish and "trapped in my head" but I am promoting a work that's free and there to start a discussion - not something for profit.  Maybe that's something.  Also I'm a professional DP - I do this for art and because I am fascinated by all of it.

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This is the biggest challenge for me as a photographer and filmmaker today. You have to promote the crud out of yourself, because nobody is going to do it for you. I've made some connections with clients who i've made incredibly happy that promote me almost every time I shoot something for them, and I'm discovering clients/relationships like this are absolutely invaluable. 

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I will not deny that I am highly selfish and "trapped in my head" but I am promoting a work that's free and there to start a discussion - not something for profit.  Maybe that's something.  Also I'm a professional DP - I do this for art and because I am fascinated by all of it.

​In your video you said that you are starting to become quieter ;)

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I am promoting a work that's free and there to start a discussion - not something for profit.  Maybe that's something.  

​I would call you a spammer if you where only in it for the profit. This is not the case now so don't let anyone stop you from sharing your art the way you want. If you would get upset by all these trolls that can safely insult people from behind their computer you better stop living.

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  Now you need to get creative. 

​Exactly.

Selfpromoting could easily put yourself in a bad light, I'm afraid, no matter how good your work is, it's simply the wrong attitude or behaviour for communication nowadays as so many wannabees advertising their own crap as auracaria said and you did not want to be mistaken for one of them.

This has nothing to do with your content per se, but what did you think: How many tweets did she get daily? And how many are just a waste of time?

OTOH, she could have had a very bad day in the molloch... LOL

So, the trick is as Zach said to make other people talk about you.

Did you have thought about asking the editors for a little series about interesting aspects of 'Gotham' nobody has covered before in their opinion?

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​Exactly.

Selfpromoting could easily put yourself in a bad light, I'm afraid, no matter how good your work is, it's simply the wrong attitude or behaviour for communication nowadays as so many wannabees advertising their own crap as auracaria said and you did not want to be mistaken for one of them.

This has nothing to do with your content per se, but what did you think: How many tweets did she get daily? And how many are just a waste of time?

OTOH, she could have had a very bad day in the molloch... LOL

So, the trick is as Zach said to make other people talk about you.

Did you have thought about asking the editors for a little series about interesting aspects of 'Gotham' nobody has covered before in their opinion?

​I try every creative angle I can to get anything I work on - either as a DP or my own films out there.  The right people.  And at the end of it, it's just banging down on as many doors as you can.  Finally someone will respond.  How do you think Quentin Tarintino got Reservoir Dogs made?  Did you ever hear that story?  There are some amazing stories of persistence in many people trying to get their foot in the door.

Even, unfortunately for a lot of male and especially female actors - having to hit the casting couch.  And they do it.  Ugggggg.  

What's also interesting is that once they are big, if they remember the struggle they went through when they were younger or if they blocked out the hard times.

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I really wouldn't pay them any mind.  The more attention your film gets, expect 10 more tweets like that to come.  But as long as our work is receiving honest, positive feedback, if not praise...it shouldn't matter.

 

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You are a great cinematographer! Some people is just negative because they would be creative but they are lazy and they are not ready for the sacrifices that every creative work ask.
It goes like that since Aesop's time: The Fox and the Grapes, you know what I mean ;)

I just retweet you ;)

Don't let them stop you! 

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