The other day I met with a pretty well known Indie producer. We were talking about audience engagement and how filmmakers are now responsible for the promotion around their films. I am a sucker for useful, actionable tips. So I asked how he engages his audience. And he told me he will often cast actors based on Twitter followers.
To give you an idea of budget range, this guy produces movies around two-million dollars. And one way he builds buzz is by hiring a socially active team, especially when it comes to casting actors. Here is an overview of how he casts his movies:
- Hold an audition for the actors.
- For each role, narrow down to two equally talented actors.
- Choose the actor who has greater Twitter followers. (Total Facebook fans, social media followers and robust email lists count too. What we are looking for here is star power on the small scale.)
He then sets it up so cast and crew continually promote the project from prep through post and into distribution. This ongoing engagement provides rabid fans with value – they get frequent, awesome updates. And from a producing perspective, this shared social engagement helps to inexpensively spread word of mouth.
That said, you need a lot more than than a popular cast to have a successful film. As you can probably guess, most social medial influences are not also great actors. But if you have a solid script with some interesting secondary roles, taking a moment to cast actors based on Twitter followers may pay you social media dividends for the life of the film.
If you like this filmmaking stuff, you might also enjoy grabbing a copy of the filmmaker action pack.