20 Filmmaker Thought Leaders To Follow on Twitter

As a filmmaker, Twitter is awesome and allows you to interact with filmmakers and Hollywood types who would otherwise be inaccessible. This is a good thing!

While there are a lot of great people sharing filmmaking tips on Twitter, the problem is, there are a LOT of filmmakers Tweeting!

To help you out, I have listed 20 Filmmakers To Follow on Twitter.


20 Filmmaker Thought Leaders To Follow on Twitter

Listed in no particular order, these are some of the filmmaker thought leaders who are actively working to create and refine an awesome new filmmaking paradigm.

1.   @EmilyBest – Emily Best loves helping independent filmmakers. With her company, Seed&Spark she is working to tackle big problems in the areas of film finance and movie distribution.

2.   @TedHope – Legendary indie producer Ted Hope freely shares ideas on how we can all improve the state of independent film. He recently took over as CEO of Fandor, so Ted’s contribution is going to get interesting.

3.   @FilmCourage – I can’t begin to tell you how awesome Film Courage is. They consistently share useful, how-to filmmaking interviews and content. Watch all their filmmaking videos and you’ll get a film education.

4.   @KinoNation1 – Roger Jackson at Kino Nation is setting out to power worldwide distribution of every movie ever made, in every language, anytime, to anyone. (Which is pretty ambitious.)

5.   @ErickOpeka – If you’re following trends in VOD distribution like I am, then you need to follow Erick Opeka. He is the SVP of Digital Distribution for Cinedigm, one of the largest indie film & TV distributors worldwide.

6.   @Jon_Reiss - Jon Resiss is the author of Think Outside The Box Office and a great guy. His ideas on movie distribution are practical and useful. I always pay attention to what Jon is doing.

7.   @OndiTimoner – Ondi Timoner is a filmmaker with innovative, disruptive and filmmaker friendly ideas.

8.   @dantebasco Okay. While Dante is pretty well known for playing Rufio in Hook – He totally has his finger on the pulse of new audience engagement tactics. Follow him to see what’s going on in the YouTube Space.

9.   ‏@VHXTV – Innovative platform that allows filmmakers to sell work directly to their fans. Their tech is pretty impressive and worth checking out.

10.  @shericandler – Sheri Candler is an inbound marketing specialist. She helps filmmakers define, target and reach an audience of people clamoring to see your movie.

11.  @zakforsman – Zak Forsman ‏ is a filmmaker who has figured out how to navigate the emerging trends in both fundraising and distribution. He’s always on the move and worth watching.

12.  @TurnerGuinevere – Guinevere Turner is a writer, actor and a director with great ideas.

13.  @distrify – Before a gazillion people got into the internet VOD space, there was Distrify. They allow filmmakers to sell movies and movie merchandise direct to their fans.

14.  @MarcHustvedt – Back when I was Chill, Marc Hustvedt was our head of entertainment. He was the founder of Tubefilter and is an expert on the current YouTube-centric, digital landscape.

15.  @NolanGravitas – Nolan Gallagher is the founder & CEO of indie film distributor Gravitas Ventures. He was a pioneer in VOD distribution. As a result, Gravitas Ventures is one of the top distributors in the world.

16.  @DandEent – If you are looking for help marketing a theatrical release, check out D&E Entertainment.

17.  @NoFilmSchool – Ryan Koo runs a great site and tweets stuff to help you become a better filmmaker.

18.  @MilesMaker - Miles Maker is a serious contender in the indie film space. He understands all aspects of the business and is very good at engaging and sourcing audiences for his movies.

19.  @TuggInc – What an awesome concept for indie filmmakers. Tugg allows your audience to help you choose which cities would be the best fit for your movie.

20. @bcfilmmaker – Peter D. Marshall has worked and survived in the film industry for over 30 years. He puts out great how-to information. Worth a follow.

And. . . Here is one more filmmaker thought leader to follow. (Hint, it’s me!)

21. @JasonBrubakerLA – Obviously if I’m going to write a list including 20 filmmakers to follow on Twitter, I may as well include myself. You’re welcome to communicate with me.

So there you have it. These folks made the cut for the Official 2014, Filmmaking Stuff, Top 20 Filmmaker Thought Leaders To Follow on Twitter.

Would You Cast Actors Based On Twitter?

Yesterday I met with a pretty well known Indie producer. We were talking about audience engagement and how filmmakers are now responsible for sourcing an audience. I’m a sucker for useful, actionable tips. So I asked him how he engages his audience.

Actors Hired Based On Their 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:

  1. Hold an audition for the actors.
  2. For each role, narrow down to two equally talented actors.
  3. Choose the actor who has greater Twitter followers. (Facebook fans and email lists count too.)

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. What do you think? Would you cast actors based on Twitter followers?

Film Fundraising: 5 Crowdfunding Mistakes to Avoid

In this guest filmmaking article, filmmaker Brad Kageno shares what he learned with his crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and provides you with 5 Crowdfunding mistakes to avoid…

Film Fundraising: 5 Crowdfunding Mistakes to Avoid

As I type this, I am halfway through my Kickstarter campaign for my feature I Hate You.  We’re about one-third of the way toward our goal, and we now have $10,000 to raise in about 30 days.  It’s definitely possible, yet even though I can’t declare victory or defeat (who knows what’ll happen?), there’s already a list of things I’ve learned from our campaign:

1.  Do not put off today what you can do today.

Here’s a downer: 55% of Kickstarter campaigns fail.  Keep that in mind as you embark on yours.  Depending on your goal, and the amount of connections you have, expect to be working non-stop on your campaign.  Don’t get lazy, even if there’s a lull in pledges.  Every effort you make to promote your campaign, the better the odds of someone contributing to it.

For I Hate You, we’ve posted weekly videos and have reached out to all sorts of sites and organizations everyday.  And, as you can tell, we’ve also been writing a few blogs to spread the word.  As I tell my team, “It’s not over ’til it’s over,” so prepare to rest only until your campaign is done.  (And even then, you won’t be resting long.)

2.  Do not ignore the power of (free) social media tools you can use to promote.

Don’t wait until you start your campaign to begin creating an audience for yourself.  Start posting videos on YouTube, gain subscribers.  Start tweeting and gain followers.  And if by some chance you aren’t on Facebook yet, get on it and friend everybody who tolerates you.  If you have a blog, great!  If you don’t, either start one or start participating on others.  Get on message boards and post comments.  So what if you’re antisocial?  Here’s a way to gain potential pledgers without having to spend a dime or step out of your abode.

Remember, you cannot succeed at crowdfunding without a crowd!  Even if you find social media pointless, take advantage of it!  Personally, I wish I had been more active in social media before beginning my Kickstarter campaign.  Even though our YouTube videos have gained modest views, they’d be even better had we started posting videos months, even years in advance.

3.  Do not be afraid to bug everybody you know.  And I mean e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y.

As your Kickstarter campaign progresses, you may be surprised by the amount of people from your past that pledge.  So far, I’ve had my elementary school teachers and even preschool friends pledge!  It got me thinking that maybe I should contact as many of them as I could, and to my luck, many have supported I Hate You.  So, be prepared to reconnect with faces you never thought you’d see again.  Of course, there’s always family, friends, co-workers, and the usual bunch you must reach out to.  Do not hesitate to ask them for their help.  The worst they can do is say “no.”

Oh, don’t forget to thank them after they pledge.  Gratitude and crowdfunding go hand-in-hand.

4.  Do not put all your chickens into one basket.

Have a Plan B, C, D, E, and F when you run your Kickstarter campaign.  Don’t put all your time and effort into just YouTube or just Twitter or just e-mails to contacts.  Take the time to strategize in case one outlet doesn’t prove as effective as others.

Initially, we thought we’d get most fundraising support from certain organizations, but as it turns out, Facebook and YouTube have given our campaign more traffic and money, so we’ve refocused our efforts towards those two sources.  With so many still suffering from the recession, it seems the odds are overwhelmingly against funding a creative endeavor, but surprisingly, even unemployed pledgers have voiced their support!  That said, always prepare for changes, and be ready to switch gears as you track your project.

5.  Do not give up.

This sounds like a no-brainer, but expect lulls every now and then, and don’t get discouraged by them.  If you are seeking a huge amount, you may not be able to afford too many lulls, so set goals to raise a certain amount a week.  Re-strategize when necessary, but remain persistent throughout.Being a narrative film, our I Hate You campaign has been unpredictable to say the least.  And even though there are a few naysayers who are skeptical, I keep reminding myself of the 89 people who believe in my team and in myself to make a damn good movie.  I have no intention of letting them down.

If you are about to launch a Kickstarter project, I wish you the best of luck, and I hope my tips help!

BIO: Brad Kageno was born and raised in Hawaii, and studied filmmaking at Chapman University under the guidance of directors John Badham (Saturday Night Fever, WarGames) and William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection). In 2003, he directed Boyz’ Day, a musical-comedy short prominently featured at the San Diego Asian Film Festival and other showcases. He then directed a dramatic short, Cup of Joe, the following year. Out of college, Brad took film assistant gigs and random day jobs to pay the bills, but quickly realized that the only way he was going to make a movie in Hollywood was to do it himself. So that’s what he’s doing now with his upcoming project, I Hate You.

Advertise Your Movie on StumbleUpon


Image via Wikipedia

When you’re in the middle of the filmmaking process, you probably aren’t thinking about ways to advertise your movie online.

I want to provide you with a little secret: 

Advertise your movie on StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is a social bookmarking tool that allows people to share interesting websites with their StumbleUpon  networks as well as Facebook, Twitter and email contacts. And if someone happens to “stumble upon” your movie website, you have the potential to garner significant traffic!

(Case study: Our zombie movie got over 100,000 visitors from the service.)

But did you know you can actually pay for someone to “stumble” your site?

It’s true. And it’s awesome. The StumbleUpon paid discovery service allows you to choose from three advertising service tiers. Each tier provides a different level of audience targeting. The first tier starts at a nickle per stumble.

But here is where it gets interesting. Unlike other paid advertising solutions, StumbleUpon allows for exponential, unpaid traffic. Let me explain:

Let’s say you want to target someone into horror movies. So you invest a nickle to get that person to “stumble” your website. But then that person shares your site with four of his friends. Guess what?

Because your paid stumble resulted in four additional free stumbles,  you really only invested one penny per visit (five cents for five visits). Taking this further, let’s say these five stumblers each share your site with one friend – Now you got ten visits for a nickle.  That is an investment of merely a half-cent per visit!

And if these people tell ten of their friends… I’m sayin’ if you are lucky, then you could possibly get exponential traffic onto your site!

Not bad for a nickle.

Before you get too excited, you should know something. I have tested this service with various movie titles and websites, but so far, only a small handful of my test sites resulted in significant traffic. The rest just were not interesting enough to warrant exponential stumbles.

But for five cents a visit, StumbleUpon Paid Discovery  may be worth a test.

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If you liked this tip, you’ll love my “Film Distribution Action Pack”

Modern Moviemaking Explained

As a filmmaker, I don’t need to tell you that things are changing. It seems like every day, the filmmaking community shares news of some new way to make, market and sell movies.

I believe video on demand distribution represents freedom for filmmakers. While there are many great sales agents and distributors, I am totally bothered by the sales agents and middle-men who have taken a bottom-feeding approach to VOD. These jerks make a living  trying to sucker unsuspecting filmmakers into long term video on demand deals that suck.

I put together the following video to express my disgust and also provide a new hope. As a modern moviemaker, there has never been a better time to make, market and sell your movies without the middle-man.

Check out this video. If you like it, please click here to TWEET it. Thanks!

Once you enter your name and email address, check your email for a confirmation. Once confirmed, you’ll get your modern moviemaker tool kit, FREE. All of these tools will be available for instant download.

Again – if you like what I’m saying, please click here to TWEET it. Thanks!