Using Themed Social Media Content Extends the Life of Films Beyond Production

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Keeping social media content fresh, current and informed for independent film can be frustrating for sure – and it’s certainly time-consuming. Another challenge is that of longevity for your content so that it doesn’t dry up even though you’ve still got press screenings, premiers, and several months of funding campaigns to get through! Yet the tools you need to ensure enriched, experiential, audience-engaged content are right at your fingertips.

Building audiences is important especially if you’re going in for a fundraising campaign on popular platforms such as Indiegogo or KickStarter. You are asking audiences to invest financially in you and your production; what reasons are you giving them to do so? How are you connecting audiences to you and your brand/film? How are you nurturing audiences in order to make them feel bonded and part of your ‘film family’?

Some routes for longevity, enriched and engaged bonding lays in theming your content by looking at the elements of the story of your film. For example ‘Brixton Rock’, the first (of many) novel by Alex Wheatle is being made into a short film – with a view to make a full feature-length film. Set in 1970s early 1980s, the film is located in south London’s Brixton. Directed by Ethosheia Hylton, it’s about a young man of mixed heritage who has lived his whole life in care-homes. His life takes a dramatic change when he decides to face the biological mother who abandoned him. The themes here are multi-faceted and include – history, Brixton, London, 1970s/80s fashion and Reggae, Roots, Lovers Rock music.

Building audiences is important especially if you’re going in for a fundraising campaign on popular platforms such as Indiegogo or KickStarter. You are asking audiences to invest financially in you and your production; what reasons are you giving them to do so?

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Another highlight is ‘Absent’. It tells its story through drama about the impact of a father loosing his presence within his family and as a result, the loss of his ability to express the full spectrum of fatherhood. ‘Absent’ is directed by Aysha Scott. Obvious themes here are fatherhood, parenthood, family and family courts. Scott and her co-producer Segilola Ogidan are scorching a trail in terms of women-led film crews – and as such the theme of ‘women in film’ can be explored in content.

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The Diary’ directed by Fredi ‘Kruga’ Nwaka, has the additional theme of celebrity to draw on for one of its themes as it begins to tell a crime thriller story through ‘Detective Inspector Anisa Powell’ played by Jamelia.

So, a thematic round-up with examples of how you could draw from for your own content

  • History/Period Drama: draw upon real events of the time your film is set in. For example; ‘Titanic’, the HBO TV series ‘WestWorld’ and ‘Les Miserables’
  • Music: a wealth of content to be had with music and a clear route for merchandising and further marketing. E.g. ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and ‘Bridget Jones’.
  • Fashion: if your film elements are set in a particular period of time, this is a rich source of content to mine through. Some examples ‘A United Kingdom’, ‘Belle’, ‘King Kong’.
  • Social Commentary: You’ll need to tread carefully here. Whilst you should have your own voice/opinion in your messages/posts, it’s important not to get personal. Highlights here include; ‘Suffragette’, ‘Burning an Illusion’ and ‘All The President’s Men’.
  • Food: Are there cultural slants your could use i.e. Creole, south Asian, French, Nigerian or Moroccan food. Some examples are; ‘Eat Drink Man Woman’, ‘Julie & Julia’ and ‘Food, Inc’ (though this too could be social commentary).
  • Crew: Like family members, your potential audience are interested in your crew. Highlighting your crew and their roles is a way of introducing little crew quirks and personalities. Detailing elements of your crew’s roles is a way to inspire new entrants to the industry and engage them (and their cohorts) in your content.
  • Oh, and don’t forget to keep a keen eye on where your audiences reside on social media and to adapt your content accordingly. So remember for example younger audiences left Facebook a lifetime ago! 

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