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5 Tips for Independent Content Creators Looking to Make it Big in the Entertainment Space

The coming future holds great potential for independent filmmakers to come out of their shell and exercise their creative freedom and make the next masterpiece
5 Tips for Independent Content Creators Looking to Make it Big in the Entertainment Space
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CEO, LiveTree
5 min read
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Content creation is hard. Be it script writing or filmmaking, creating something that moves the audience, involves a lot of hard work and not everyone is blessed with such eloquence. Unfortunately, talent does not guarantee access to big producers in the market and this is what leads to being completely independent. Independent filmmakers have so much courage, talent, and the strength to give away everything just to create a project. Created with the motive of transforming lives, such projects often find it difficult to connect with viewers solely due to a lack of resources.

There’s nothing more unfortunate than homeward bound content finding it challenging to tread that path, regardless that the reason behind it is a tight budget or inefficient distribution. The entertainment industry is a very competitive space making it difficult for small-time content creators to survive.

Independent directors, filmmakers have ideas filled up to the brink but often lack the resources meant to steer them in the right direction. Below are five tips for such content creators who want to make it big in the entertainment space-

Build a Likeminded Crew

Filmmaking is not something to be done alone. How often do you see features that have a single person crew? You need to network and meet people with a similar passion. Go for a productive approach and get such people on board, even if they have little experience. It will be exciting to work in a team and you will get to learn so much from such passionate people.

Don’t let funding hold you back

The industry’s funding model is full of incoherence, and it leans more towards projects backed by known names of the industry. As long as you believe in your content, you must not lose hope and go for crowdfunding. It is a great way to finance your project and also to connect directly with your audience. With a community as vast as this one, you will not only find people ready to shell out money; you will also create a fanbase of your own.

Quality of Reel Trumps Networking

If you’ve lived under the belief that film-networking and sucking up to the power figures can help you bypass the reel-building stage, then let us break the myth for you. Networking never has and never will trump a quality creative content piece made with sincere dedication and years of slogging. Do not be one of those hopeless dreamers who keep talking about making a movie but never shoot anything. If you’re truly in love with filmmaking, pick up that camera and build a reel that moves the audience.

“Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director. Everything after that you’re just negotiating your budget and your fee”
~James Cameron

Avoid Holding the Script Hostage

Everyone’s heard the story about how James Cameron got himself to direct ‘The Terminator” once he got the script ready. There are other instances as well but you have to realize that holding the script does not always work. Unless you have a reel of original work, the odds will be against your favor. Even if you have the reel, your script needs to have an amiable charm.

Research the Contract Details Before Licensing Your Work

Certain centralized online channels such as Netflix have Digital Rights Management policies licensing content in perpetuity. This prevents filmmakers from taking content anywhere else and realize the full worth of their Intellectual Property (IP). With so many distribution channels to choose from- Subscription based (SVOD, think Netflix or Amazon Prime Video), Advertisement based (AVOD, think Youtube), Pay-per-view based (PVOD) models or broadcasting through the traditional media channels like NBC, it is highly advised to research the rights management policies of the distributor thoroughly.

With the advent of the Blockchain Technology, the future is already looking bright for aspiring filmmakers and the whole entertainment industry. Blockchain has the potential to change the way things have so far been done in the industry and bring forth a more transparent and efficient network where filmmakers will find it easier to get funded. The technology has already made in-roads in the Entertainment industry, simplifying the associated logistics of deal-making & signing paperwork by automating the processes wherever manual human interaction is required.

To sum up, the quality of your reels will be a deciding factor of your journey, steering you towards making it big in the Entertainment Space. Unfortunately, for some this may still not be enough to succeed. But you must not lose hope, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Keep making gradual progress towards improving your reels, and building a talented like-minded crew.  The coming future holds great potential for independent filmmakers to come out of their shell and exercise their creative freedom and make the next masterpiece.

Keep working on that reel and may the force be with you.

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Challenges Faced by Independent Content Creators in the Entertainment Space