(Glenn Chapman 2016)
A Short History
The creation of twitter initially started with a podcasting platform named Odeo, and it was allegedly created by Noah Glass in his apartment. It involved calling a number where your message would then be converted to an mp3 format on the internet. He had a number of investors for his company, including Evan Williams, an old google employee. Ths particular investor took a considerable amount more of interest into Odeo than the others, and he eventually became the CEO. The comapany grew larger, and after moving to an office they began to hire more and more employees, such as Jack Dorsey and Blaine Cook, and developed Odeo into an impressive podcasting platform .
However, when Apple launched iTunes Podcast, Odeo went on a downward spiral, unable to compete. It was at this point that the creators of Odeo thought that it needed to go in another direction, and it is Jack Dorsey who was drawn to the idea of status updating and discussed and presented it to the company. Together with Noah Glass, the two became passionate about this idea initially giving it the name ‘Twttr’. By March 2006, Odeo had a working twitter prototype and by August of the same year, the website already had thousands of users. Fast forward 10 years, and in 2016, Twitter has 317 million active users making it not only a great place for entertainment, but also business promotion of all kinds, particularly new entrepreneurial creators (filmmakers) who’s work is featured online.
Strengths of Using Twitter to promote a Filmmaker
To give a brief overview, Twitter is a social media platform that enables one to share their ‘thoughts’ or anything they like through a status posted for everyone on the internet to see. It must be under 160 characters, and enables you to add short videos, photos or links to other websites if desired. There are a number of ways that twitter can be an appropriate platform to showcase a filmmakers work.
- The ability to add photos and videos to your tweet is a great way to promote a film you are making. It is not the best place to post the full film, as the length is limited to 140 seconds. However, the visual appeal that an image or short video has in the middle of a timeline full of tweets automatically grasps the users attention, and showing a dynamic screenshot from your film or an eye catching clip will make the viewer want to see more. The combination of being able to explain tweet regularly, promoting yourself and your films in different ways as well as showing the viewers snippets of the work you produce is a great marketing tactic.
This snapshot of the twitter website from a computer shows an example of a timeline, containing a video. As one scrolls down their timeline and a video is posted, it automatically will start playing, therefore grasping their attention without them having to do anything. When it first starts playing there will be no sound to the video, and to enable it one simply has to tap the video. (This is the same on facebook) If a filmmaker puts a very powerful or even relatable clip attached to their tweet, there is no way that it will not attract the viewers attention, and if the visuals of it are engaging enough, the user would definitily be drawn to turning the sound on, consequently giving them almost the full experience of the filmmakers project. People that see this and connect may even share the tweet and video so that their own followers would see it. This means your audience will grow, and even more people will be exposed to your work.
2. Gaining followers = more people who will see your work. The more followers you get on twitter, means that that many people will be seeing your tweets and if you promote it properly, your work. That means your audience will grow, and people who may be interested in you making a video for them may very well come up. As it is such a well known and widely used system, that millions of people use everyday, promoting yourself and your work on twitter automatically means that a huge amount of people will be exposed to you. Once they find you, taking interest in your work, following you will allow them to see every single tweet you post whenever they use the app or website. Furthermore, It is important to keep your tweets interesting and authentic, and not primarily focus on promoting yourself. Although this is obviously important, no one wants to follow a page full of promo.
Screenshot taken from: https://twitter.com/filmmakermag?lang=en
3. The ability to share. Twitter is all about sharing. You can share other people’s work that you find interesting through links, and Retweet other peoples tweets. This not only builds up your page giving it substance and authenticity, but sharing other peoples work and tweets genuinely makes them have a look at yours. Following people who are similar to you in the kind of work you produce will often follow you back, and because you are interested in trh same things, you will more than likely be retweeting each others tweets regularly. This is beneficial because that persons followers, who would have a in interest in what you produce anyway, will see your work when the person you are following retweets it, further promoting yourself and your films.
screenshot from https://twitter.com/filmmakermag?lang=en
Another aspect of sharing on twitter is the use of hashtags. Hashtags are words or keyphrases that people use across social media, at the end of a ‘#’. If one includes it in a tweet that they post for example, it makes that tweet accessable and easy to find for people who may not even be following them, but have similar interests. An example of using this for the purpose of showing and promoting your work as a filmmaker would be to ‘tag’ topics such as shortfilm, filmmaker, movies, film student in the tweet that you post. Even words like ‘ dynamic, amazing, cinematography or stunning cinematography can go a long way! People who are interested in these things will search this hashtag on twitter, find you tweet and ultimately be lead to your work.
Screenshots of the tweet results found from searching the hashtag #cinematography.
Taken from https://twitter.com/search?q=%23cinematography&src=tyah
4. Lastly, another important advantage of twitter is to take in, rather than just give out. Listen to what other people are thinking rather than solely tweeting your own thoughts. It is a great way to get inspired for ones own film ideas, by searching for hashtags and seeing what other people are up to.
Disadvantages of Twitter
- The first and most obvious one would be that it is not the best place to post your full length film.
- The website focuses more on tweets and reading what people have been up to. The Media that is linked to the tweet is just an extra, but not the main focus of that the website was created for and is used for.
Origins of Youtube
Youtube was started by two former Pay pal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. They created the first system for youtube in 2005, and it’s first Video to go viral was a Nike advertisement. It got 1 million views, and involved the Bazilian football player getting a pair of golden boots. It was the first major company to recognise Youtube’s commercial potential. It was not until November of 2005 that Youtube finally launched to the public, following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital. It was able to expand and improve its servers, and overall capabilities and functions. In 2006, Google purchased Youtube for around $2 million, claiming that it was the next step in the evolution of the internet. An extremely important factor to note in the evolution of Youtube is May 2007, where they launched it’s Partner Program that let people who created videos that went viral to get paid for it. This is a huge source of income for thousands of ‘Youtubers’ now, allowing many people to quit their regular jobs, and instead make Youtube Videos for a living.
Advantages of using Youtube as a Filmmaker
- The first and most obvious reason to use this platform as a filmmaker would be that it is the perfect place to upload ones films. Another well known site that is great for uploading a freelance filmmakers films is the platform Vimeo. However, after much comparing between the two, Youtube seemed the better option, especually for someone just starting up. It is important to note that both platforms are great options, but in my personal opinion, Youtube would best suit the work I, as a filmmaker, would choose. The reason for this will be discussed below. However, one advantage that they both offer is the fact that the main purpose and focus of the platform is to upload and watch videos. Unlike twitter and instagram, people go onto youtube and (Vimeo) for one purpose; to watch videos.
2. A huge advantage of Youtube over Vimeo is the fact that it is completely free. Anyone can upload top quality Videos and watch them for no cost at all. This is ideal for a new filmmaker, like myself, who has a very low budget, and alrrady hs to spend money creating the film. The ability to show it to such a wide audience for no cost whatsoever is a huge plus. The fact that the site is free to use for viewers as well means that more people will use it, and consequently have access to the films you upload. Every month, over 1 billion users unique users use Youtube, and 6 billion hours of youtube videos are watched. In contrast, Vimeo requires a monthly fee to access it’s full benefits and a lot of the time, people a put off completely if they have to pay for something that they can get for free using a different website or platform. This automatically means that less people will use it. Even if the benefits to paying are extremely beneficial, that fact that Youtube is free to all, and accessible to absolutely anyone, is the best way to get as many views on your first set of films, and build an audience.
The Youtube homepage vs. the Vimeo homepage. Youtube immediately entices the viewer with videos ready and free to watch, in contrast, Vimeo immediately asks them to pay. (ironically, an advertisement of Vimeo is featured on the Youtube homepage 🙂 )
3. Although the adverts may be seen as a disadvantage, it allows for people who upload videos and grow an audience to get paid! For example, as a filmmaker uploading my videos, the views on each of them may start to increase. I will then have enable monetization in my youtube account settings (allows youtube to put adverts before your videos), register an adsense account and link it to my youtube account. Once they reach a steady, impressive number of views on each video, I will start receiving pay at the beginning of every moth based on how well my videos have done. This is an amazing way for young creators to earn a wage for the work they produce. An example of a filmmaker that is making his fame and fortune on youtube is Sawyer Hartman. He started off on Youtube in 2010 and like most others, for a hobbie, posting short low budget films, video montages of places he visited and vlogs of his day to day routine.
Now, in 2017, he has 1,747,124 people subscribed to his channel, a total of 104,577,484 views on his videos and is earning approximately 8.9k pounds a month. Because of his wide audience, people started to sponsor his films, so that he was able to make top notch, even better quality movies drawing in more views and ultimately adding to his success.
A short film created by Sawyer Hartman, that he released on Youtube. At the end of the video, he mentioned that it would not have been possible without the company ‘audible.com’
Another video posted by Sawyer Hartman. These are the type of videos that he started off making.
Easy to Use
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute