7 Mistakes Filmmakers Make in Online Promotion – Video Extras

Last updated on March 24th, 2017 at 02:27 am

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

All filmmakers want to get their shows seen, right?

Uploading additional, extra and behind the scenes footage of your movie is a good opportunity to promote your project, aggregate an audience and create a moment of connection with fans and followers.

However many filmmakers make these beginner mistakes

Newbie Mistake #1: Upload to proprietary, obscure, restricted or unreliable video hosting services

New audience may checkout your video once. Don?t make them register, signup, click-thru or share your video before they see your clip. Don?t use a service that crashes regularly.

Don?t self -host your video unless you are in the video hosting business. If you are a filmmaker, make films don?t work on becoming a hosting expert. What if you already are a hosting expert breaking into films? Go make more movies.

Do use YouTube, Vimeo, Kaltura, iTunes and/or other reliable, popular service to share your content in each market.

If any of your URL?s get popular and the server dies, you?ll never get all those eyeballs again. Make sure your video player works like all the other players out there.

People like to pause, restart, skip (forward?and back), view later, and see how long the video is. Obscure services miss some features and often make it harder for people to share the videos they like.

Newbie Mistake?#2: Fail to include ?Share? or ?Like? tools

YouTube and the popular video hosting services already have these tools built in ? never disable them.

If you embed your video somewhere else allow fans to share or otherwise promote it to their group of friends.

Do you want to limit your audience to only those you personally invite? Unless you?re already famous, this is the age of abundance. Stand out from the crowd.

Allow embedding of your extra content on other sites. Let the damn thing go viral.

Newbie Mistake?#3: Upload with no description

How many YouTube/Vimeo videos have no description? Too many! If you?re uploading extra material to build an audience take a moment to write something about the clip and more importantly, about your movie.

Put your title and log-line in. Include actors and key crew names.

Describe the footage as a pitch to your audience to watch it. Search engines also index the description.

Make it compelling. You are in the creative business. It doesn?t have to be brilliant, but it needs some work. Why should I watch your clip of bloopers?

Newbie Mistake?#4: Try too hard to be funny, sarcastic or clever in the description

This is the opposite of #3, but essentially the same. If I can?t tell why I should watch your video, it?s a #fail. ?Ted takes one for the film? is not a meaningful?description?to anyone but the 8-10 people there at the time. And they already?saw it live. Try this

Angie Someday?(who plays ?Friday?) slaps?Ted?Hasbeen?(?Famous?) in this out-take from our new 8-minute web series ?Famous on Friday?. Ted was so shocked, he tripped over a lighting rig. Luckily the rig and Ted avoided serious injury.

?Famous on Friday? is a 6-part dramedy web series due in January 2013. Follow Jeff Famous, bipolar publicist, as he struggles to stop Erica Friday, his first love and rock ?n? roll client, from retiring to a convent to repent her sinful life.

Wouldn?t you like to see 30 seconds of that?

Newbie Mistake?#5: Disable comments

I know, right??This shouldn?t even be in the list. But too often I see ?Comments are disabled for this video?.

What are you afraid of? Don?t you want questions, encouragement or accolades? It?s user generated content!

Newbie Mistake?#6: Pick a dumb, boring or obscure title

Titling your clip ?Ted takes one for the film.mov? screams amateur. Yes it?s the default setting on YouTube but look around, most popular clips don?t use the filename + .mov

Find a compelling or descriptive title for your clip. Put the show/movie name in it. People want to find others in the series.

Newbie Mistake?#7: Forget a vanity card, production logo or URL in the footage.

You know people will download your video and hopefully share it around.

Do you think it will always be linked to your cleverly planned YouTube account name? If it?s a promo for ?Famous on Friday? put the title, prodco and URL in the footage.

Let me know of any other newbie promotion mistakes you see in the comments below.

Short Sci-Fi Film: The Device

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 03:50 am

The Device is a well executed, beautifully shot, science fiction short film with masterful special effects.

I?ll be showcasing great SF and fantastical shorts as I find them.

The quality of the lighting and camera work make this one special, Claude Lee Sadik and his team have produced something very special. I?m not sure what their plans to distribute this are, but I?ll give it a hand along. Watch it.

Address Book Related Names Completer Soon

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:41 pm

I store all phone numbers and email addresses in the Address Book or Contacts app of the devices I use.

  • On Apple Mac OS X it?s the Address Book app
  • On IOS it?s the Contacts app
  • On Android it?s Contacts
  • On my webmail it?s Google?s Contacts

I also add spouse and child names where I know them. For members of my extended family, I have cards for the spouses, parents, and children. That way I get birthday reminders automatically in my calendar.

None of these apps have the smarts to make it easy to link a spouse card with a contact without a lot of repeat data entry. Well, the IOS app lets me select another card, but that?s it.

I?m alpha testing some code that can either create contact cards for spouses, children and parents who lack contact cards or offer to create the?reciprocal link if the cards are already there.

The scrips work across Gmail, Google Contacts, Apple Address Book and the Contacts apps in IOS and Android. Actually they are a series of scripts native to each environment. Currently each script is stand alone software rather than a plugin for existing apps.

Each platform calls the Related People by their own name. Related Names, Related People, Relationships, whatever!

If this is a problem you?d like a solution to, let me know in the comments below. I?ll let you in on the beta program soon.

Choosing a new laptop

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:41 pm

My main workhorse is an eMachines eM250 10.1? netbook. All my email, calendar and important software works via the cloud so I can use any machine with a web-browser. I learned that lesson in the Great London Laptop Crash of 2008.

However there are some items I use local storage for:

  • genealogy research
  • music, video, podcasts and other media
  • ebooks, PDF?s, and reference material
  • film and TV project producer files (budgets, head shots, contracts)
  • software development and scripting (especially for iPad apps)
  • GPG signing and encryption keys

Maybe the NBN will give me the speed to store all that stuff on the cloud, but for now it is a lot of data that represents a significant part of my work and home life.

I?ve advocated using cheap, easily?replaceable?devices for most common business and personal needs. Avoiding Windows has reduced at least 80% of my malware risk and 95% of my support requirements.

I abandoned podcasts two-and-a-half years ago after I moved to Ubuntu. Podcast catching and portability is one of the areas where seamless integration across multiple OS?s does not yet exist. I can re-subscribe and re-download (where available) the podcasts I enjoyed. But I never got around to it. Plus I no longer had a daily 90-120 minute round-trip commute to listen to them.

Now my eMachine eM-250 is showing it?s age. It?s been dropped and abused, the left arrow key now longer works, the Alt+Tab combination is not reliable, the battery lasts about 50 minutes and the power cord connector is so loose it only charges about half the time.

I also need to move my iPad app development environment to newer hardware than the 2007 Mac Mini I?m currently using. So I see three choices

  1. replace my netbook with a new $300 netbook and buy a new or refurbed mac mini
  2. buy a refurbished 13? Macbook for about $600-$700
  3. buy a new Macbook Air for $1099

Apple is announcing the iPhone next week, hopefully they?ll refresh the Air range at the same time in which case I may just buy the Air. If they don?t refresh the range, I?m reluctant to start lugging around another 13? laptop so option 2 is not ideal. Let?s see what happens next week.

Enable iCloud for old Unsupported Apple ID

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:42 pm

iPhone iCloud error by Paul Zagoridis
iPhone iCloud error by Paul Zagoridis

I have had an Apple ID that predated iTunes. It wasn?t in the form of an email address, it was just ?funpaul?.

Now that I have an iPhone 4S and am developing apps for ?iOS I thought I should start using iCloud. But I was getting this error

Unsupported Apple ID:
iCloud requires an Apple ID that is an email address (including @me.com addresses).

Unfortunately the Learn More button is worse than useless

After searching for way too long searching for the solution, I discovered that I had to change my Apple ID into an email address style Apple ID, but I?d been buying stuff from the AppStore and iTunes with just the original ID for years. My kids knew it and have spent hundreds of dollars using it over the years.

How to change the name you use for your Apple ID:

  1. log in to My Apple ID?by selecting Manage your account
  2. Check that your primary email address listed is still current (i.e. it still works)
  3. click the Edit button next to your old-fashioned Apple ID
  4. ?Click the Submit under?Make your Apple ID and primary email address one and the same
  5. Viola you?ve updated your Apple ID.

Warning this is a one way trip, you lose your ability to log in with your old Apple ID on iTunes, App Store and other Apple properties. But that?s the cost of progress, it is unlikely that old non-email format ID?s will remain useful as the Apple ecosystem grows.

Hope it helps, say thanks in the comments below.

StalkTrak the new twitter scam

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 02:35 am

StalkTrak phishing scam website
Do not trust this app or page

Currently there is a twitter DM (Direct Message) telling you to ?Find out who?s stalking your twitter?. It?s a scam to steal your twitter id and password.

If you?ve authorized StalkTrak to use your twitter account, you?re a victim of a scam. Your twitter password and user name has been stolen. Change your twitter password immediately.

Just like I warned in How to Avoid Twitter Phishing Scams, this scam is designed to fool users on mobile devices like smart phones. The site looks at first glance to be twitter, but it is spelled t-v-v-i-t-i-l-e-r, relying on our brain?s ability to read and ignore misspelled words.

That?s a screenshot on the right.

Note that the domain name, DM phrase and application name will change as this attack matures. I?ll update this entry with new domains, application names and phrases as I see them.

P.S. I know Stalktrak is an old scam, but it has raised it?s ugly head again with new domains and phrases.

Never. Say. Die.

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 03:26 am

When all is lost, why keep going?

This question of Character, or guts is answered in one way by this video of Benjamin Watson of the New England Patriots. Watch it even if you don?t like NFL because the game is incidental.

Never. Say. Die.

I?ve watched many basketballers proudly swat a ball out of the key. The good ones then chase the ball down and get it to a team mate. The great ones do that even when their team is down by 20 points and there?s 3 seconds on the clock, because that is what they do. It never occurs to them to back off.

Domain name dispute scam

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 03:29 am

I received this email ? up front warning it?s a scam:

(If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to your President or appropriate person, thanks)
Dear President,
We are the department of Asian Domain registration service in china, have something to confirm with you. We formally received an application on?April 18,?2012. One company which self-styled ?Daess Investment, Inc? were applying to register ?zagz? as Network Brand and following domain names:

After our initial checking, we found the name were similar to your company?s, so we need to check with you whether your company has authorized that company to register these names. If you authorized this, we will finish the registration at once. If you did not authorize, please let us know within 7 workdays, so that we will handle this issue better. Out of the time limit we will unconditionally finish the registration for ?Daess Investment, Inc?.

Best Regards,

Sam Yang

Registration Dept.
Tel:?+862885915586??||? Fax:?+862885912116
Address:8/F XiYu building No,52 JinDun Road,QingYang District,Chengdu City,China.

I didn?t think people would fall for this, but then a client sent me a similar email asking that I action it on their behalf.

The fake registration warning it trying to scare you into paying inflated registration fees to register your brand domain in a bunch of foreign top level domains. Now if you have the budget, reach and vision for that kind of world domination, by all means register them all ? just don?t do it with this spamming scammer.

Primary School Basketball Drills & Concepts

Last updated on July 6th, 2015 at 03:22 am

The video is courtesy of Oregon Basketball and Coach Jon Nedelcoff. It?s long at 11:43 but it covers a lot in that time.

After starting with basic drills it build up to some great offense and defense concepts, moving through pick n roll, UCLA cuts and Cincinnati offense including inbound and special plays. I list all the concepts below the video.

Reviewing it again, I?m wondering how Jon got so many concepts into less than 12 minutes.

Drills in the video:

  • Triple Threat Drill @0:09
  • Triple Threat Cut Through @0:28
  • Pass, Screen & Curl @0:46
  • Pass, Ball Screen, Pick & Roll @1:09
  • Follow your pass drill @1:29
  • Follow your pass drill with shot-fake and dribble @1:50
  • 4 Man Partner Post Moves ? drop step @2:07
  • 4 Man Partner Post Moves ? up & under @2:30
  • Michigan State Series ? passing & shooting @2:53
  • 2 on 2 Help and Recover @3:20
  • 4 on 4 Shell Drill @3:41
  • Static Ball Handling @4:14
  • Out of Bounds: Smokestack @4:38
  • Out of Bounds: Play 1 @5:07
  • Out of Bounds: Play 2 @5:44
  • 32 Zone Offense @6:15
  • Carolina Zone Offense @6:48
  • 1-2-2 Press Breaker @7:32
  • 1-3-1 Press Breaker @8:02
  • Cincinnati Base Offense @8:27
  • Special entries into Cincinnati
  • Thumbs Up @9:14
  • Michigan @9:38
  • Play 1 (UCLA cut) @10:11
  • Play 2 @10:45
  • Play 3 @11:03
  • Fist @11:20

Professional Twitter Tools get TweetAdder

Last updated on August 21st, 2015 at 02:03 pm

TweetAdder Services are no longer available. ?Twitter has permanently banned their?API without explanation nor response.

I once used a series of scripts?to manage various twitter accounts and campaigns on behalf of clients.

I now use?TweetAdder?exclusively (affiliate link).

This is professional software that costs money (currently starts at $55) ?but you can try the demo first. If runs on your local machine (Mac, PC or Linux).

Why would I pay for professional twitter automation software like TweetAdder, especially if I had tools that did it for free? Because it saves me time and money. The?TweetAdder developers maintain it whenever Twitter makes a change. That means my down time is the shortest possible. One of my key old scripts stopped working for 4 weeks until I had a chance to debug it. That doesn?t happen with professional software.

Many of the features of TweetAdder don?t get used. I didn?t use some of the advanced search functionality. But when I had a brainwave to target Romanian speakers, for example, then I can quickly put a campaign together. In the past I?d need to customize an existing script.

Anyone who has a professional or serious need for twitter can justify TweetAdder at about $1 a week over 12 months.

My main twitter account @PaulZag has around 4000 followers. I hit the APIlimits regularly on that account. I?ve managed accounts with 20,000 followers and the API limits become a major pain in trying to scale a campaign. Tweet Adder avoids all that drama.

It?s feature-packed:

  • Automated Follows
  • Automated unfollow (with a whitelist to protect your must follow friends)
  • History of follows and unfollows
  • Automated tweets (as well as RSS and @reply feeds)
  • Twitter list integration
  • Find people to follow
  • Follow a users followers
  • Random time delay for all actions
  • Many, many, many more features.