By lance weiler, June 25th, 2007

When it comes time to creating digital assets for your work, I’ve found that it’s important to devise a plan that will work for your target audience. Finishing the film and expecting people to find your site, and keep returning over time – just isn’t going to happen. But a couple things can help you in your quest to get your work found, and along the way your fans might just help you to amplify your message.

In this multi part series, I’ll break down some of the web techniques that I used to build audience and awareness around Head Trauma. I’ll detail what worked and what would have worked better.

After identifying the core audiences for Head Trauma (independent filmmakers, independent film fans, and horror fans). I set to work building a collection of short video pieces that could be easily spread across the web.

The first step was to create a series of experimental clips. Since Head Trauma takes place over 5 days and each day represents a different stage of grief, I decided to title each clip with Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I also placed a link below the video that said “do u have trauma” this linked them back to the web comic for HT.

This is a collection of all 5 clips as one:

I made the experimental clips available on all my sites and pages. It was what I called an “embed and spread” campaign. I wanted people to take and place the videos anywhere they wanted to. The first step was to find free video hosting. Since there are so many free video hosts currently, I placed the clips on as many free video-sharing sites (youTube, myspace, viemo, vmix, etc.) that I could.

YouTube has over 45 million clips! A critical thing that helps video stand out on crowded sites is to tag your video effectively. I used tags like horror, creepy, head_trauma, dvd, movies, theaters, scary, trauma, lance_weiler indie, diy, murder… Tagging is a simple and easy way to help your clips stand out. Tags can assist with search engine results, video-indexing sites, and within collection listings that turn up on most video sharing sites.

Below the videos I made sure to place a simple text field that held all the embed info for the clip.

embed.jpg

For those of you that aren’t familiar with html, an embed tag is what allows you to place a video player within a page. YouTube has them next to the videos, so do most video sharing sites. The difference was I wanted fans to be able to place the videos in their pages without having to go to my video sharing site pages. I wanted to make it simple and a one step process, something that could be done right within my own myspace page, site or blog. Also many players offer embed tags now (the newest version of the youTube player has an embed button) but most don’t allow you to add your own links to other sites.

The results: Fans started placing the videos in their own blogs, sites and social networking profiles.

In part two I’ll discuss how I created a series of EPKs for the film. Some of which were exclusive and others were not. The EPKs made their way into blogs, sites and even onto Amazon.com

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lance weiler is the founder of the WorkBook Project and also a story architect of film, tv and games. He's written and directed two feature films THE LAST BROADCAST and HEAD TRAUMA. He's currently developing a number of transmedia projects

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  • It's about a women on the way to enter a cloistered convent who gets tangled in a hostage situation and is challenged to "love her enemy" no matter what is done to her. I'm trying to write edgier Christian fare. I think that market is a good market for lower budget films... actually it mandates lower budgets in order to get a return. I think there is a large segment of Christians not getting films they would enjoy, i.e., films above a G rating. I've written a Christian horror flick, action flick, I'm working on the idea mentioned above and I have a teen flick I have to write and a broad comedy.

    Christian films is a niche market and, even though the big boys are entering the fray (Fox Faith, Weinstein Company, etc.) I still believe that there's an opportunity to be a bigger fish in that smaller pond.

    Can't wait to hear the next session. It's EXACTLY what I need to learn.

  • Very cool - best of luck with the new script. What's it about? Next week our converstation will focus on fundraising and what goes into a business plan. Thanks for listening!

  • Another great conversation. The part when discussing finding a location you have access to and utilizing it to the fullest extent actually inspired me to start writing a script I had in my mind for the past few months. Thanks for the inspiration!

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