Blatant Self-Promotion

Does anyone have any advice on blatant self-promotion? I know that nowadays self-promotion is as common as breathing, but I’m still not comfortable with it. After about six years of work on two separate projects, they are both done at around the same time and now I’m required to promote and pitch new projects, which is something I’ve never come to terms with. I used to believe you put your project out there and people will see it, and if it’s good enough you’ll get more work. The rules of the game have shifted and it kind of feels that everyone in the world is screaming ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ and no one is listening. It’s a strange time indeed.

I need to get over myself, my shyness, my self-esteem issues, my self-doubt, and yell and scream ‘Look at me!’ just like everyone else is, but maybe there’s another way. I’m much more comfortable with saying ‘Look over here, if you feel like it…’ so maybe that’s what I’ll have to do. I’ll start posting more often as the release dates get closer. I’m also going to reach out to friends who are good at self-promotion and use their advice to create a path forward. If you’re good at marketing and promotion please send me some words of wisdom. How do you promote yourself without burning out your network? How do you build new networks outside your bubble and move on to the next stage of your work? I’m still afraid of selfies and blatant self-promotion but maybe I can find a way to promote others who worked on the projects instead of myself. Perhaps the best way to promote yourself is to promote the people who make it possible for you to do your thing. Hopefully that might be a better way forward. 

I’ve spent most of my life blocking my face in group shots and selfies. Maybe it’s time to just look towards the camera and smile.

Afraid of Selfies Web2.jpg

Character Design

One of the most exciting parts of writing is character design. Once the characters are created, they begin to speak to you and the story begins. A long time can be spent just writing down character traits, character flaws and creating character goals. Having a rough visual image of what a character might look like helps make a story come to life as you’re writing. If you can create environments for the characters to live in, those environments can provide the final push you need to define goals and dreams of a character. Stories grow and change over time, as you bring in new artists to finalize the character designs the characters take on a life of their own. 

Below are samples from the character designs that have been done over the last few years for Painting My Life

Lead Character Evolution: Alice

Lead Character Evolution: Alice

Samples of Environments: Courtyard

Samples of Environments: Courtyard

Samples of Environments: Painting Studio

Samples of Environments: Painting Studio

Early Gargoyle Designs

Early Gargoyle Designs

Graphical Representation of Anna’s Wish Fulfillment in the script ‘Drowning’

When working on a psychological thriller that’s actually a character study following the structure of a European art film, you can be left with a lot of explaining to do. I created the graph below as a guide to help clarify questions I was facing about the story. The best part of the exercise was how much it helped me clarify what I was doing to myself.

The main anchoring scene of the film occurs in one room and other scenes exist in the lead character’s memory or within her wish fulfillment. In the end it’s up to audience to decide which version of Anna’s life they want to make real.

Crowdfunding Update

Hello everyone,

We wanted to give everyone an update as we push through the holidays and get ready for next year. Here’s a chart of how we’ve used the crowdfunding contributions so far and how much is left.

Our plan for next year is to apply for more funding and continue meetings with possible funders mid-January to March. We then hope to divide the film into pieces and start shooting it as a series of chapters or short films that we can combine into a feature film. This will stretch out the length of the shoot but will make things more manageable. First up will be shooting a 20-30 minute version of the film in the Spring/Summer of 2016. We know this process will take a long time but filming often does when working with a limited budget. As always, all we can do is keep going.  

The Indiegogo Care Bear Share Factor

You might have seen a lot of shameless self promotion for Drowning on social media recently. To explain why this plugging probably isn’t gong to stop for the next month, my care bear friends would like to explain to you the “gogofactor”.

The gogofactor is an algorithm that tracks activity on campaigns – everything from the total funds contributed on your campaign page to how many times your campaign page is viewed. This means that the more your project gets shared on social media the higher its gogofactor, and the more your campaign is promoted on Indiegogo. A higher profile on Indiegogo will lead to a wider reach for the campaign.

To get a higher gogofactor factor you need frequent campaign updates, a large crowd that signed up to be a part of your Indiegogo campaign, page views for your campaign, and % of goal completed. The more people share and contribute early in a campaign the higher your gogofactor rises, and that determines how often you get featured in Indiegogo’s networks and on their main web page.

So please be a care bear and share our campaign. Literally every like, favourite, and share is a contribution to our gogofactor.

How to give a good interview

So you’ve made a few films, got into a few film festivals and managed to get some press. Now what? You have to learn how to give an interview. I’ve never been comfortable on camera; as a filmmaker you’re always behind the camera, and an interview puts the camera and lights on you. It makes me feel like the world is upside-down, like I don’t belong there. What can I do to make this better? The only thing I can do is practice.

Practice: Come up with a list of possible questions you might be asked and create answers. What is your film about? What inspires you? Why did you pick this story to tell? Practice saying those answers aloud to yourself or to someone you know. Like a politician, you can prepare talking points and stick to them. No matter what question you are asked loop your response into one of the answers you’ve prepared. And whenever possible promote your next project.

Have a story to tell: When you are being interviewed, you should focus on telling a story. What is your story? What is your brand? If you’re working with a PR team, you should help create your story to tell. Don’t expect other people, even those you hire, to tell your story, because it might not be the story you want to share.

‘On Camera’ rules: Look at the person asking you questions; don’t look in different directions and don’t look directly towards the camera, unless you are told to do so. Do not, under any circumstances, touch your face during an interview. (Don’t touch your clothes or adjust your blazer either...see photo below.)  It’s a good idea to find out as much as you can about the interviewer before hand. Always thank everyone.


Ask for help: If you ever feel shy and awkward when giving an interview, be honest about it to the interviewer before hand and they’ll help you out. If your budget allows it, consider a media training class or enlisting the help of a PR professional to prepare you. And when in doubt and short on cash, a good Google search will always result in plenty of advice.