Posted on 4 February, 2016 by Team Wishberry
The greatest challenge that indie filmmakers in India have to face and overcome time and again is the finance to market their films well enough to compete with the big players that have crores at their disposal. However, given the ridiculously high speed at which information (even if it’s a silly meme) travels online, social media has sort of become the superhero for indie filmmakers to spread the word and get people talking about their film. In fact, social media is pushing indie filmmakers to get more creative and marketing-savvy to grab eyeballs and generate anticipation for their projects. It’s no longer only about posting regular generic status updates and hoping for the best.
Social media makes you go above and beyond to attract more audiences Last year, Sujoy Ghosh released his short film Ahalya on YouTube through Large Short Films – a youtube channel that encourages indie filmmakers to take creative collaborations with social media a step ahead. Before we knew it, the short film sneakily caught on, on social media and became quite the viral sensation and perhaps the most talked about short film of the year. What's interesting to note is that Ahalya was viewed even by those who would've otherwise never shown any interest in an indie film. In a matter of four days, the film had over 2 million views. Sujoy Ghosh mentioned one of his purposes behind the short film was clear: to extend his reach beyond a niche audience and get almost everyone interested in his works. Another great example can be taken from the promotions of Angry Indian Goddesses wherein the cast along with regular women did a video for Buzzfeed about what really goes on in girl best friend groups, during the film's release. The idea was to celebrate the insane joys of female friendship and let audiences be a part of it by relating to the video and sharing their experiences. A video like that gets an audience that would otherwise not show much interest in the film hooked too, because it's these fun kind of videos they fall for more easily. Additionally, they also released a series of behind the scenes footage and uncensored clips to build anticipation and curiosity towards the film’s release. But short films and relatable viral videos are not the only way to create the buzz for your film. A well thought out and perfectly executed social media campaign that gives people a peek into your film works brilliantly too. Like it did for the unique collaborative venture of 11 filmmakers, X- Past is Present. Each character was introduced in an interesting way, with sneak peeks and interesting one-line dialogues. Of course, social media is only a part of the whole marketing strategy. But it would be foolish to ignore its effectiveness in casting a wider net for audience on a really low budget.
Social media acts as your crew member too Indie filmmakers don't just use social media for promoting and venting alone. Facebook has come in handy for many filmmakers for other crucial aspects of the film too. For instance, location scouting and suggestions as to the best places to shoot a particular scene (on a limited budget). Hell, even casting coups are pulled off via Facebook. With 74% of online adults being active social media users, this is a potential gold mine that needs to be explored by indie filmmakers more and more for purposes right from building their online community to actually leveraging free media for their films. What are your thoughts?