The first industry professional I’ll be talking about is Gareth Bowler, who is a talented local filmmaker and who’s work I have used before in my research. His approach in how he presents and promotes himself in the internet is very reflective of the style of his work.
For example, here is his website. The layout is very clean and simple, there’s no fuss, no words, it’s straight to the point. Immediately when you go on his website you are presented with a selection of his films that you can instantly browse through. The films are a part of the website rather than being links to other tabs, making them easy to browse through.
This is a good marketing strategy as it’s simple. If a person is looking for a cinematographer for their film and they visit his website, they can immediately see what his work is like and can make a decision as to whether he’s what they’re looking for or not.
He’s also made it easy for people to get in contact with him, as the only other page on his website is his contact page and on the online form he’s left people to fill out he’s given four boxes that people can tick: documentary, branded content, commercials and music videos.
By doing this he is clearly showing to people the kind of film work that he deals with, once again making it easy for people to decide whether he’s right for the job or not. This shows to people that he has a straight forward and professional attitude and that he’s very efficient, which are all positive qualities for a filmmaker to have.
His whole website has a clear theme which is clean lines and a simple yet effective layout. There is also a strong colour palette of greys and blues. Both of these things are also qualities that can be found in all of the films he’s made and by doing this he has solidified his own personal style and made it very obvious to anyone who views his page. This means that anyone who wants to hire him will already have a vague idea of what their film is going to look like. His website makes his filming style very clear, as well as his attitude towards film. Interestingly he has no bio or any words written about himself and what he does, he is reliant completely in how his website portrays him visually. The only other thing he has is his logo, which again is simple and states exactly who he is and what he does.
His style of promotion is very different to other production companies, for example Glued Films Ltd. They’re a company based in Manchester and have a decidedly different approach to promotion. Immediately you can tell that they’re working on a far larger scale than Bowler, mainly because their home page displays the logos of the many clients they are working/ have worked with.
They’ve made sure to put on there some of the more recognisable logos, as this is showing off to people that they’re a successful company and are skilled enough to be hired by big companies like that. This is a good way of promoting themselves, as potential employees are more likely to trust them with a job if they see that many other companies have in the past.
Unlike Bowler who used his videos as his first impression for potential clients, Glued Films instead has a short synopsis on their home page coupled with a showreel.
This is a faster and more compact way of showcasing themselves because visitors to the site will just have a quick read and a watch of the showreel, rather than browsing through all their films. Their style of writing is good in that it’s very to the point and tells you everything about the company in simple, once sentence points, but it’s also made more laid back by the use of humour. For example, they say that they want to make sure “every potential customer or client is Glued to the screen” (a pun on their company name) and in their ‘about’ section they say they “relaunched as Glued, a name we feel sticks a little better!”. These puns make them feel more personable and relatable. Sometimes when you look at a company like this you forget that there’s people there working for it, but this adds human connection. Another way they make it more personal is by adding headshots of all the team. Seeing all the photos of them smiling makes them appear more friendly and approachable as a company, reminding you that they’re ‘just people like everyone else’.
They’re also clearly a lot more active on social media. Bowler had links to his YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Twitter pages on his website and uses his social media to promote his videos to his followers. However his posts are a lot less frequent than Glued, who seem to be on their social accounts a lot, promoting their work but also interacting with their followers and answering their questions. They even have a link to their Twitter and Instagram feed embedded in their website.
Social media is the best way at promotion yourself, as there are so many people on there who are able to view your pages, like and repost your work and share you with their friends. Glued has created a virtual spiderweb, with links that stretch between social media accounts, websites and their film projects and it all links back to this one website, a place where you can find out all the details about their company.
For my third example, I want to use a filmmaker who’s made his mark in the industry in a very different way, using vlogging. It’s a way that has only become popular in recent years but is actually a very clever and impactful marketing tool.
Casey Neistat lives in New York and for the past few years he’s uploaded videos to YouTube, showing himself and what’s going on in his life. During this time he has managed to build up quite a reputation for himself and now works on shoots with companies like Mercedes-Benz, all just from talking into a camera.
Unlike both Bowler and Glued, he doesn’t have a website. His marketing lies fully in the area of social media, he is incredibly active on social platforms and it all links back to his main form of promotion, YouTube.
The reason for his amazing success is using the vlogging format to create his own very distinctive style, much like the way Bowler showed his filming style through his colour palettes, fonts and website layout. His way of vlogging is so unique and recognisable as ‘Casey’ that people have even made comedic parodies where they mimic his style.
From his editing style to his looks, he has his brand down. Even his sunglasses are now easily recognised as his.
His vlogs have a similar affect that the humorous writing and smiley photos from the Glued website have, in that they’re very personable. Because he invites you so closely into his life and you get to live it with him, the connection you get is far greater than any you’d get with other filmmakers like Bowler and Glued. This human connection people have with him translates into promotion for him via social media, because people like him, therefore they talk about him and repost him, sharing him with others. Companies pick up on the buzz, they hear about what he’s like and this is what gets him the jobs. Having a massive following of 5 million people like he does really helps, as companies see his following as a new audience to target and use him as the spokesperson. If he mentions their company, those 5 million people will hear it.
Essentially what he’s doing is the same as the other two, in that he’s created this hub on the internet with links people can follow that all lead back to him, but unlike the other two who keep work personal life and work life separate (Gareth Bowler goes as far as to keeping his face out of pictures, giving him a more professional appearance) Casey embraces the two as one and uses it to create a whole new way of being a filmmaker.