Personal branding is everything in the 21st century, particularly for professionals involved in the film industry. Film audiences are more attuned than ever to the individuals and business entities behind the productions they enjoy, and this has a lot to do with the constant flow of digital information. Let’s consider a 2019 film such as “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which as of September 12 had already collected more than $135 million in terms of domestic box office tickets; we are talking about a movie that runs two hours and 41 minutes, and which features a bit of revisionist history as a plot twist in the final scene.
With a budget of $90 million, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” can be labeled a financial success because this production has not yet entered the lucrative segments of digital video streaming and cable television. Aside from star power delivered by two famous actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, this film has choice branding behind it in terms of being directed by Quentin Tarantino, a respected American filmmaker. Younger audiences who may not be familiar with Tarantino’s work can always go online and research not only his previous films but also his personal profile, which has been formed from numerous interviews, essays, and film reviews.
Film professionals who work behind the cameras and in production offices should be mindful of personal branding. In the case of Tarantino, he is not active on social media because he qualifies as an old-school filmmaker whose profile was built by the legacy Hollywood media machine that he wrote a love letter to with “Once Upon.” Just about everyone else is expected to build an effective digital presence because this is what colleagues and film audiences expect nowadays.
Social networks and other digital platforms tend to grow organically; Facebook and Twitter, for example, tend to work better for actors. Those who work in the production side of the business should look towards Crunchbase, Instagram and LinkedIn. A Crunchbase presence such as this profile is highly recommended for movie producers who are equally active in the creative and funding aspects of filmmaking. Directors and everyone else involved in the technical processes of making movies should look towards Instagram because this is a highly visual platform. Having Instagram followers is one of the fastest way to spread the word about well, anything!
With regard to LinkedIn, anyone who is interested in networking should not only craft a detailed profile but also spend time on filmmaking forums, engage with followers, and ideally become a content contributor. A LinkedIn presence should be more than just a resume; it should be treated as the Hollywood networking parties of yore, which these days seem to be occasionally streamed on Facebook Live and Instagram.
As for those who work on the audio production side, they seem to be pretty good at gathering on SoundCloud and Vimeo, but they should not overlook platforms such as Shooting People, which is not as heavily slanted towards independent film productions as some people believe. In the end, unless you already enjoy the status of Tarantino, working on your internet presence is something you should really focus on.