In the bunker-like Microcinema at New Frontier on Main, Michael Brown of Digitaria kicked off the Digital Dive Workshop with his presentation on bringing online film marketing back to it's roots: the website.
"The opportunities to raise awareness with an array of free online social networks and tools has never been greater, but your core is and should always be your website," Brown continued, "Will these social networks be around in five years? Your website, however, can stay online forever." It's a great point he raises and the thought that a lot of filmmakers are foregoing a traditional site to solely market their film through a Facebook Fan Page is a sad reality. And it's a reality which is a result of the cost in designing, maintaining and hosting a website.
The most obvious solution as Brown pointed out was to include it in the budget of your film. It shouldn't be an afterthought, but rather part of the existence of your film. "Before even making your movie, think about the pieces of digital content you can create during the course of production. Unlike most sites which pull content you have the ultimate advantage of creating the content." Brown mentioned the 2010 Sundance Festival Film "Buried," where the whole film takes place in a buried coffin, and imagined the use of extra footage of the interior of the coffin for use later in some sort of interactive experience.
Another sad reality of the current state of independent film using new media is the lack of it. Lisa Osborne, partner of Jigsaw Global who put together Digital Dive, pointed out that most of the best use cases being presented today are from big budget films. "One of the reasons we were excited to bring Digital Dive to Sundance was to expose independent filmmakers to the advantage of new media." So for those that can't make it to Digital Dive I'll download the most pertinent information in following posts to ensure the next new media workshop is all about how independent films are rocking the digital landscape.