One of the keys to becoming a successful indie filmmaker/creator is to build an audience that is willing to support your work. BTS (or behind-the-scenes) photos are one of the easiest and most obvious ways to connect with your audience, it’s pretty much filmmaking 101. At minimum you should be remembering to whip out your cell phone every once in a while. At best you’ll be putting some planning into it and be strategic in your BTS photos and videos.
Lately I’ve been using my personal Instagram account to drop some hints about my next project. As development continues and we move into fundraising, the opportunity for photos only increases. Instagram is great because it’s fast, easy, and free – all important components to the shoestring indie project.
When Instagram infamously updated their Terms of Service, I almost deleted my account. Actually, I still would like to delete my account. Do you let some app retain a license to photos promoting your film? Or do you go to a lot of extra work to create your own, self-hosted, gallery? Happily, it looks like there will soon be a solution to this dilemma.
Meet Pressgram, an app that will have all the ease and simplicity of Instagram, but allows you to publish your photos to your own website instead. The traffic to see your cool set photo now goes directly to your website, which is where you were trying to get people to go in the first place.
You see, you now get more creative control over your content than ever before. You won’t have to “license” your photos from the app or the company – they are yours forever and you’ll never see them anywhere else except your own profile and blog.
Awesome, right? You get to keep posting those pretty filtered photos to promote your projects, and you get people clicking to your website instead of away from it. Plus, with a little thought this could be an interesting tool to utilize on a transmedia series like The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It would give you the functionality of a photo sharing site without splitting your audience across too many platforms.
There is currently a Kickstarter campaign to fund the completion of Pressgram, and if you’re an independent media creator, I think you should seriously consider donating. Yes, I know that as filmmakers we are now constantly bombarded with crowd funding campaigns being run by our friends and acquaintances. But this isn’t some weird looking web series by that one PA on that set you worked three years ago. This helps YOU. It will make your projects better. As of this writing, there are 9 days left and the app is getting very close to the goal, so get thee to Kickstarter and donate.