March 20, 2013

How to Get People to See Your Short Film Online with Vimeo Curator & SotW Co-Founder Jason Sondhi

If you're a regular reader you'll be aware that work featured on Short of the Week sometimes makes its way to our pages. In fact, if you spend anytime at all watching shorts online, it's highly likely that SotW co-founder & Vimeo staff curator Jason Sondhi was (in)directly responsible for some of that work making its way to you. As filmmakers looking to find an audience for your work, I'm sure there are several questions you'd love to put to Jason, both in his curatorial role and as a producer who launched The Thomas Beale Cipher to 170K online views (now over 500K). Well, during a recent stop in Québec at the REGARD festival, Jason sat down for a 25 minute chat about his work at SotW and Vimeo:

Unfortunately the embed appears to have gone private, but the full interview can still be watched here.

There's a lot of insightful information in there, but some of the key elements that stuck out for me as someone who spends a lot of his time curating were:

  • Upload a trailer and set a clear release date.
  • Don't set that date over the weekend.
  • Actually think about it as a launch; get everyone you can behind it in those initial stages.
  • Reach out to sites/individuals with an established audience.
  • Make sure the film's description and (especially) thumbnail are enticing.

I would also add, make yourself easy to find and painless to cover; have a website, update your contact info, provide stills, write production notes and director's statements. You may have made the world's greatest short, but if people can't get hold of you or find everything they need to write up an article, your film will become nothing more than a pleasantly fading memory and last I checked, memories don't generate views.

What would you have asked Jason if given the chance?

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11 Comments

Thank you NO FILM SCHOOL.com & Mar Belle for this interesting post!

March 21, 2013

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Whats wrong with the sound?

March 21, 2013

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Laurel

Its saying private video when its embedded. I think you may have to go here https://vimeo.com/channels/shortoftheweek/61916222 to watch it

March 21, 2013

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Thanks Ben, I've updated the post with the link to the playable one on Vimeo.

March 21, 2013

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MarBelle
Writer
Writer/Curator

I have been following this advice for a while now. I finished a short film in the fall and have been waiting... and waiting... and waiting... to hear from festivals. The approach featured here is a sound and current one. I have several colleagues in the filmmaking-ball-of-wax that suggested I skip the whole film fest route all together and put the money for submissions towards an online marketing campaign. About half-way through a disappointing hail of rejection emails I decided to put this plan into action.

Bottom line: Everyone involved in making our film simply wants it to be seen! Waiting 6-12 months to hear that only a few audiences are going to see our film (most of them full of other filmmakers looking for someone to finance their next film) is not productive. That being said, we are grateful for the festival selections we have received!

There is a lot of valuable info in a blog by Sam Mestman (http://wemakemovies.org/resources-2/distribution-resources/about getting your film seen and distributed) about leaving behind the antiquated fairly tale of getting "discovered" for the new paradigm of independent - independence - filmmaking and distribution.

Following Jason Sondhi's advice, I have posted a new trailer for our film LAPSE, premiering on Vimeo Monday, March 25, 2013. Check it out if you're interested: https://vimeo.com/62396367

Perhaps we can be a case study of Jason's theory in action! I deeply value the advice, expertise, and artistry demonstrated on this site by both it's contributors and visitors every day!

March 22, 2013

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Here's a proper link for Sam Mestman's article: http://wemakemovies.org/resources-2/distribution-resources/

March 22, 2013

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shorts with the highest artistic value remain unseen in this (and old, too) system. The rules is simple; medium wins. Tottaly crap and masterpieces have always very limited audiences. It's corresponding to Kandinksy' triangle theory of art perception and it's obvious for any realist.
Some kind /mix of luck and effort make the very limited exception f.e. Greeneway cinema etc. - but no one give even Peter Greeneway more than 3 - 5 million to make his arthouse feature. it's simply to much money to invest, even in masterpiece.
It's reality of MEDIUM. Except clean tech&esthetics shorts, which are pleased, cause shows the trinket bubles of cinema :)

March 24, 2013

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I followed this advice to the T on our latest short film and really saw no bump in views over what I'd get by just throwing it up on Vimeo and posting it to Facebook with no fanfare. I set a date, then spent a month constantly tweeting, Facebooking, emailing, putting the trailer and poster up everywhere I could, etc... it was quite disappointing, to have put in all that work without any real results.

The main problem is that everybody is doing this now. So unless you have a big name or website behind you, you're not going to get any more notice than any other schmoe. It's just adding to the noise.

This is the curse of Vimeo, YouTube, social media, etc. My very first film remains my most successful, it played 30 festivals, won a few awards along the way... I think this is because it came before this, before "everyone" thought they were a filmmaker.

I'm gonna keep making films regardless... It's all I want to do. I'm just not sure how to garner any attention to them anymore.

May 18, 2013

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Welcome to short films

June 23, 2013

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Harry

Many people are talking about Lithasa ! what is it? http://www.lithasa.com .
I've see that some where a guy said that he liked the design. I myself went to the website and it is simple but good.
But I would like to know is it perfect for new authors and upcoming authors?
They do have a separate publishing model.
http://www.lithasa.com
Thanks
Harry

July 10, 2013

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March 15, 2014

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