What is at the core of filmmaking? It's the same thing that made us want to pick up a camera in the first place. Storytelling. But, as things tend to do, the landscape of media consumption has evolved to match our changing needs and desires. Platforms like Twitter, YouTube, and Netflix have sprung up to accommodate this change, but have the ways we tell stories followed suit? Gary Vaynerchuck doesn't seem to think so. In this 99U talk, the best-selling author and founder of VaynerMedia describes how to be better storytellers in today's "A.D.D. Culture."
Though Vaynerchuck's reference to storytelling encompasses everything from tweets to feature films, his message is an intriguing one -- one that all filmmakers could certainly learn from. He explains that storytellers need to be aware of how their audience is changing. We live in a time where we can consume media how we want, when we want, and where we want, and so grabbing and/or keeping one's attention isn't as easy as putting yourself in front of their face.
For indie filmmakers, the very thing that gave our films a fighting chance to be seen, direct distribution, has actually helped facilitate the over-saturation of the industry. How do filmmakers make their mark and carve out their own fanbase when there are over 6 billion hours of video on YouTube with 100 hours more hours being uploaded every minute?
"I feel that the far majority of people -- all across the board are storytelling like it's 2007 in a 2014 world."
Vaynerchuck offers some ideas on how to better tell your story, namely if that story is the one you tell your potential audience about why they should check out your creative content. A major theme he touches on, and one that was particularly interesting to me, was this idea that the context in which a "story" is told is just as important as the content. The "stories" we tell on Facebook are different than the ones we tell on Twitter, Vine, Kickstarter, or Instagram. (I admit, the videos I share on YouTube are completely different than the ones I share on Vimeo.) Different platforms will inherently bear different contexts for storytelling.
Check out the video below:
What are your thoughts on what Vaynerchuck talked about? Considering the rate at which content is made and shared, as well as our ever-shrinking attention spans, how can indie filmmakers better reach current/future audiences? Join the discussion in the comments below.