Wednesday, September 21, 2011

TheGrill Conclusion: Being Social Is Key to New Media

Boy am I inspired! After attending The Wrap's conference TheGrill yesterday and listening to its incredible roster of media leaders, including - only to name a few - Facebook's Matt Jacobson, Huffington Post's Arianna Huffington, Modern Family's Steve Levitan, and will.i.am, I left with a renewed surge of hope for the future of indie filmmaking.

It also got me thinking about how I can be a strong part of this changing landscape toward a brighter future for indie film. My wheels are turning!

Arianna Huffington
at The Grill
My biggest takeaway from this conference is that every business, including film, needs to have a social aspect to it. As Arianna Huffington points out, we need to be building platforms that are all about engagement.

We should constantly be thinking about how to improve our social engagement and create a community who emotionally (and even financially) invests in our work. The thinking is that no company can thrive or even survive without social engagement in what they are producing.

This is so true for filmmaking. Every film should have a means of communicating and engaging with its audience. These means can include a Web site, Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog and so on.

Before buying the Huffington Post, AOL knew they had Trust and a Brand. But they had no Identity. By bringing the Huffington Post into the fold, they were bringing in an Identity. How smart.

It's that kind of thinking we indie filmmakers should have. We need to build an audience that trusts that we will create quality, entertaining stories through a brand they can believe in and promote that has a strong identity that they can point out in a crowd. This is something I work at every day with my films and my company Wonder Entertainment.

will.i.am, the closing speaker at TheGrill, is also engaging. He's trying to engage young people to go into science and education. The singer is an avid googler and tech nerd himself - he said he often sits in his hotels when he's on the road and googles all day long and teaches himself about new technology.

Recently, will.i.am put up his own money to put on a TV special that would entertain our youth while showing them the sexy side of a career in science and education. And he's working to help make his hometown of Boyle Heights a better place to live. As he points out, he has an elbow and it allows him to point at himself as the one who can inspire and make change. He also reminded us that we all have elbows and we should start using them too.

will.i.am at TheGrill

4 comments:

Brian said...

Biggest mistake in social among indie filmmakers is that many seem to talk about nothing but their film. It's just not how to engage and gather a potential audience.

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

Hi Brian,

Good point. What would you recommend they talk about as well?

BellaVida said...

When it comes to social media it's about connecting with people.

Talk about the topics you enjoy in your own voice whether it be film, writing, etc.

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

Totally agree BellaVida