It’s had its festival run, but now I’m itching to release my short film, ‘Flutter’ online.
The problem? I’m afraid to do it. Maybe it’s silly of me, but I’m worried that releasing my short online will somehow degrade its value. What if people don’t like it? Maybe it will be lost in the sea of better short films or worse, not seen at all. Perhaps putting my short film online means it’s no longer important…
Then again, there are thousands of videos on YouTube and Vimeo that are absolutely wonderful and I’m glad to have been able to see them. As a filmmaker, I learn a great deal from watching these films. There is always something to gain from watching, whether it’s an artist’s experience, more knowledge about film techniques, or just a great watch.
Can a filmmaker find success from posting their films online?
Yes. Many artists and filmmakers alike have been discovered on the Internet. Most recently, Fede Alvarez has been thrust into the limelight both for being found on YouTube with his short film, ‘Panic Attack’, and for being hand picked by Sam Raimi to direct the remake of his cult classic film, ‘The Evil Dead’.
That’s a pretty big deal.
In fact, Alvarez had never directed a horror film or a feature, but Raimi saw enough talent in him to trust him to direct a future blockbuster.
Maybe there’s hope for the rest of us small filmmakers? I really hope so.
Either way, there are still plenty of other reasons why I’m personally afraid to release my short film online, namely the ‘views’.
Viewing counts, total plays, whatever they are called… I think about those stats as a sign of success or failure. Somewhere in the back of my head I am also aware that good or bad promotional tactics affects those numbers. Since I am not an expert in that field, I can only pray for lots and lots of views. Hence, the black and white notion of success or failure.
With social media creating a cyber popularity contest, I feel even more pressure about releasing my film on the web. After all, I want people to see my work and like it, but in order to do that; I need to make myself known on the Internet. Easier said than done.
For those of you out there with lots of followers on various social platforms, I applaud you. I don’t know HOW you do it. Personally, I want people to follow my work because they support what I do. The tricky thing is getting my work and myself visible enough to achieve this.
Yet another struggle an indie filmmaker must face, as if we didn’t just make a film.
There are so many things to consider, but the more I think about it, the more I see that perhaps releasing my short film online is a good thing.
After all, isn’t the point of making visual art for people to see it? If the Internet is my only future platform for my short, than it’s probably what I should use.
Since I also plan on creating a Kickstarter for another short I have written, it may be best for people (perhaps future investors) to see the kind of work I am capable of making.
Furthermore, one view online is one more person I can add to my audience. Surely, that can’t be a bad thing? (Unless it’s a critic, but I am prepared to handle that).
I’m sure there are many filmmakers who struggle with the dilemma of posting their work online, but I think I may finally understand where I stand with it.
So what is my film, ‘Flutter’ about?
A non-linear construction of adolescence. Following the lives of three sisters, the film confronts a young girl's first experience with heartbreak. Challenged by the implications of first love and loss, it is up to Kaylin and Olivia to get their sister, Lena through this moment in her life. The bond of sisterhood and growing up are at the forefront of this short film.
I plan to release it April 16th via Vimeo and ChelseaLupkin.com.