In the film business, fans are your no.1 priority. Even more so than you and your films. Taking care of your fans is a ritual you should follow.
Without a paying audience eager to watch your films, your films become just another ego trip.
I have seen fans make and break filmmakers’ careers. When investors, production houses or sales agents are told that you have a huge social media fan following – that is engaged with you – they sit up and take notice. So you need to work hard to collect fans.
Engage With Your Fans
Once you have got fans, you need to invest in them to keep them. Get interactive. Engage with them all the time, even when you’re not expecting anything in return.
There are all kinds of perks that filmmakers offer on film crowd funding campaigns – take a look yourself. I always wonder why they don’t engage this way anyways- not just when they are soliciting contributions. But I digress…
What Your Fans Want
To keep your fans loyal, they need to see and hear you say and do things for them.
1. Fans must know that you are thinking of them all the time: Care about what they want to watch and what they say.
2. Fans want to hear that you are always doing your best for them with your films: Tell them why you are making a certain film and why they will enjoy it.
3. Never assume that your fans are not intelligent: Give them the credit, they know what they want and like.
4. Always communicate with an attitude of gratitude: You need your fans – not the other way round.
5. Don’t ignore or forget your fans once you have made your film: Fans won’t forget you.
6. If you or your film is in trouble – reach out to your fans: Not every one will be able to help, but they will understand.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for contributions from your fans: If your film excites or thrills them, they will be happy to pay for watching it.
Treat your fans with respect. Don’t push them or push stuff onto them. In my opinion, a filmmaker-fan relationship is transactional. But more importantly it is a connection of shared likes and aspirations. Aspirations that the filmmaker is able to capture and project on screen for the benefit of their fans.
I believe, all you have to do as a filmmaker is to read what’s on your fans’ minds and tell the story on film that entertains and satisfies them. This is the key to your filmmaking fame and fortune.