Filmmaking is not all about art. If you want to be a prolific filmmaker, you need to know how to pitch well, network, and you definitely must have a personal brand. It’s all about who you are and what you want to be known for. It refers to the way other people see you. A ‘personal brand’ is in many cases synonymous with your reputation. This is very important especially if you are a budding filmmaker. You will find it essential especially if you’re networking, pitching your story or selling your film.
Find Your Brand Identity. Ask yourself the following questions: What do you want people to associate you with? What’s the first thing that comes to people’s mind when they see you? What type of films do you want to be known for? What is your personal style as a filmmaker? What kind of feelings do you want people to feel when they see you or work with you?
Have a Trademark Style. If you’re known for a particular style, do more of it so that you’ll have a trademark or statement. The auteurs like Hitchcock and Wong Kar Wai have recurring themes and trademark cinematic styles.
Wear Your Brand. Your personality should at least be seen by what you’re wearing. You don’t have to go crazy but it would definitely help if your look reflects your films. You can’t look like Nikki Minaj if you’re making a documentary film about the war or other serious topics. You can, however, if you’re making a fun web series. I know your looks may or may not reflect your works but it matters. And, if you’re going to make DVD, make sure your DVD packaging reflects you and your film!
Let the Right People Know You. Everyone talks about whom they know, what really matters are how many of the powers-that-be is going to endorse for your character and abilities. Make a list of people that you need to impress and focus on them. Try to be noticed by showing up and being useful to them and they will surely lead you to wonderful possibilities.
These are just the basics of branding yourself as a filmmaker. It is important to bear in mind that whatever you do has an effect on how people see you and your reputation, from the way you talk, the way you smile to the way you handle your crew. Time to sit on a corner and think about your personal brand.
James Hill is a veteran of the music industry. He first worked at Warner Reprise Records then later joined Interscope/ Geffen Records where he managed producers and songwriters and got his first platinum record for Keyshia Cole’s The Way It Is. He is now helping indie artists with branding and manufacturing through his company Unified Manufacturing, a CD/DVD/vinyl and merch company in LA.