Thursday, 21 February 2013

Standalone Company blogs

You should set up a company blog to represent your group production company; a fresh ident + logo for this would obviously be a useful addition (and can help with audience feedback).
In the listing of past blogs at I've included spearate links to company blogs (not all of which have that impressive!). Jonny/Joel's Vertigo Cinema, producer of A Bat in the Belfry (as featured in the 2011 Co-Op Film Festival), is a good example.



These are company blogs, and so there should be no mention of school, students, A-Level, Media Studies; you're presenting yourselves as a young, new company aspiring to gain a following and attract further clients.
If you look at real-world examples, a chatty, informal style is common, and you should feel free to replicate this. If its hard work for someone going through this blog or any post its not working!
As you're a genre specialist you could drop in genre references without feeling the need to always explain terms (sdame applies for media language/terms).

These are key to a good blog, making it easy to navigate but also more attractive. Start with the company logo (plus ident if you have one) at the top of the right-hand column (followed by the key gadget: blog archive). You can try out different blog templates/layouts if you want to.
Welcome to our blog... message at the top is also important, in setting out what the blog's about, who it's for, what it will feature, and maybe inviting feedback/comments.
Links lists are all important, and quick and easy to achieve, eg: Rough Cuts, Shoot Reports, Slashers That Influenced [your working title].
Jonny/Joel's Vertigo Cinema, producer of A Bat in the Belfry (as featured in the 2011 Co-Op Film Festival)
Less formal links lists can be added: Our Top 10 Slashers; The Worst Slashers Ever Made?; Awful Movies That Should Feature Freddie Krueger; Starlets We'd Like to See Slaughtered in a Halloween Movie.
RSS Feeds are simple but effective, just make them relevant: industry news, genre news - you can use links from The Guardian's film sections, but there are 1,000s of media-related sites out there that provide RSS feeds - do a wee bit of googling (even use some of the many links on my many links lists!!!).
Polls can be useful - but only if the question/choices are carefully thought through, and the date selected so that there can be feedback on results (and you'll need to push people to respond to it!).
Explore the blogger gadgets options - there are lots of them, not just the fish feeding gadget!

Start off with your company's creative vision: WT2 for example set out to produce low-budget UK movies that might appeal to a wider, international audience by centring on the popular areas of Humour, Horror and Heart, whilst ensuring that the parent company Working Title could keep in touch with its Indie roots and develop new talent who might not get the chance to work on the higher-budget WT productions; Warp X to make low-budget digitally-produced movies for a UK audience, led by creative not commercial factors, and to develop long-term creative relationships (as they have with the likes of Paddy Considine, Chris Morris and Shane Meadows).
Next: announce your debut production project, including the working title. Keep updating the production then: information (including any relevant podcasts/vodcasts or simply brief behind-the-scenes footage) about how the idea/narative/plot is evolving; the main characters (useful of course to make comparisons to characters from existing movies), without spoilers of course; the crew (director, cinematographer, editor, producer, location scout, costume designer, SFX co-ordinator etc: brief video from shoots providing evidence of the roles being carried out is useful); the cast (a simple vodcast: meet the cast); shooting schedule updates (just describe location and what part of the film is to be filmed); footage from/reports on shoots; preview material (ie rough cuts/sample footage/trailer); summaries of 'fan' feedback (feedback from FB pages/Twitter accounts on rough cuts etc); competitions/polls...
Plus of course you can simply blog on things we like/loathe (ie recent films etc relevant to the production)

You're marked on research into similar products (companies communicate with their audiences) + a potential target audience (again, getting feedback from a potential audience helps here), level of care in the presentation, plus (in the Eval) of understanding of issues around audience, institutions, technology (you have two Eval Qs on audience which this can help with, especially on how you attracted/addressed and audience) .

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