All posts tagged: tips

The 7 Blogging Rules I’m Always Breaking

Lately I’ve been thinking about all of the sort of universal blogging and social media marketing rules that I should be following, but don’t. The truth is, I break most of these rules despite knowing that they would surely improve my blog. But is Catch-all successful already? Well that depends on how you define success… In almost every way you look at it, my blog isn’t successful. I’ve been working on it for years and it hasn’t taken off yet and may never. But that’s okay, because I like writing and blogging, and for that reason I consider it a triumph in my own terms. Catch-all is a place where I can share my thoughts and photos, and people will either read what I write and engage – or they won’t. And that’s okay. Though I’m still trying to figure out what the identity of this blog truly is and how to best support it, I’m also just enjoying the journey and not giving it much thought. But after working on this list it became clear that if I do ever want …

Getting Lucky

I used to work for a person who was a total jerk but gave me some sound career and life advice: You create your own luck. While there are numerous factors which may impede both our daily and long-term pursuits (race, gender, class, disability, etc.), we can always be our best selves. As someone who is motivated, though often scared of truly putting myself out there, sometimes I seem to get in the way of my own potential. I second guess my ability and worry about what people may think of me or my work, and as a result, I usually play it safe. But if you pay attention to many of those with successful careers who weren’t born with immense privilege (Queen Oprah comes to mind), at one point – or more like many – they put it all on the line. They certainly got lucky when making their way to the top, but they had to work hard to get lucky. What is required of someone who creates their own luck? They’re assertive, confident, and driven. They are unflappable and unafraid …

My Advice for Incoming Grad Students

After completing my first year of graduate school, I jotted down a list of things I had learned and wished I knew before starting my program. While each graduate student’s experience can be astronomically different from the next’s (depending on one’s school, program, and their tendencies as a student) there are a few pieces of advice that I think are somewhat universal when it comes to surviving graduate school, and more importantly, retaining your happiness and wellbeing in the process. 1. Having great time management skills is necessary for getting through your program… Time management isn’t just a good school skill, it’s a necessary life skill. In order to make it through your masters program you must understand your priorities for every day, week, month, semester, and year. How each individual deals best with organizing their time varies person to person, but for a good starting point check out About Education’s list of general tips for time management in graduate school. 2. Practicing self-care is crucial… A few months ago I posted about practicing self-care, which I think is important no matter what stage of your life you are in. …

Tips on Marketing Your Short Film or Web Series

How To Market Your Short Film or Web Series [ and spread the word about your fundraising campaign ] 1. First things first – consider your audience. Is your short film or web series a comedy? Horror? A horror comedy? Know who would genuinely enjoy your project and who wouldn’t. Make your intended audience as defined as possible. The tendency will be to say that anyone of any age will be interested in your project, but that’s simply not the case. Be honest with yourself. 2. After you’ve pinpointed your audience, create a marketing timeline that coincides with production. For example, during pre-production you will want to start developing a fan base through social media, and by the end of your film you may be looking for distributors and sharing your press kit. Have a marketing strategy for every point of production and beyond. 3. If you are fundraising for your film or web series, be sure to build hype before you launch your campaign. Know that you will essentially be marketing for two entirely …

Practicing Self-care

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political welfare.” – Audre Lorde About a month ago I had an incident that made me realize I need to focus more energy on my well-being and prioritize practicing self-care. I believe that in order to be my best self (which means doing my best for others too) there are certain steps I should take to ensure my emotional, mental, and physical health and happiness, and you should too! 1. Understand the importance of your health and wellbeing. As I get older, I realize that when my body and mind are out of whack, everything’s out of whack. I know it’s a common phrase to hear, but it’s true: when it comes to our mental and physical health, everything is connected. In order to do my best as a student, daughter, friend, sister, and partner, I have to first do what’s best for my body and mind. 2. You must find time for rest and relaxation. In this day and age (thanks, in part, to the demands …

8 Social Media Tips for Indie Filmmakers

I think I have a fairly strong grasp on marketing, specifically social media marketing, and how to expand the reach of a creative work or business. Why? In college I took courses on film and television promotion, worked as a student brand manager for Red Bull (one of the most well-known and promoted brands in the world; read more here), and during my senior year I marketed an Indiegogo campaign that funded my entire thesis project. Now, I use social media to expand the reach of this blog and am developing a formidable readership. Here are a few of my social media tips for indie filmmakers, but these suggestions can also be used toward any creative or business endeavor: 1. Keep your personal social media accounts professional and always include links to your creative work. 2. Know your audience. 3. Utilize platforms that align with your audience. If you are doing an experimental coming-of-age film, consider using Tumblr and Vimeo for your social media marketing campaign. On the other hand, if you’re working on a social justice documentary, maybe Twitter and YouTube …

Ways to Break Out of a Creative Rut

This was originally posted last February, but I’m back in a creative rut and I thought it was the perfect time to revisit it and try to take my own advice! Please share your tips and tricks for getting out of a funk in the comment section below.  * * * I’m in a creative rut. So what do I want to talk about? Tips for getting out of a rut, because I know what I have to do. Take a few days to focus on yourself… I’m a huge fan of “mental health days” – but if you don’t have paid sick days or are simply too busy at work to have the opportunity to take time off, be sure to do little things for yourself throughout the day. Buy a cappuccino from your favorite coffee shop, go for a walk during your lunch break, cook your favorite healthy dinner, and make sure to start that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch for months. Relax and take a few naps… When you’re not at work, take it easy. Sometimes the weekends are …

Crowdfunding Tips for Filmmakers

For many, crowdfunding is an excellent way to fundraise for a short film or web series. For those who are trying it out for the first time, here are just a few tips to make your experience more enjoyable and successful. 1. Determine what site you want to fundraise on. I recommend Indiegogo, but there are other options such as Seed&Spark or Kickstarter. In general, I don’t recommend using Kickstarter because if you don’t reach your goal, you don’t get funded. 2. Have a realistic budget in mind. If you’re asking for too much you may scare away potential donors or not reach your goal. Ask for too little, and extra expenses will be coming out of your pocket instead. 3. Develop a detailed outline of your expenses and share it with your campaign. 4. Determine how long you want your campaign to last. At the very least, make sure you have a month to fund raise. If you are asking for a significant amount of money ($10,000+) add more time to your campaign. No matter what the goal is, I believe 15 weeks should be the maximum amount of time …

Moving Away From Home & Easing the Transition

It doesn’t matter what point in your life you find yourself, moving away from home can be extremely difficult. Although I’ve been in Los Angeles for four months now and absolutely love it, I’m still dealing with the complications of a transitioning lifestyle. I thought moving to California would be a simple change because I came with my boyfriend, already knew a few people in the city, and am just a quick flight away from home. I visited often enough to be absolutely sure that I wanted to call Los Angeles home (thank goodness I didn’t move and discover I hate it), but I completely underestimated the fact that such a substantial change would come with a few bumps in the road. No matter how old you, where you’re going, or where you’re coming from, uprooting and forging a new path can be complicated, lonely, and stressful. Based on my experiences thus far, here are a few tips I have for anyone moving away from home: 1. You will probably be spending more time alone, and that’s okay. Before moving, and especially during college, I was …

Recommended Reading: Ava DuVernay On How to Stay in Control

From Indiewire’s Shipra Harbola Gupta → Tribeca: Ava DuVernay’s 8 Tips to Filmmakers On How to Stay in Control. Ava DuVernay is quickly becoming one of my favorite people to listen to give advice on just about anything – but in particular, filmmaking and living a creative and fulfilling life. Her SXSW Keynote Speech was beautiful and truly informative, and her talk with Q-Tip at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival was no different. It’s so refreshing to read about a woman who is a filmmaker, is making things she believes in, and is doing things her way. Shapira Harbola Gupta breaks down DuVernay’s talk with Q-Tip into 8 tips for filmmakers on staying in control of your work. Check it out here.