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Lights, Camera….errr…wait a sec…
The year is 1996. Here is Bethany, my daughter, aged three is pictured here with the ‘family’ trusty Kodak instamatic which belonged to me as a child, and was originally proudly purchased by my father for £2 19s 6d. He thought the detachable cube twirling flash a wonder of technology! I felt like James Bond owning one! Dad loves cameras and had his own darkroom and Durst enlarger, and while the images looked like they were filmed at 50 fathoms, we kids loved ‘em.
One of Dad’s amateur contact prints (120 neg) of my mum and him on Great Yarmouth beach.
I grew up to love photography, and my first job on leaving school in 1971 was as a colour printer at Colorlabs International in Newmarket UK.
Cinema was our second love and father took me to the ‘The Doric’ cinema where every Saturday I watched my heroes like, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and James Stewart, not forgetting Disney.
This is all rather nostalgic but stick with me a for a bit.
My Father was a very clever man who knew about cost and value. He would rather make our photos, because it was low cost (7/6d to develop a roll of film in 1963 or comparatively the cost of nearly 2 gallons of petrol) It was good value to him, because he could develop the photos with a personal touch at a fraction of the cost which gave him a double whammy of pleasure. Taking and making photos for pennies.
Then at the age of 55 years I discovered Vimeo and became an addict. I have seen short film makers create masterpieces worthy of huge accolades created on almost non-existent budgets.
If you are a short film maker whose talents are already showcased on Vimeo then you are reading this right now only because I have watched and loved your movie.
I’m also a businessman who knows that good value and good cost is good business. If I see that happy triage through the mists of a myriad of films, and one particularly stands out, I reach out and I grab it with both hands.
Perry Estelle at your service.
I’m an online publicist interested in promoting your movie too many thousands of people for around the price of a meal for two at Pizza Express. So, if that tardy comparison really doesn’t appeal to you, quit reading this, and no hard feelings, because I will probably just go ahead and promote your work anyway, albeit less obviously.
For around £50 I will do a lot for you, but that depends on exactly what it is you consider value for money against little cost? So, as a precaution I took a day off, to write this to you with the hope of not spoiling your surprises. So, please don’t skip to that link yet, or you will completely miss the import of what I am about to show you which is hugely relevant if we ever decide to work together.
Cinematographers are not just creative but they have vision. They are insightful and perceptive. That is the only reason I’m bothering to write to you, and not anybody else.
But before I offer you a proposition at any point, to see if you will throw 50 quid at me, I want to take you on a little journey to put my offer in perspective. So if you will take my hand……“I think cinema, movies, and magic have always been closely associated. The very earliest people who made film were magicians”
—Francis Ford Coppola
It’s astonishing how little £50 will get you these days but by the end of this article it may offer an insight as to what is the very best of what the green stuff can buy is in this letter.
Cash to promote your new movie as you unflinchingly work your fingers to the bone, may not appear or be cast to the wind sometimes. There are hundreds of promoters out there with entourages of PR & media, that will promise you box office bangs, and BAFTAS and who will also, except their retainer unblushingly but with no written guarantees
SORRY TO BE SO BLUNT, BUT…..
Don’t part with your money unless you get a product or service or investment worth at least 10 times its present value overnight! Not a blind bet. You need physical proof of organic growth of your investment within 24hours or less.
But first let’s talk about what you want. I mean what you really want. I’m not talking about fast cars or Rolexes necessarily. I’m talking about making it possible to, maybe, lift awareness of your film project.
I’m talking about not having to spend a fortune to get your project back on track, and having a more cash for the next one fun and less stress. You know, raising the bar and keeping on top of your game.
Remember, we are supposed to be in a worldwide recession. Recession works like this. Powerful banks and corporate organisations manipulate the economy earth wide, so the masses work harder, for less, then kick them when they are down, with more austerity measures, originally caused by the flaws and bad decision making of people at the top.
It’s not Recession but Oppression. What has this to do with the price of fish? The fact that, never before have there been such opportunities for short film makers. Has a lack of money ever made you give up your ideas? No, take it up a peg. What is going to get a film lover flip to your movie rather than watch anybody else’s?
What does it cost a film lover to watch your film and give you ‘likes’ ‘fans’ ‘views’ ‘friends’ ‘opt-ins’ ‘followers’ and lastly ‘tweets’?
Absolutely nothing! Just his time. Yet he has done something very important. He has watched your film and pressed ‘like’ or ‘retweet’or ‘share’.
Viral social network marketing costs zero. But it takes time to set up and organically grow. Time is money.
Yet on ‘Cost Versus Value’ and vice versa, viral promotion is your best investment for your film since the beginning of the industry. Fact.
But you know that, right?
So where do I come in?
I’ll spend the time to help you set up your viral Twitter campaign..
Let’s look at 3 sets of options. Edit as you go. I’m just thinking out loud. This is just my sketch on things, so be as critical as you like. I’m not a wealthy man but I like making money, but I’m not going to allow any government dictate to me how much I can earn or what I must do with it.
I want to make this affordable for you and spend my time promoting your movie for a fraction of what other promoters want, but more effectively.
I’m in the best business, and this is not some ‘drag & brag’ show. So forgive what may be my arrogance confused with ‘no frills’ frank advice. Just stick with me on this and all will become clear.
What else you gonna do with any funding you may have kept by?
Property: If you want to invest in property pretty safe, unless the deeds don’t mention an airport being built on there. The purchase means more money to upgrade or maintain. It has to make a profit that could take years. Lot of sweat and hope that house prices don’t slump or people try to sue you for having tenants that have turned the place into a drug den. Before you ask? Yes I know what it feels like to try to evict alcoholics and drug-pushers from a property I rented out as a ‘money spinning project’. The problem was I never saw rent just the evidence of what it was spent in before it never reached me.
Stocks and shares: Got to know what you’re doing and have a big toolbox of money that you are willing to throw away in the worse case scenario. I have a friend that lost his home with just one visit to the library computer station buying shares in Ionica.com during the big .com ‘bubble’. Before he had logged off on his hire time he had lost £38,000. He now lives in a park home and drives for the disabled community. He is a very proud man and he keeps stoic. He loves his job. He has to. He is one of the most goodhearted grandfathers I know. He held his head high through a tough break. He made the best of a very dark time. I don’t have his bottle. But then again sometimes the stakes are too high for some of us. We don’t all have to make the same mistake. I see this guy from time to time and I can still see in his eyes.
Don’t get me wrong. Some people stick to low risk investments but those odds are decided like on a horse running at the 2.30 at Newmarket. Only the bookies make money. Only the high rollers can afford to lose on an outsider and fix the odds to make sure that small gamers stay broke.
Do you think they will deal you in?
Switzerland got the best idea. Stay out of the rat race. No wonder they are neutral. Why go to war when you have all the money, anyway? Nobody loots their own money. Who is going to try and take money from a country that have mountain fortresses built to withstand multi megaton nuclear fallout shelters, where they can hide with all your money, anyway? I never once saw a vagrant in Switzerland the 2 times I visited there?? Go figure.
But I digress. I’m an author and marketing manager. It’s what I do. I’ll try not to lose the plot.
Franchises: Hey, I love taking risks but if you want to spend the price of a timeshare on a ‘trusted & tried’ system look forward to 24-7 of backbreaking work. If it means sitting in a coffee kiosk on a railway platform, just remember that at least 3 cups of latte out of 10 go to the franchisor. You never own the company. You are responsible for all losses and overheads and even acts of God. The paperwork has been done every day. You arrange stock delivery and pay for that up front. You still have to pay your staff if there are rail strikes or another rival coffee kiosk plants itself next to you. You need to deal with your own tax. Save for the next lease. Cover your holidays with staff that will always turn up and won’t steal from you. If you get sick, out performed by your other franchisees then you could lose the franchise contract with no refund on your investment. It’s time to wake up and smell the REAL coffee!
Hey, but could I invest my money on the Internet?
The Internet is already awash in its pink flush of youth with literally every conceivable ‘respectable’ ‘be your own boss’ so called opportunities, like, MLM, publishing. Or, affiliate marketing with Clickbank and A?mazon to highlight the big boys and many, many, other online merchandising networking sign up campaigns, just begging you too become an affiliate.
Yes, some people are making money doing this, but don’t think that, “the single Mum of five in Mabelthorpe” in her first month working part time is earning more than Lord Sugar just sending a few emails a day. Or, the teenager from Telford became an instant You tube Internet millionaire just by “following this simple ‘for dummies’ bombproof 3 step system.”
Can you see how millions of trusting ‘investors’ are duped on a daily basis with schemes, scams and baloney from ‘gurus’ who sold them down the Swanee.
Yes, it is possible to make a living or ‘sack your boss’ if you have a hungry audience, but not using any ‘get rich quick’ scheme.
All that is required is a ‘following’.
These followers also have ‘followers’.
More followers then follow those..
Before you know it “BOOOOOOOM!” In turn other follow them and then you have the mushroom effect.
It takes only 18 correct answers to win a Million on ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.
Imagine if you had 20,000 twitter followers who all had just 50 followers that retweeted your movie just once?
1 Million Retweets at the first level! That is without any of those retweeting at the second level which of course they will.
Ok! If you haven’t got 20,000 Twitter followers, what if I provided you with 20,000 fans to send your film or video to.
What if I gave you 100,000 twitter followers?
Say they had 50 followers each and re-tweeted just the once?
That’s a whopping….
5,000,000 retweets with just one action!
Welcome to the world of viral marketing!
That’s what I do. I find you followers on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram
Why do I want to work with you and nobody else?
My personal love is ‘shortie films’. Particularly those found on Vimeo.
I really am hooked. It is the most satisfying time to spend my dead time.
A cinematic masterpiece is always unique. No two pieces are the same. Out there in ‘viral land’ everybody will want to watch a short film whether its a funny animation or inspirational life clip.
Social networking is a great way to get your own creations out there, whether its film, an event, or your personal invention or creative experience. If its donations for your favourite charity, or an item for sale, or a holiday you are providing looking for then Twitter and Facebook is great value.
Twitter and Facebook are now the most effective way to promote your business service or product next to eBay.
So let’s look at the difference between value and cost.
Never a truer word said that “most people know the cost of everything but the value of nothing”
I just have one more thing that is so important I must share with you.
You need to believe in getting value for money.
It’s not worth travelling to Ikea using a full tank of petrol to get a half price bedside lamp?
(Hey, this is an Ikea veteran talking here!)
Cost and Value are an unbreakable marriage to a shrewd shopper.
Your shopping decision has an impact on those around you.
You don’t book a flight without knowing the destination, so never buy anything you haven’t fully checked out. I don’t care if its a paperclip or a Porsche. Do your homework.
Ok, so here is a bit of fun! Hold onto the sides. Just stick with me a little way further and you will see this will be worth the trip so hold onto the sides.
Social networking is about sharing.
It lets you:
Put cool images up
Showcase your talents
Excite viewers of your ‘short’ film on Vimeo or Youtube
If you are already social networking you will see the value/cost thing more than ever.
Last, but by no means least, here are 3 very compelling scenarios within a scenario I want to share with you.
Here is an illustration of weighing up true value against cost.
“Jake had been in retail for 10 years and never been promoted to floor manager. It was a very hot day. He sells chocolate giraffes. The boss had to go to a meeting and left him in charge. His boss said that if he made a good decision to help business in value rather in cost, that day, he could look at that promotion on his return. His boss hands him his cheque book.
“Listen, Jake. Whatever happens make the right choice. You got just one cheque to write, and one chance to make the right decision for my business. Don’t let me down or, its back to the cash register..”
All he had to remember was to deal with salesman calling, answer the phone, and serve customers, and above all as it was 93 degrees outside, make sure the air-con was kept on so the giraffes didn’t melt. It needed resetting each half hour. This was a little inconvenient but the unit was reliable otherwise.
At 11am a salesman came in and started his pitch:
“Hi, I see you have a rather sorry looking air-con system, sir, and a little past its best, if you don’t mind my candour. But, guess what, it’s your lucky day and I have a new top of the range one with me today. Its state of the art, latest remote control climate digital settings with full warrantee for life, right here for £5,000 including installation. Today only! What about it?”
“Hey, that’s great can I see a demonstration?” and asks the guy to bring the machine from the truck. At that point another salesman walks into the shop and heads for Jake with his sales patter.
“Hello Sir, my name is Jeff and I represent “Hot Potato Mailing Lists”. We are offering you a mailing list of 20,000 leads that have been especially identified by a demographic of customers and eaters of chocolate giraffes. One mailshot is guaranteed to yield a massive 4% return. That means a probable enquiry by 800 potential customers…Todays price, Sir, is just £1000. Would you like to order!”
Jake a little overwhelmed, and confused but eager to know more, asks.
“Hey, thats great dude! How many times can I use the names and the addresses on the list?”
Jeff the sales guy says; “Only once Sir. You get them on pre-addressed labels. You have to pay for the postage and printing for your offer too, but its still a great bargain, Sir..”
Jakes stalls, and at that precise moment his phone goes off. He gets a TWITTER alert. He makes his excuses and clicks on this link twitter.tintota.com
Over to you now!
What did Jake do?
How much does Jake write the cheque for his ‘once in a lifetime’ cost/value business decision?