ONE COLLECTION OF FOOTAGE. COUNTLESS FILMMAKING POSSIBILITIES
Stray Cinema is an open source film project. It is a unique experiment in film construction and distribution, allowing many movies to be made from one source of footage.
Essentially, you can head over to the site, download free footage and create your own film. The project itself is a fantastic creative opportunity for filmmakers and editors out there but it’s also a genius marketing strategy. What better way to promote a feature film then by creating a community around it? Today’s fast paced world is full of viral marketing and social media fueling groundbreaking ideas every second of the day.
Stray Cinema Founder and Co-Director Michelle Joy Hughes elaborated on the unique approach to independent filmmaking:
In this new world we are trying to think outside the box about how we distribute and make money from our films.
What inspired the idea of Stray Cinema?
Originally (back in 2006) I shot my first film on mini-dv camera. At that time I was interested in digital filmmaking being more accessible, allowing a different type of person to tell their story via film. At first I was going to send my footage out to 5-6 other filmmakers to re-edit, but then thought why limit it to 5 or 6 when the whole world could have access to this footage, and in doing so embrace topics such as open source, file sharing, Creative Commons and social networking. From there I worked in collaboration to develop Stray Cinema, an open source film.
How will this type of marketing evolve in the future?
I think audience participation early on is key, especially if you have a niche product, the internet is the ideal platform to find your people, and find them early. From a filmmakers blog about the production right through to remixes of raw footage, there are many many possibilities. If nothing else it builds a unique story around the film and the people involved.
The importance of a creative marketing today is key, especially for independent filmmakers. What advice would you give other filmmakers out there looking to use tools like social media to their advantage?
Start the conversation early, not when the film is finished. Have a story to tell a story about the story. Finally be creative, and inspire your audience, try and give people a reason to keep thinking and talking about your film.
Special thanks to Michelle Joy Hughes