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OT: Self Promotion

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Eli Mavros
OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:50:44 pm

This is a little off topic, but seeing that it pertains to my editing career and there are some great and successful editors here, I feel like it is an appropriate place to post.

I've recently won a Broadcast Design Association award for the editing I did on a TCM promo. I actually won the same award last year for the same campaign. I am pretty excited about winning two years in a row (and quite surprised). I know that last year I never fully reaped the benefits of winning the award. I've decided that this year I need to do some sort of PR for myself, but really don't know where to begin. I feel like winning awards should be something that brings me more business, but I don't know how best promote myself. If anyone has any suggestions, it would be much appreciated.

My other question pertaining to this is that I would really like to segue out of commercial and promo work into long format work such as movies and television, but really don't know how to do it. Despite winning awards with my short format work, it has been impossible to get anyone to trust that I can do long format, simply because I don't already have long format credits to my name. How can I take this award and use it to make the career move that I want to make?

Sorry this is off topic.

Best,

Eli Mavros
Freelance FCP Editor
http://www.elimavros.com


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Franklin McMahon
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 2:20:39 pm


Be sure to put the award and award logo on the front page of your website, ensuring that everyone sees it.

The first step with winning an award is to let everyone know, and one of the best ways to let everyone know is to send out a press release. You can probably google for some good examples, and of course the Cow News is a large source of press releases. Look specifically at the ones that fill a page with a simple change or event. Such as "CBA Partners Uses New Sony Camera" or "GFH Productions Adds New Software". While there are press releases such as "Adobe Announces CS4" there are tons more on small changes made at big companies.

The reason these companies get bigger is they amplify most of what is happening. I have come to find out that no news is too small for a press release, if someone does not know the info, it is news. Writing and distributing press releases is a creative art form, but once you do your first one, it gets easier. Add in some quotes from yourself, info about the awards, etc. There are plenty of examples out there of press releases announcing that a company has won an award.

There are some press release services as well, for usually $99 they will blast your release to everywhere from Yahoo News to Grit (wait..is Grit still around?...)

Writing press releases is also a great way to get comfortable with pimping yourself. If you want to move to a different market, promoting your skills in many avenues is the key.

Frank


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Rafael Amador
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 4:42:17 pm

Also you could put something in your signature in the COW, at least the people around would know.
And also in your web sit: I had a look (Congratulation for your work man. Had you submitted your Demo Reel to the COW?) but I haven't found any reference to your awards.
Cheers,
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Eli Mavros
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:30:02 pm

Hi Rafael,

I think I submitted my website to the reels section of the cow some months back. Good advice about putting it into my profile. When I wrote this post I had not had a chance to update the website yet, but now there should be reference to the awards.

Thanks for the advice,

Eli

Eli Mavros


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 10:28:57 pm

[Eli Mavros] "I think I submitted my website to the reels section of the cow some months back."

They would be appearing on your profile page if you had added them, Eli. So I think you are recalling another site to which you have added them.

If you add them here, you can upload a video that is up to 900 pixels wide and up to 100MB. If you export them as 720p HD, the site will support them. Render using AAC audio settings.



Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Eli Mavros
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:26:32 pm

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the advice. Yeah, I should definitely put the award show logo on my page. Maybe I should even have a splash page with them.

I wrote a press release, but I'm not very good at "pimping" myself. I think I would be less embarrassed about it if I was doing business as a company, but I do business under my own name, and I rarely see press releases on places like the cow that is PR for an individual. I know it shouldn't matter. I also did the project with some friends of mine, and they are in the middle of re-branding themselves and trying to get representation and I don't want to steal any of their thunder by sending my own press release to the same publications as they are (they did mention me in their own press release).

I do want to do pr for myself though, as I am trying to segue into different editorial work.

Thanks for the advice.

Best,
Eli


Eli Mavros


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walter biscardi
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:30:09 pm

[Eli Mavros] "I think I would be less embarrassed about it if I was doing business as a company, but I do business under my own name, and I rarely see press releases on places like the cow that is PR for an individual."

All the more reason to do it. And if you look at Variety and entertainment type of magazines you see press releases or "sudo news stories" all the time about individuals doing this, that and the other.

For what it's worth, I hate splash pages. If you want to put the logos on your home page and then create a "Recognitions" page, that would be good. I'm completely redesigning my entire site right now and plan to add that as a page.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

Read my Blog!

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!


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John Cummings
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 5:40:54 pm

Eli-

Sorry, I don't have any concrete advice for you, but I will say with a reel like that, you shouldn't have much of a problem. Nice stuff.

Surely with all the DP's and Directors you know, there must be some good networking opportunities. Every gig I've ever had involved networking or keeping in touch with people I've met or have known.

I've always thought sneaking in the back door is always easier than trying to knock down the front...

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 5:59:11 pm

One way to promote yourself is with the COW's new Demo Reels section.

We support up to 900 pixel wide videos, up to 100MB in size.

There are some fabulous reels in there and each day the traffic grows in this new addition to the COW.

Here are some great ones that are helping drive the traffic...

reels.creativecow.net

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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Todd Terry
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 25, 2009 at 6:04:17 pm

No real advice on self-promotion, Eli... but just a couple of comments.

Firstly, your works is absolutely top notch. Those two TCM "31 Days of Oscar" spots have long been my absolute favorite promos... ever. They are just soooo seamlessly crafted, and have such stunning attention to detail. Every time I saw them I saw something new and different and cool... but they never felt cramped or crowded. As I said, they've always been my favs, even before I knew who did them.

Secondly, make sure your website is fully accessible. I'm usually on big monitors with wide vistas, but today, I happen to be on a machine with a not-so-huge screen while my normal suite is being re-vamped. I thought your site looked exceptionally cool and clean, but was frustrated by the fact that it was bigger than my screen size, and could not be resized (scaled down) to fit. That left me unable to see some of the info I was trying to read because it was a "no scroll" page and I couldn't get far enough down (I even tried two different browsers). Finally (duh) I realized it was no-scroll because the entire page was Flash, and was able to click "Show All" in the Flash to be able to see every thing. Not a big deal for me, but I did have to jump through a few hoops and was willing to do so because I was very interested in seeing it. For someone less likely to take the effort, it might could be made easier.

SUPER stuff.


Oh, btw, cinematographers will tell you the "Jaws"-esque dolly/zoom you mentioned in that great Shark Week promo is called a "trombone shot." Your useless trivia for the day.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Larry Melton
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:15:17 pm

Eli:

I don't have a lot to add about how to parlay awards into more work. Like you, I tend to assume that people will notice and that will be enough. But of course, it's not - you have to sell it.

More importantly, let me echo Todd's kudos here - the TCM promos are as finely crafted as anything I've ever seen. I think the best thing about them is that they convey a sense of love and reverence for these films. Even if I was completely unfamiliar with them, I would understand from this promo that these films were important and mattered in people's lives.

When I see amazing stuff like this, I always want to know more about the process of creating it - it appears to have been a pretty huge undertaking. How many hours of editing? What software did you use to composite? How many days shooting in studio? What was the budget? Maybe you should consider an article for the COW magazine.
I'd pay twice what Ron charges to read that :).

Congrats on the well-deserved recognition. I feel like I won an award just watching this.



Larry Melton
Triangle Productions Inc


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Eli Mavros
Response to Larry
on Jun 26, 2009 at 3:03:56 pm

Hi Larry,

Wow! Those were some very nice compliments. I really appreciate that people enjoy these spots as much as I enjoyed making them. Even though I worked on them, I still get tingles watching them sometimes, because these movies are so great and so important...doesn't it make you want to just stay in and watch old movies all day? It makes me want to.

These two spots were quite a big undertaking as you thought. I did them with two friends of mine who have a small Brooklyn-based studio, Fresh Paint. They are both Maya guys and did all the 3D and compositing (working around the clock for over a month). The compositing was all done in After Effects. As far as editing hours go...well, it took a long time. I think the 2008 spot may have taken longer, as we were in chartered territory. The 2009 spot posed an entirely different challenge...to keep it feeling fresh! We were very careful not to just rehash the same spot and ideas from the year before. There are, of course, some similarities in places, but we were happy in the end that it felt different than the previous year's.

Both years presented the unique story telling challenge of not only developing a two dimensional narrative of classic movie clips, but also of moving that narrative into a three dimensional space. At times it was a maddening task, to not only have clips play off each-other on screen, but to figure out how their placement and relationship to each-other would create environments that seamlessly transition from one vignette to the next.

As for shooting, all of the stagehands in the 2008 spot were shot over the course of a day on green screen. We recycled the stagehands for this year's spot, except for a couple...which I shot one afternoon with my girlfriend. In the war scene I'm the stagehand that hides behind the sandbags with a rifle, and my girlfriend is the shadow that walks off stage and waves at the end. Those were last minute additions that I did for Fresh Paint for no budget and no pay...they did not have any time or money for it, but I just wanted them in there so I took it upon myself to make it happen, haha. I don't know what the overall budget was, but I know that there was less budget for this year's, even though the previous year's spot had swept the BDA awards. It was especially strange that there was less budget,seeing that they wanted the 2009 spot to be a full :30 seconds longer than the 2008 one. Oh well...I guess it is just the economy.

Hope that clears things up!

Cheers,
Eli




Eli Mavros


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 3:46:54 pm

[Larry Melton] "I'd pay twice what Ron charges to read that."

Heck, I'd pay three times what I charge to read it.

So, do you see my raise and are you still in the hand, Larry?

;o)

Ron Lindeboom


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Eli Mavros
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:44:01 pm

Hi Todd,

Thanks so much for the kind words; I am very flattered. Also, thanks for the trivia, I had no idea there was a name for that type of shot...trombone...I like it. Next update of the site, which should be sometime this week, I will change the description on Shark Week to include that.

About the size of the site, yeah, I am not so good with the web stuff...I had tested it and thought it worked on most monitors, etc...but I guess not. Could you happen to tell me what size your screen was you were looking at it on? Also, were you on a mac or PC? Hopefully this doesn't happen too often.

Cheers,
Eli

Eli Mavros


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Eli Mavros
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 26, 2009 at 2:34:49 pm

Hi John,

I couldn't agree more about networking. I wouldn't have gotten where I am so far without networking...I would say about 95% of the work that I do is thru some degree of separation to a friend or co-worker. What I want to do is move out of my comfort zone and work on other types of commercials (narrative and dialogue driven), as well as try my hand at TV and Film. I have found it very difficult to segue into these other territories, but I'm hoping that if I email blast some companies and alert them about my award that maybe they will be willing to take a chance on me even if that is not the type of work I have under my belt. I recently had a trailer company take such a chance on me, and I think they were pleasantly surprised and happy that they did (at least I think so...haha).

Thanks for the advice.

Best,
Eli

Eli Mavros


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Jodi Kaplan
Re: OT: Self Promotion
on Jun 29, 2009 at 7:06:33 pm

Hello Eli,

First of all, your work is stunning!!

Secondly, I found this forum through LinkedIn (attracted by the name) and thought I could help. I agree that you should add the award more prominently to your site. A press release can be a great way to get attention, but it can't be a fluff piece about your company.

When you stitched together those unrelated clips for your ad, you had to put them together and connect them in a way that told a story, and that made narrative sense. The same thing applies to a press release. Nobody will read it unless it tells a story - not about what you've won, but what about the award, or the circumstances, or the process was special.

There has to be a hook that draws the reader in. For instance, "child makes paper airplane" is not a story, but "3 Year Old Girl Sails Paper Airplane to Record 500 Foot Flight" is.

Also, do not email blast people about your award; they won't care. The award is great, and you deserve it, but potential clients want to know what can you do for them. What about you is special, and how will that help your clients to save time or make more money or reduce stress? You've got to build up trust and credibility before asking for the sale.

Hope this helps.

Jodi




Jodi Kaplan
http://www.kaplancopy.com/blog


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