A Year of SPCotW

One year ago today, I launched “Self-Produced Clip of the Week” here at The Actors Voice. I continue to be inspired by the clips I’m seeing (both the ones I’m sharing each week and the ones in my inbox, waiting to be shared) and simply adore that actors are out there making stuff happen for themselves. I mean, why not? You’ve got the creative energy, you’ve got the ideas, you’ve got the time… produce! Yay!

So first, thank you to all of the wonderful and inspiring self-producing actors out there! I am so grateful that you keep sending your goodies my way. Next, I touched on some of the lessons we’re learning, six months in, and today I want to do a quick review of those lessons — so aspiring self-producers out there can start off on the right foot — and update the “best of” list so we can all remain inspired.

Shorter Is Better

Yep. I still believe this is true for almost every vid I’ve seen. It could be so much better if it were just a wee bit shorter. Less time lingering on a shot. Less overall length. Trust me while you’re in the editing room and try — for fun — to do one “way too short” version of your piece, for comparison. I’m betting, when you watch them both, you’ll find places that your “real” clip could lose some length and you’ll be happier for it.

Cement Your Brand

I mentioned six months ago the concept of using a blueprint before attempting to build a house. Yup. I still feel strongly about this. If you’re sinking your creative energy, your time, and your money into a self-produced concept, make sure you’re certain about what you’re selling, as an actor. What’s your type? What’s your brand? What are you trying to show the industry you can do, with this vid? You’re basically printing up a calling card. Make sure you know what you’re spelling out before sending everything off to the printer.

Be Ready To Move

Still essential: If you’re calling what you’ve produced “the first episode of a webseries,” have five other episodes in post before you launch. If you’re calling what you’ve produced “the trailer to a feature,” have a feature script written and partially financed. If you’re calling what you’ve produced “a weekly feature” at your blog, go up weekly. If you’re going to open to an audience eager to see what’s next, have “what’s next” ready to roll. Because if you aren’t ready to move, your ever-fickle audience will move ON.

Best of the First Year of SPCotW

Just like I said six months ago, it’s tough to choose my absolute favorites, but I’ve narrowed the field down to a Top 12 Favorite SPCotWs of this first year and I hope you’ll learn a bit about what makes a self-produced clip rock by checking these out. Get inspired!

California Marriage Protection Act PSA
The Day Player
The Gift Wrapper
Girl’s Night Out
Hollywood A-S-S-T
Hung Up
I Gotta Feeling Lipdub
The List
Odd Jobs
The Web.Files

Congrats to these rockstar self-producers for being among the best vids I’ve seen in the year we’ve been doing the whole SPCotW thing! You continue to inspire me and many aspiring self-producers who check out this column every week. Thank you!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001149.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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