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SamBorowski's Blog

May 21st, 2012 Comments

What MAKES Sammy Run? – ACTORS AND FILMMAKERS – YOU MUST BOTH “BRAND” YOURSELVES TO BE SUCCESSFUL

 

 

PHOTO TAGS:

Samantha Tuffarelli putting her best Brand forward, as she uses her “other” skill dancing, in the television pilot, “SUPERFANS.”

Daniel McQueary, holding the Chris Caddel Flatland Filmmaker Award for “ALFRED THINKS WE’RE ALIENS,” at the Flatland Film Festival inLubbock,Texas.

 

This BLOG applies to both filmmakers and actors, alike. So, listen up, get a paper and pencil, you might want to jot a few things down. ;)

One of the key mistakes I’ve seen both actors and filmmakers make is the lack of Brand Marketing with their products; ie their movies, their characters and obviously, most importantly, themselves.

As an actor – or a filmmaker – you are your own, “Brand.” I’ve often heard actress Samantha Tuffarelli say she is the CEO of Her Own Company, and that is a nice and healthy way to look at it.

Think about it for a moment. You have your imdb page, to list your filmography, your awards, show your photos. You have all of the Social Networking sites, not the least of which is ForTalent, if you hope to be in this business. You should be making press kits up – NOT just for your films, but for Your Brand … You!

A press kit that has a photo of you on the cover, with your business card enclosed, your articles in the media, your imdb page and resume, etc, etc. Regardless if you are an actor or a filmmaker, you can hand these out at film festivals. I once worked with an actress who overcame a lot simply in her Brand Marketing. She had these exact press kits I am describing here, and would bring them to every festival. Heck, on one of the films I produced, she took a picture with every member of the cast and crew – paid for frames – and gave them out at the wrap party.

While I do believe her gesture of the pictures was genuine, it was also the smart play. And, it was also quite an interesting way to get your Brand out there. While this was not Tuffarelli who did this, I am sure she could appreciate -  as the CEO -  getting her Brand out there in a positive way.

Again, though, I am shocked by how many actors and filmmakers fail miserably at this. Just the fact that some people have resisted ForTalent or take their time signing up for such a valuable – and free!! – site is amazing to me. Yet others, like Tuffarelli, have taken advantage of it. She has already won the contest I sponsored, and she will tell you it paid off dividends for her. Well, just listen for yourself.

“For Talent is wonderful,” Tuffarelli smiled. “For anyone who’s not on it, you should go on right now and sign up. It’s free of charge. It’s awesome. You have to take advantage of it.

“What better place to connect with other actors, writers, directors, producers – just anyone in the industry. You can showcase all your work, your post videos, post pictures. For me ForTalent was awesome. I was fortunate enough to win (a monologue contest sponsored by Sam Borowski). Wow!

“(Sam) believed  in me enough to pick me as a winner. And, in getting to know me (through winning the contest and then) even more taking his classes, I’m fortunate enough that he’s hired me in a movie for the summer (“A PLACE FOR HEROES”).

“It all happened because of ForTalent – because I was on there, and I joined the contest, and I won, and I met Sam. And, then, from taking his class and from him getting to know my work, he put me in the film, so I’m really excited about that.”

Let me tell all of you, she truly earned it. But, one thing she did besides earn it – was make the most of it. She had – and still has – tremendously attractive and colorful business cards. I still remember a dinner with her in January, where she beamed, “These are my new postcards,” and they were of high quality. She is charming – without really trying to be- and thus, she is never at a loss to push her Brand.

But, truly, she is in the minority. I know it – I see it all the time. People say they want this business, but their actions don’t back up their words. They don’t push their Brand hard enough or in the right way. They barely do the bare minimum (yes, we’ve discussed this already lol).

Let me tell you about another person I met, a filmmaker – Daniel McQueary. I met him at the Trail Dance Film Festival back in January. This kid knows how to make friends, network and push his brand – in a calm and very nice way. A little over a year out of college, he has already learned to work the festival system. I still remember thinking, “he reminds me of me a decade ago,” as I watched him chase down the Bare Bones Film Festival people, who had a presence at Trail Dance.

He PLAYED at that festival … and won an award!

Moreover, he is talented, he is humble (a rare quality in a filmmaker), and I am proud to call him my friend.

But, he is a rarity. I meet so many filmmakers who take a laissez-faire approach. “I won’t waste my time on another social  networking site.” “I won’t put the money into post-production.” “Who needs press kits.” “Not going to that festival – have to save my cash, going on vacation.”

They are lucky if the business doesn’t take vacation from them! It’s the same with the actors that don’t want to spend the money or time or work on a real acting class. You have to put time, money and original thought into marketing your Brand!

Or as my friend, screenwriter, Joshua Runyon likes to say about people who DON’T passionately approach and market themselves, “"If not, find a different career, you know?"

And let me tell you about Josh, despite the fact that he fights the same uphill battle as other screenwriters, he actually has sold t-shirts – bearing the logo of his Production Company, Deus Ex Machina – in 3 different countries!

So, if you’ve been jotting this all down, let me explain; no there is too much … Let me sum up:

Have the courage to stand up there and say, “This is who I am! This is my Brand! It is valuable!” But, you do that, not necessarily with words, but actions.

As Samantha Tuffarelli would say, “Be the CEO of Your Own Company!”

And when you do, make sure you successfully market your Brand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Sam Borowski Samantha Tuffarelli Branding Daniel McQueary actor Actress filmmaker


Comments

joshuatrunyon

Thank you for mentioning me. I'm happy to see that my brand has entered three countries so far because it's always important to remember the foreign markets when in filmmaking, as a higher percentage than ever before of a film's revenue is coming from overseas. Here's to much success in the States and abroad!

samanthaTuffarelli

Thanks for quoting me and shouting me out!! Because as much as this business is about talent, it is called business for a reason and alot of us forget that. You have to take control of how people perceive you and by giving them a press kit of what you want them to see makes people focus on what you want them too! A little trick I learned from Sam! And because I am CEO of myself I have to be my leader, assistant, and publicist all at the same time. So I need to make sure I'm on Fortalent, taking advice from film makers (Sam Borowski), and having my marketing materials professional. Thanks Sam for another great blog and for your continuous support in helping me get my brand out there and to as many people as I can!! I love the idea of taking a pic with each crew member and gifting it to them at the end! That is totally something I would do!! And Dan's passion and hustle is something I can relate to! All the best luck to him in the future!!

KaleSlade

Very insightful, my friend. You are a true master of this industry.

BrettR

I totally agree that branding yourself is integral part of filmmaking. You need people know what you represent and who you are. And any way you can get yourself out there is beneficial. Like they say, There's no such thing as bad press.

nsegyptusa2

Sam, it is a great blog I have read. I do agree on every words you had type it on here. Of course Sam if you really want to get the successful way as a filmmaker you should sell your personality (let people know you), marketing yourself is very talent to me as a filmmaker, otherwise; get to do something else because you won't deserve to be a filmmaker without marketing your ideas, tell the people what is your type of thoughts and tell them from your side why is this great..It is very important to satisfied others about yourself. For me as a beginner in film-making industry I think the outside cover of you're looking or charm is not the way to succeed, but the way that how to improve yourself as a hard worker in the film industry. Always be proud of yourself and your works make other filmmakers around you to taste your style no matter what you can hear from other even good or bad. But you will show all your best to be on the right straight track. Sam I am proud of you as a filmmaker, and I do appreciate as you my professional talent mentor during my training with you, I am sure I won't forget the way you teach to be successful on my career as a filmmaker, absolutely proud of you. I will always thank you for all the professionalism I gained from you and I will always gain in the future. My dreams to getting around your professionalism work, and getting the real hand on film work as professional filmmaker. You are really magnificent and very talent in your activity as a filmmaker. Sincerely, Nihad Shalabi 5/2012 Sam, it is a great blog I have read. I do agree on every words you had type it on here. Of course Sam if you really want to get the successful way as a filmmaker you should sell your personality (let people know you), marketing yourself is very talent to me as a filmmaker, otherwise; get to do something else because you won't deserve to be a filmmaker without marketing your ideas, tell the people what is your type of thoughts and tell them from your side why is this great..It is very important to satisfied others about yourself. For me as a beginner in film-making industry I think the outside cover of you're looking or charm is not the way to succeed, but the way that how to improve yourself as a hard worker in the film industry. Always be proud of yourself and your works make other filmmakers around you to taste your style no matter what you can hear from other even good or bad. But you will show all your best to be on the right straight track. Sam I am proud of you as a filmmaker, and I do appreciate as you my professional talent mentor during my training with you, I am sure I won't forget the way you teach to be successful on my career as a filmmaker, absolutely proud of you. I will always thank you for all the professionalism I gained from you and I will always gain in the future. My dreams to getting around your professionalism work, and getting the real hand on film work as professional filmmaker. You are really magnificent and very talent in your activity as a filmmaker. Sincerely, Nihad Shalabi 5/2012

DanielMcQueary

Whoa – big picture of me; scary!! Haha, thanks so much again, Sam, for the affirming words. I’m glad to hear, as an up-and-comer, that I’m on the right track. Even still, I’m sure there’s still plenty of work to be done when it comes to marketing myself. Samantha sounds like a very bright and inspiring figure to be sure – thanks for sharing her words as well! As a recent film school grad, I’m so grateful that God has blessed me with the chance to speak with some very bright and informative people in the industry, like yourself, who have invested so much of their experience and wisdom into young artists who they feel have great potential. If I, indeed, remind you of yourself a decade ago, I can’t wait to see what the next ten years have in store! And yes, to anyone like myself with dreams of acting or filmmaking, I can’t speak enough of the importance of business cards, press kits, social networking, festivals, and really, just taking to people. As you mentioned in the previous blog, you really NEVER know who you might run into. God bless!


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SamBorowski

Film / Theater / TV, Writing


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