We might only retain 1% of what we read, so don’t rely on reading 2 articles on “How To Sell Your Web Series”, including this one, and expect it to make your career. This business of ours messy and confusing and there are tons of “how to make it as a filmmaker” blogs out there. They talk about building a filmmaking career like it’s a grocery list or some sort of fucking recipe! They try to convince you that A + B = C. That there is rhyme and reason. In this industry, more than most, A + B = Chair. 2 + 2 = @&#%.
The reality is, most of these blogs suck. Hell, if you think my articles or courses suck.
But collectively, filmmakers that are taking the time to give away what they have learned along the way, can be a career-saving gift and sometimes those grocery lists are worth paying attention to. On their own, it’s just one person’s experience, but together, they become a powerful tool.
This collective knowledge creates a clear picture of where the industry is at the moment and how you can maximize that knowledge to take your career to the level where you’re generating an income.
Below are 5 ways you can condense and capitalize on the collective knowledge of filmmakers who are already at the place you want to be.
5 Step To Build Your Web Series Career:
Top 5 Blogs/Publications:
Type the problem you are experiencing in o Google search Bar. For example, “I just finished editing my web series. Now, how the hell do I sell it”? This will most likely lead you to the top blogs that are answering that question. Choose 5 that resonate with you. The reason? If more than one blog has an answer for it, it most likely means it’s highly searched, which means it’s a problem worth solving.
Go To The Comment Section:
Often, your search will lead to comment sections of blogs or publications.
These areas are gold mines for discovering solutions to that problem. If somebody takes the time to write something in the comment section of a blogger’s website,
often they are looking for a solution to their problem. These are great places to see how other filmmakers are experiencing similar problems and what solutions the experts are suggesting.
Look For Patterns:
If, across at least five websites, you’re seeing similar patterns develop, their’s a good chance it’s an industry-wide problem. If those problem and their solutions, span across a wide group of people, that is definitely a place that deserves your serious attention
Plot Your Career Path:
Once you have scoured the blogosphere and major publications, make a list of the top ten problems and their solutions. These are now the top 10 items you will work on solving (using the most relevant solutions recommended by said blogs/publications). If a majority of the pros are offering up similar solutions, it stands to say that advice might be worth listening to.
Top 10 barriers that are stopping you from getting your career where you want it to be.
Top 10 results you’re looking to achieve (your ultimate destination)
Top 3-5 solutions for overcoming each barrier
Create A “Core Filmmaking Knowledge” Journal:
Put your findings into a journal. This is where you’ll keep your ultimate plan. Every time a serious problem in your career arises, do the above steps as it pertains to that problem. After a short time, that journal will become your business plan and guide book for moving your career forward.
These are the exact steps I took when I realized I was running an expensive hobby instead of a business. I was literally paying to work. All I wanted to do was be in production, which I came to find out was only about 20% of what makes up a filmmaking career. So, what the hell was I doing the other 80% of the time? The truth was, I was dreaming of success, not taking action to ensure it. I was enamored with the art part of what we do, and I completely neglected the business aspect, thus ensuring I would stay in my current, unsustainable situation.
After 22 years in this business, I can say without any reservations, that it was the collective knowledge of filmmakers that were living the life I wanted for myself, combined with being humble enough to admit I had no idea what I was doing that lead me to keep working every day in this business and get paid well for it.
***Alex LeMay is a Showrunner and Director from Los Angeles, California. He creates and produces web series’ for Sony Studios, YouTube Red, Maker, Go90, MSN, XBox and more. In addition, he is the founder of alexlemay.com 1 , a coaching and consulting business that helps working filmmakers build high-earning content businesses.