Monday Prescription – The No. 1 Timewaster for Filmmakers

Hi Film Folk,

We’re back with another Monday Prescription to get you up and running for the week.

Today we’re going to focus on a subject that might be a little too close to home for some of the easily distracted out there – but bear with us, we have your best interests at heart!

 

Film Doctor - Trends

 

We’ve designed this Monday Prescription to help you be better informed about what you click on. Consider it a ‘healthy-eating’ but with film information!

We’ll be covering both sides of this equation. The reader and the vendor (the publications) so you can understand exactly why certain types of irrelevant stories keep appearing and why you click them!







 
 
 

1. The Time Destroyer

OK, so here we’re not talking about USEFUL articles/interviews/competitions that can give you valuable insight into a system or process. We’re talking about the following:

– Articles about an Actor’s hair length changing (i.e. gossip)

-Articles about video mashups.

-Opinion pieces (i.e. “Here’s why xxxxx is the best xxxx around” written by somebody with an opinion).

-Reviews.

 

We assume if you’re reading this article you’re a filmmaker. Or call yourself one. Sit down now and look through your past week or month’s internet history (the e-equivalent to a look in the mirror!)

How many irrelevant articles have you hit? What did they really contribute to your life? What can stay and what can go?

We’re not saying don’t have fun, but we’re encouraging you to focus on what can help you and trying to steer you away from big corporate tactics of sucking you in…



 

 

2. What is news? 

In print, online or broadcast, news is whatever that publication, website or channel decides is news. Obvious to some, not to others. It really is as simple as that.

As much as they would like to tell you about MUST and MUSTN’T and SHOULD and SHOULDN’T (so that you click on their articles), these are simply jazzy words to pique interest because they need hits/sales. Often these are tailored to play on essential human insecurities, curiosities or needs

The first real step is to become a self-feeder instead of the fed. Don’t just ‘go with’ what articles come your way and assume they’re of value. LOOK for the little tricks in words and wording. DECIDE whether the headline is a con for a click or something offering genuine value before clicking and wasting your time reading it. Get wise!

The great thing is, YOU can decide what is and isn’t news if you want to!

 

Film Doctor's Joke Example of an overt click bait headline
Film Doctor’s Joke Example of an overt click bait headline

 

3. So what’s wrong?

Well, we expect gossip from gossip mags and some newspapers but the new sour note is that some of the online magazines who claim to be for filmmakers have now started to do it on an increasingly regular basis.

Why?

Because, unlike print, online is endless. The more articles, the more traffic, the more hits = more advertising. Also the competition is much steeper. They are fighting against online series, YouTube, other specialist publications, people chatting online. Therefore the headlines must be MORE attention-grabbing and ‘sexed-up’ in order to get hits. Even if there is no essence to them… 

The additional beauty of it (for them) is that it doesn’t cost the ‘customer’ (you) anything but time (precious!) so floods and floods of words are written to bait you and suddenly you’re gone!

We’re not saying it’s wrong to want to stay in business. We’re saying that the choice to create deliberately click-baity headlines with no material story to back it up is poor journalism and we wish to protect your time and career by getting you wise to these games.

Increasingly, (like the convenience food industry) online publications do not have your best interests at heart.
 
 
 

4. But I NEED Social Media to build my career!

True. Within reason. 

It’s good to see what’s out there, to get into conversations with other writers and filmmakers, to read USEFUL articles or interviews that can assist in your goals – but don’t get caught up in the online hurricane. Go to events, online forums, read helpful books, write, make films, edit. Be productive.

Writing #amwriting and #amediting all day long not only wastes your time but gives off a wannabe/unemployment vibe.

The best working writers, editors, producers, directors, actors are simply too busy to contribute anything other than the odd lunchtime joke or technical question/answer on Twitter or Facebook.

Don’t see social media as some magical realm where the more you pedal out into the atmosphere the more likely you’ll be plucked from obscurity – the deals are still going to be done based on your work. 

Basically, be realistic and ration your time online.

 

Film Doctor - meme

 

5. Moving Forward

Many of you will not have needed these cautionary words, will know of large publications click-baity ways or naturally have little interest in gossip (or LOVE gossip but ration it!) and stay productive.

But to those who may be accidentally pouring hours and hours of time down the internet plug-hole without really realising it, we’re writing to you today to SNAP you out of it and reinvigorate your FOCUS on the task at hand.

Ignore the noise of nothingness.
 

Write Films. Make Films. Edit Films. Sell Films.

 

With Love,

The Film Doctor Team

 

‘Monday Prescription’  No.113 – Monitor YOURSELF monitoring what’s #trending. Be wise to the games being played. Stay focused on your tasks.

 

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Any questions/thoughts/experiences of your own??? Leave a comment below!
 
Have a great week!
 
The Film Doctor Team
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