Thursday, October 25, 2007

How the Netflix Eight Rules for Success Can Help You Become a Better Filmmaker

Last week I read a blog post over at Pronet Advertising called Learning from Netflix's Rules for Success. It basically took the Netfilx mission statement and related it to becoming a better blogger. It was a good post, and I did learn from it. I also saw value in applying it to movie making purposes. Not only the Netflix stuff, but the Pronet comments as well.

The following is my own take on how we can use the "Netflix Eight" to make our productions even better.

1. Netflix Delights People

Surround your project with quality talent, who are better at their given job than you are. This will discourage micromanaging (which keeps your crew happy), and allow you to focus more on directing. The ultimate delight will come from your audience when they see, and are impressed by, the final product.

2. We're democratizing movie distribution
Think about new ways to get your work out there. Create an online serial that will keep viewers returning to your site for weekly or daily updates. Make your creations available for download to various devices and portable platforms.

3. Values Matter
Whatever films you make, don't compromise your own ideals (say, for the quick buck) because at the end of the day, you are the one who has to live with yourself. Don't expect those you work with to live up to your standard if you can't--so don't be hypocritical. Have standards of respect on the set to create a creatively beneficial environment and everyone will work harder for you.

4. Rules annoy us
"Think outside the box" is a tired expression, but don't be afraid to try new things. It's the revolutionaries that break down barriers and open new avenues. Leaders and pioneers have more clout (which translates to more opportunities) than fans than followers.

5. We pay well
Even if you are working with no budget, remember that the volunteers on your movie have great worth. Feed them, praise them, and enthusiastically help them when they ask for it. When the money does finally come in, reward them for their years of dedication by hiring them at a generous rate.

6. Consistently outstanding people
Hold auditions for actors, and seek out the best technicians. Your film is only as good as its weakest link. Don't let that weak link be in a position that you were too lazy to fill with the best person available.

7. We love movies
You gotta love this work. It is so hard, and takes such a toll, your passion has to be greater than the adversity that will be heaped upon you. Keep pressing forward and remember that these things have been done by lesser individuals than you. When you're done, the satisfaction you feel will be so much greater than the struggles to achieve it.

8. We're creating an amazing future
With the revolution in internet distribution upon us, we are all at the cusp of something really amazing. Create the best work you have within you, and market the hell out of it. Get thousands of eyes to view your stuff, and get them to talk about it. You will guarantee that you will be doing this for many, many years to come. And that's the dream, isn't it?

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