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Shooting People
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You don't need a website

Last time I checked, Tarantino and Nolan didn't even have social media accounts. Fans made them for them. Nolans scripts were available on a fan page. Nolan said in an interview that he doesn't have a mobile phone. Some authors have truly horrendous websites, but that doesn't affect their book sales.

Many of the best screenwriters not only don't use final draft, they don't even know how to type. And, when I was looking for websites of my favourite screenwriters, I found most of them didn't have one.

When someone repeatedly says their website is "under construction" for three years, I start to grow suspicious. Google's website is in a perpetual state of Beta, (meaning constantly under construction). Even a local newspaper will build you a business card website in a day. You don't need to make that excuse, it's 20 years old.

If you really want a simple website, I can put one together for you. I put some together for films and film festivals. For festivals and writing contests, I think websites are very helpful. One of my clients said "thank you for helping our festival establish."

But, cinematographers, editors and directors can get along without them.

In fact, when my website was down, I still had people contacting me about their projects. Perhaps the biggest potential client contacted me when I had no website and briefly deleted all my social media.

Look at some funding bodies, and they have very simple, five page websites that any 12 year old could put together in a day. Some of the biggest film investors have three page websites.

Some of my favourite film websites are no longer up. The Matrix, the Blair Witch Project, Elf, even flops like Monkeybone benefited from creative (and expensive) websites. But, for an individual, or even a production company, it's unnecessary to have anything elaborate.

If you want an ecommerce website, where you can sell your film services from, some of my competitors put them together from 2K (with £1,000 paid upfront, and the remaining half on completion). Of course, like films, total cost depends upon complexity. Some people will do it for a couple of hundred. Or, if you want to hire me, well, I'm more expensive.

I'd love to be a part of something creative, a website that takes the viewer into the experience. That's what I started with two of my projects. I have some artists and technicians in my network, so you wouldn't be hiring just me, but we could do a simple site relatively quickly.

If you have 2 million to make a film, you surely have a hundred or so to pay the local paper to make a business card website.

  • I don't think there's any excuses to not have a website. There's a load of Drag n Drop web building platforms for the price of a pint each month.

    I decided on an ecommerce platform which can be free called Opencart. I spent a day building it, it's a rush job as I had a festival to attend the next day, so it's a work in progress.

    Also, as I'll be selling my own products further down the line as part of my self distribution plan (I have no products on there yet), it makes financial sense because it only costs me around £2.49 per month.

    2 years ago
    • If you do sell your own products, note that you don't only need to spend the money for space, but you also have credit card processing (or Paypal fees), VAT, and SSL certificates. An expired SSL can raise a red flag, so it's an ongoing cost. I know of web designers who have expired SSL certificates, and wonder why business is slow.

      In the end, it might be cheaper going with a host who takes care of most of that for you.

      Just a little heads up, things to think about before you price your products.

      2 years ago
  • After I've stashed my millions in a numbered Swiss bank account ostensibly owned by a Cayman Islands corporation controlled by a Lichtenstein family trust, which will lend me my own well launded cash tax free on non enforceable terms, I'm going to close our website and only deign to show myself when it tickles me.

    2 years ago
  • For what John Lubran does, with different services and price lists and all that, a website can be useful.

    However, most of the film websites I've seen are unnecessary and don't tell me anything about the writer/director/actor/cinematographer/etc. Sometimes there's a showreel (another topic) but for most freelancers a LinkedIn page (or DeviantArt) or simple name in the right directory is more than sufficient.

    When you have more to say, then use a website.

    "Website under construction" is just annoying.

    2 years ago
  • If you are emerging to mid-level director/producer/filmmaker you need a website or at the very least links to show your work for PR, marketing, fundraising and it will definitely help to get people involved such as cast/crew.

    The use of huge billboard campaigns are a moot point for most filmmakers not only for the cost but because the demographic for indie film (in general) can be targetted more affectively via socia media and guerilla campaigns.

    A holding page with links to youtube, instagram, facebook and an email can be enough. It makes no sense as a creative not to have a platform for people to easily view your works.

    2 years ago
  • I remember when some corporations spent half a milion dollars on quite simple websites. These days websites can be created for almost nothing. If one is in the business of providing almost anything at all why wouldn't one have a website? It's a serice to anyone who might want to make an initial investigation into what a specific entity is about. It's also a service to the website owner in that they won't have to waste time and energy explaining themselves to inappropriate enquiries.

    I take Vasco's point though that famous and distinguished folk need no explanation. Don't believe we have many such folk reading these pages though.

    2 years ago
    • Agreed.

      Famous/distingusided need no explanation because a google search under images, video etc.., will direct you to their work.

      I work with very well established crew from DOPs, camera, Line Manager's through to Assistant Director's that don't have websites because their career has dictated that reccommendation has always lead them to the next job.

      If you have creative products or services to sell, promote or showcase you need an online presence, that might not be a website, it could be social media.

      2 years ago
  • Website under construction notices that seem to be permanent though are counter productive when the 'owner' is neither famous or distinguished.

    2 years ago
    • True but sometimes 'under construction' is preferable to an old fashioned/uncreative website from someone that is telling you they want you to invest in their next great project. A website from design through to content should be a reflection of what you can offer.

      2 years ago