Braving Social Media at Award Ceremonies

Actors are great at developing hype to draw their fans to anticipate the results of an award announcement. They bring their fan base into the ballroom vicariously through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Periscope. The progressive evening puts fans on the edge of their seat and then…nothing. The actor stops the stream of updated posts because he or she doesn’t know what to do when the award goes to another artist.

Publicity boutiques coach their talent on how to push through the loss with skills that increase their fan base. That’s right, the loss can increase the actor’s fan based when it’s handled properly. Here are some of the points taught:

Fans love to follow their favorite actors down the red carpet and into the ballroom. Why? Not to watch them win or lose, but to watch them interact with other stars. Fans love to know that “their” star is well connected. This sense of ownership generates compassion and pride every time their actor chats or poses with another. And, if the actor is at a table of stars, all the better. One thing is certain; it’s not about the win. Only the actor is concerned about who receives the statue.

Networking with other actors that promote through social media increases both actors’ fan base. “Reconnecting” at a ceremony increases the interests of the fans to promote the actor through word of mouth. The more connections made at the ceremonies, the wider the distribution of word of mouth advertising.

Fans want to be there for the actor’s win, but more importantly they want to see the human experience played out. The fan wants to know the star is just like them – disappointment and all. Fans want to learn how to handle those same types of responses in their own life and they want to learn it from their role model.

Taking a great photo with each of the nominees in the actor’s category is a golden opportunity to share respect with peers before the winner is announced. It’s also an ideal moment to snap a picture of the actor sharing a smile with his or her winning “friend.” After all, promoting a congratulatory picture of the actor smiling with the winner will get massive traction in social media – Extremely valuable promotions. And, knowing that the actor’s circle of “friends” are award winners, means it’s only a matter of time before the fans see their actor make it to the big time – Instilling greater loyalty.

There are many more tips given by PR coaches, but the above will greatly accelerate the career of the average actor. It’s all about entertaining the fan base, while revealing the human condition. There is no better set of circumstances for developing true loyalty in fans. Actors must embrace and get excited about the great benefits of a well-promoted loss.

Copyright © 2016 by CJ Powers


5 Steps that Create the Middle of a Story

© ktsdesign - Fotolia.comOver the weekend, I coached a couple of young filmmakers in a Google Hangout. Their goal was to create an award winning short story that could be produced as a film. They had a beginning and an end, but struggled to know how to get from one to the other in a plausible fashion for the audience.

I shared five story analysis steps to guide them in how to fill out the middle of their story:

  1. Review the Logline.

I asked what the film was about and they weren’t able to answer within two sentences, which suggested clarification was needed on the core story. Our first step was writing down the logline to make sure they understood their story and its key elements including protagonist, antagonist or obstacle, setting, and protagonist’s goal.

  1. Determine Character Development.

The writer and director knew who the protagonist was in the beginning of the story and the end, but didn’t know how to move him through his character development transitions. In this case, the hero starts out selfish and ends up selfless. A simple response could’ve been the following progression: Selfish -> Disinterested -> Apathy -> Selfless.

However, the excellent conflict between the protagonist and antagonist throughout the story suggests the development should instead be based on the character’s relationship. This perspective led to the following progression: Selfish -> Acknowledgment -> Respect -> Selfless.

More information about the process can be found here.

  1. Make the Scenes Visual.

Motion pictures are about motion and emotions. Something needs to be moving and stimulating. This forces the story to be visual, which opens the door to symbolism, metaphors and allegories. We indirectly discussed what the film would look like if there were no sound, just action.

While the writer feared that the success of the picture would rest solely on the actor’s visual performance (facial reactions), those visualized moments would catapult the story to award winning levels at festivals. Projects that rest on the dialog to tell the audience what’s happening depower the story’s impact.

  1. Find the Symbolism.

Finding symbolism within a story and attaching it to a physical object for visualization makes for a powerful story. This short story was about a precious commodity that the hero holds dear. The physical element quickly emerged as a symbol on its own merits once the story was sound. Having a key visual element tied in to the story as a symbol always turns the heads of festival judges and most audiences appreciate the added depth brought to the screen.

  1. Test the Story.

By writing down a sentence or two for each of the story beats, the writer and director can create a mini treatment that will reveal the strengths and weaknesses of the story. Making alterations at this stage is simple compared to reworking several pages of script.

By reviewing the above five items, an obvious outline of the story emerged for both the writer and director to work from. By adjusting their perspective when reviewing each element, more potential scenes came to mind for exploration. This process makes it easy to create numerous scenes from which the best can be selected for the middle of the final script.

Copyright © 2015 by CJ Powers