Instagram has changed the way people share content online, but no other industry has benefited from this change as much the creative industry. We’ve taken our personal and professional lives and put them on the stage for everyone to see. Nowadays, whether you enjoy it or not, Instagram is a huge part of our lives as creatives, and if you don’t have one, you might be making it much harder on yourself. Why not join in on the fun?
Before Instagram and social media, filmmaking was all about word-of-mouth. Aside from the most successful filmmakers out there, the lives of your everyday cinematographer or AC was nothing but a mystery. However, when Instagram came along, it changed everything. The social media platform gave everyone a chance to showcase their creative work, share upcoming projects, awesome camera builds, and removed the barriers that kept most filmmakers apart. Now, the community is more connected than ever before, and we couldn’t be happier.
But part of being a member of the community is being active on Instagram. This doesn’t mean having to post every single day like some of the tireless filmmakers out there. Simply logging on to browse and engage with others can help you stay involved with the community.
You might be asking, ‘what’s the purpose of this?’ Well, Instagram has become such an invaluable tool, there are plenty of reasons you should be active. Let’s take a look at just a few:
1. Build Your Personal Brand
Instagram is an extension of you as a creative. What you post represents what you want people to see in your filmmaking life, whether that’s the camera package you build, the gear you’re using on set, the finished video or just some BTS of you on a production. But regardless of what you post, Instagram has given us filmmakers a chance to showcase ourselves in a way that’s akin to branding. You post your work on a platform for everyone to see, and people can check out your work at any time.
Your feed is an opportunity to create a look and aesthetic that represents you in front of the professional community. People might check out your Instagram before working with you on set, or might even use your Instagram as a deciding factor to reach out for a collaboration. So put your best foot forward and get the content you want people to see on your Instagram.
2. Create a Digital Portfolio
Personal websites are the digital portfolios of old. These days, filmmakers (especially ones also on Instagram) exchange Instagrams before anything else. Sure, professionals still have personal websites with reels, but those are slowly being phased out in favor of the platform that other filmmaker is already on. It’s all conveniently in one location.
Instagram’s layout is perfect for personalizing into your own film portfolio. You can easily post new work as you finish them, space out your posts, create a consistent color scheme, and even design a layout that makes your profile stand out. And because your profile is publicly accessible, future collaborators and clients can check out your work whenever they want on a platform they’re familiar with.
3. Connect with Other Filmmakers
Networking is a big part of filmmaking, and that won’t change no matter how social media evolves. But Instagram has made connecting with fellow filmmakers easier than ever before. See a cool post? Like or comment on it. Want to ask where someone got a certain piece of gear? Comment or send a DM. Instagram provides you all of the networking tools you need to connect with people you look up to.
Many filmmakers are already using Instagram as a way to find others to collaborate with. Stept Studios, a production house based in Los Angeles, has found over half of the crews they work with by reaching out to directors, camera assistants, and other crew directly on Instagram. Bring Light and Sound, a local production house in Austin, also uses Instagram to find cinematographers in the area and hires them for projects. Even if you’re not looking to hire crews through the platform, someone might be looking at you. And the better you brand yourself, the higher than chance there’s a filmmaker checking you out!
4. Draw Inspiration and Learn Something New
Being a great filmmaker is not something you do alone - you need the community around you. Staying inspired, knowledgeable and competitive are key to being successful in this industry, and there’s no better place to do that than on Instagram. See what other creatives are working on, what new tech they’re using, or how they’re organizing their Instagram profiles to give you some inspiration and the drive to make your work stand out.
5. Be Supportive to Your Peers
Just as how you’re benefiting from seeing others’ Instagram profiles, someone might be benefiting from seeing yours! The film community on Instagram is alive and thriving because millions of filmmakers like you are active and engaging. From posting photos and stories to tagging to commenting & sharing, the participation of the entire community allows us to enjoy the film-filled Instagram feeds we have today. In addition, Instagram is a huge resource for new young filmmakers to learn and network too. By being active on Instagram, you’re doing your part in keeping this amazing resource available for everyone to benefit from. Filmmaking is a team sport, so let’s all be great teammates.