Here’s some of what we learned at Digital Hollywood about how to approach your next project.
Have a long-term vision for your project and start with the end goal in mind. Where do you want your project to land? Do you want to win Sundance? Gain 10K YouTube subscribers? Get an agent? Create for the sake of creating? Then, ask yourself, What is the feeling you want to deliver through this experience? What do you want to watch? Why would someone want to invest? What do you want to see differently on television? Do you want to see more ethnically or age diverse actors? Write to those goals and be the change you want to see.
Next, research other projects you want to emulate. What do they do well and what are they lacking that you can improve upon? Look for what audiences are already responding to and ask yourself why. Is there a more popular niche? Find a way to differentiate yourself. Be uniquely talented and authentic. You will attract viewers.
Know why you’re choosing to write this idea over others. Remember: if you are successful, you’ll be living with these characters for years. Fall in love with them. The easiest way to do that will be to deeply think about your characters. Develop, develop, develop until they are real and dynamic. In turn, the clearer your idea, the easier it will be to build a quality team around you. It can take 1 to 2 years until you are discovered because there is already so much content. You have to let your passion drive you.
If you’re clear about your vision, you can be open to opportunities that could pop up if you know it fits with your brand. You don’t need to know what the ultimate outcome is before you start. The most important thing is to just begin. Give yourself permission to start when you’re only 85% ready. Trust that you’re smart enough to figure the rest out along the way, and you may end up in places you never dreamed of before.
For every minute of screen time, it takes ten hours of work to complete. From the writing, pre-production, shooting, editing and marketing. You might as well create something you’re passionate about.
A true creator has the opportunity to create many things across multiple platforms. Let passion drive you and be okay with letting go of an idea if it’s not working.
When working on a project for YouTube, stay in your lane. Don’t try a billion things all at once. Focus on what you do best and what gains followers. Limitation is the mother of creativity.
Right now audiences are looking for love, integrity and happy endings.
Audiences can lose focus after the first 12 minutes of a project. Try to schedule commercial breaks around that.