April 2009, Rochelle Siemienowicz
Flocking to Twitter: Australian Film and Television enters the micro-blogging age
Like a flock of excited birds, people working in Australian film and television are starting to Twitter, using the online application to instantly inform the world of their productions, plans and breaking news. There are filmmakers, bloggers and fans Twittering alongside television programs, movie magazines, funding bodies and cinemas. Whether they’re writing as individuals or groups, they’re all offering information, insights and quick links to other onlinecontent. It’s fun, it’s immediate, and it’s a great way to eavesdrop on what’s happening right this
What is this thing Twitter? If you’ve managed to thus far remain blissfully ignorant, it's basically an internet service enabling users to send and receive instant sound-bite updates and weblinks of 140 characters or less – about two lines of text. Users create a simple account with a login and password. They choose to ‘follow’ the Twitter updates of those who interest them, and in turn others ‘follow’ them. It’s often called micro-blogging.
With an estimated six million users worldwide, Twitter is still new, with a relatively small network of users – though in the last few months it has gained massive momentum.
It may prove a short-lived phenomenon for bite-sized attention spans, or, like Facebook, it will become just another way of connecting with others and using the media to put messages out in the public domain.
Sifting through Twitter feeds, one gets the sense that people and corporations are still trying to get their heads around the concept. What kinds of messages best capture attention? What are the risks of a badly judged ‘Tweet’? What kind of ‘tone’ does a corporate entity adopt without sounding like an automated press release machine? The most popular Twitterers quickly learn the ‘Haiku’ art of teasing and intriguing the reader with 140 characters, enticing them to click through to other portals that offer more in-depth information.
If you’re interested in using Twitter to promote your film or business, follow the links in the ‘Extra Resources’ box at the end of this page.
So who’s Twittering in the world of Australian film and TV? All the major film distributors have joined, and magazines like Inside Film and Filmink offer entertaining and informative updates with links to YouTube clips, screening information and breaking news. Screen bodies like Film Victoria send out information about funding application deadlines and new screen culture initiatives. TV stations like SBS Twitter about upcoming program highlights; while individual films Samson & Delilah, Acolytes and The Burning Season feed out new
images, downloadable ring-tones and links to their websites, thus generating free advance publicity for the films.
Here at the AFI we're just starting to explore Twitter as another way of staying in touch with the public and the film and television industries. Why not follow our journey?
For general AFI news and AFI Awards messages and reminders, you can follow AFI_online (http://twitter.com/AFI_online).
Or you can follow me, the editor, as I publish interesting news threads and post links to the things that catch my eye as I’m trawling the net
If it all sounds like a waste of your precious time, feel free to ignore Twitter completely. All the AFI’s essential information will still be available on our website or in our fortnightly e-news bulletins. But if you’re curious, have a look at our quick guide to Australian film and TV Twitterers. We’ve included sample “Tweets” – Twitter updates – for a taste of what you can expect if you decide to follow these feeds.
A Quick Look at Who’s Twittering in Australian Film and Television and What They’re Tweeting…
EXHIBITORS, DISTRIBUTORS & CINEMAS
check out our new websites!! www.samsonanddelilah.com.au and www.myyearwithoutsex.com.
Transmission welcomes Viggo Mortensen to Sydney, in town to do the PR rounds for "GOOD."
Go way beyond thunderdome - the next MAD MAX will be a 3D anime!: Australia's iconic post-apocalyptic road movie.. http://tinyurl.com/alz7py.
hear the lovely julie rigg, one of oz's best broadcasters, interview (sigh) Juliette Binoche re Assayas & S.Hours. http://tinyurl.com/cgq7hw.
The tide's turning for Aussie films? Tom Ryan's 5 stars for MARY & MAX is a deserved ray of sunshine for Adam & Mel. See it Thursday at Nova.
REVIEWERS & BLOGGERS
At the Movies
we are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Wouter Barendrecht of Fortissimo Films.
Yesterday I saw Elegy (very late Australian release) and The Uninvited. Both pretty ordinary.
Listen to my review of Love the Beast on radio 2HD: http://tinyurl.com/cuywbc.
Cannes rumour: Australian Palme D'Or winner Jane Campion will bring "Bright Star" the romance between poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne.
For all you movie buffs, there's a new SBS Film website: http://www.sbs.com.au/films/
Congratulations to Rebecca Gibney for her Gold #Logie Nomination. http://cli.gs/z30QbN Packed to the Rafters will be back later in 2009.
Rove returns to Channel Ten on 8th February. Get tickets from: http://tinyurl.com/dxrv67
Dungog Film Festival
Processing lots of delicious new films!
St Kilda Film Festival
thinks if you have Facebook, you should become our fan here: http://tinyurl.com/d48tu6.
Sydney Film Festival
No time to tweet today, loads to do. Casting TVC, getting website ready to launch, sorting out new ticketing system etc... Whew!