In the world of blogging, podcasting, and social media, there is a commonly used tactic called splintering.
The idea is to take one long form piece of content you create, and break it up into smaller derivates to maximize its impact.
For instance, if I write a 3000 word blog post, I can turn it into a podcast episode, a Facebook piece, a series of Tweets, and an Instagram post.
The splintering of my original post into these other derivates takes little time, but increases the reach of my content dramatically.
Recently, I’ve been thinking about how filmmakers could apply this same philosophy to long form feature film work too.
Here are a few ideas I’ve come up with –
Feature To Short Film
Most filmmakers are very familiar with the short to feature film path.
This is where a short film is created as a proof of concept to raise financing for a feature.
But what would happen if you did the opposite, and extracted a short film out of a feature?
On my latest feature film, I am strongly considering doing just that.
The idea is to create two finished films for the price of one (literally and figuratively), to substantially increase the visibility of my film.
For example –
When submitting to festivals, both the short film and the feature will be independently submitted. This doubles the likelihood of acceptance, since each film will be viewed by separate programming teams.
This is just one potential benefit.
More broadly, the short film can travel places that the feature simply can’t (especially online), and can help bolster awareness across more platforms and mediums.
Feature To Series
Just as you can splinter a feature film into a short, you can do the same to pitch it as a series.
In many cases, this may be much easier than deriving a short film, since there is less guess work involved in the edit.
For example, on my latest feature it will take a lot of creative ideation and heavy lifting to turn it into a powerful short film. It will get there, but the puzzle pieces will have to be really shaken up.
On the other hand though, I could literally take the opening 20 minutes of the movie in isolation, and use it as a pilot for a TV series.
This is much easier than turning it into a short, since it can be left open ended. The story is supposed to continue, so it doesn’t have to perfectly conclude – just tease what’s coming next.
Feature To Digital Content
I am a huge proponent of audience building for filmmakers, and there is no better way to get there than to share valuable content based on your real world experiences.
A feature film is a treasure trove of potential value that can serve you for years online.
Over the next two years, my new feature film will be highlighted extensively via blog articles, YouTube breakdowns, social media posts, educational material, behind the scenes videos, and much more.
Sharing content like this has been a defining factor in any success I have found online. And it’s a tactic that anyone can use if they are looking to do the same.
There are tons of other ways to create derivates from your feature film project. These are just a few ideas.
The key takeaway is that a completed feature is just the beginning, and a springboard for so many other great creative opportunities.