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If you have been to My Hollywood Dream in the past, you might have noticed that the site has received a complete overhaul this past week (and if you are new to MHD, welcome!). Big props and a huge thank you go out to my brother PJ who designed and coded the new look. He does this type of stuff professionally. If you like this website, and you have been thinking about starting your own blog, then I highly recommend you contacting PJ. He works very fast and has great rates for putting together WordPress blogs. He’ll do all the heavy lifting and let you get right down to work. Without PJ, My Hollywood Dream would not exist.

You can check out PJ’s Portfolio and contact him through the Flip Brothers website (which he also designed). In addition to websites, PJ also makes movie posters and pop art based on geek favorite movies and television shows.

Posted on November 1st, 2011 by ThePit | Comments Off on And now a word about our redesign…
Filed Under Other

In the first part of “How to Get Your Film Seen: (Part 3) Your Website” we discussed why you need a homepage in addition to your social networking profiles, design, web hosting, domain names, and a few different styles that your website can take. Today I want to expand on what we talked about last time.

Not only is it a good idea to get a website, but it is an even better idea to learn just how to build a website. Websites can become very costly after you consider the yearly price of hosting and domain names and then take into the account of the actual design costs and maintenance. As a low budget filmmaker, you have already likely taught yourself how to edit and use camera equipment, why not also learn HTML and CSS coding? Just a little knowledge can get you a very long way. In the very least you can beg someone to do the initial design work on the site and you can comfortably edit the pages by yourself, successfully avoiding the costly maintenance.

Also touching on what I mentioned in the last column, if you create the website around a blog platform, like WordPress, then you’ll be able to easily edit all of the pages via an Online editor. WordPress themes are completely customizable and you can manipulate them into exactly how you want your website to look.

Posted on March 3rd, 2011 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

We have talked a lot in the past at how important your web presence is for the promotion of not only your film, but yourself. To recap a few points:

Websites
Not only do you need profiles on all of the popular social networking and video hosting sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Myspace, but you also need your own personal (resume) website and websites for each of your projects.

Domain Name
When building your website, you need to choose a really good (and easy to remember) domain name for your url. Don’t choose something confusing or with hard to spell words. Make it to the point and related to your project.

Webhosts
Don’t forget just how important webhosting is. You need a good webhost, who is reliable, dependable and has 24-7 customer service. Nothing is worse than having your sites unavailable when something happens and surges of people head to your website. Don’t just choose anyone, research the best suited webhost for you.

Design
Don’t let your websites look amateurish. Take your time with the design and ask a lot of people their opinion about it. You want something that looks good and is easy to navigate. Think hard about your project and how to make this website a good representation for the project.

Do you have a personal or film project website? I’d love to check it out. Post it in the comments of this article! Thanks!

Posted on August 31st, 2010 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
Filed Under Filmmaking Resources

Filmmaking 101

Welcome to the third part of our Filmmaking 101 series. In part 1 we looked at affordable print ideas, in part 2 we talked about how social networking could help get your film seen, and in part 3 I want to discuss your website. Click on the filmmaking tag (at the bottom of this article) to see the other parts along with some recent screenwriting tips.

Your Website
So, you have Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube profiles, why would you need a website for your film? One word, professionalism. Social Networking sites are perfect for keeping people informed and getting people to your main website, but they shouldn’t replace your actual site. Your website has a few key factors that you need to look into and decide on before you even get to design it.

Domain Names
First and arguably the most important factor is your domain name (aka URL).  It is best to choose domain names that are easy to remember and easy to spell out. You need people to be able to remember this name and tell it to others, without them screwing up the spelling because of abbreviations or cheesy word replacement (I.E. using l8er instead of later).  Personally I like to have two distinctively different domain names pointing to my film’s website. The first one is a name that is close to the film’s title. You’ll have to do a search to figure out if the names you are brainstorming are free.  Usually if the title is taken, you can at least get something with the word film or movie at the end. For example, if Thunderman.com is taken, you could always try ThundermanTheMovie.com. For the second name I like to be more creative and use something that will look cool on posters. I’m currently working on a zombie film, so in advance I bought TheDeadAreRising.com. I can picture a 1000 ways to use the url in ads both online and in print.  I used to use Yahoo to buy my domains, but I learned the hard way that just because they are affordable, doesn’t make them good. Now I have moved all of my domains to GoDaddy, who not only has a great interface, but they have helpful customer service and are honest.

Web Hosts
While it is easier to buy your domain names and web hosting fromt he same place, it isn’t always the best idea. For example, I host some of my websites on Powweb, but their domain names are overpriced.  I can buy a domain for half the price from GoDaddy.  Now in the reverse, I feel like GoDaddy is great with domain names, but their web hosting is lacking.  You need a web host that offers you a ton of space and monthly bandwidth, and they need to be able to handle different scripts and CGI. You’ll likely have a ton of videos, photos, and a blog on your website. Make sure that the web host you decide to go with can handle what you need before you waste any coin on it. It is also a good idea to always keep up with current web hosting news. Not only do you want a great deal, but you need to choose a web host that is stable, reliable, customer friendly, and has a proven track record.

Design
The design is going to be key in keeping visitors at your website and to encourage them to keep coming back. I prefer websites that are clean and easy to navigate.  Include information about the project, but don’t go overboard. Don’t give a complete play by play of the film, don’t spoil the ending, and don’t post your full script. Include your film’s trailer and make sure that the quality is top notch. A blog is a great way to keep the film’s website content fresh and to add new content regularly. You can post behind the scenes photos, videos with scenes, or even just share experiences with the filmmaking process.

You are going to spend a lot of time and effort getting people to this website, make sure that they have something good to look at when they get there!

This is an example of a free stock image from freephotosbank.com

Are you looking for an abstract picture to be the background of your new blog? How about a beautiful landscape to use as the background in your new movie’s poster? Having access to a variety of stock images at your feet is in very important when you don’t have much in terms of funds, but have big ideas. Continue reading to find free stock images.

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