Social Media On The Set

I just finished wrapping an independent short film of which I am one of the leads, and one of the crew was tweeting the goings on from the set. While I am an avid fan of all things social media and would say I’m quite knowledgeable about the subject, I didn’t tweet or do any blogging while on the set (but be sure to check out my blog later this week for an update on my experience).  

For my experience, I want to be really available to the director and other actors and be ready to play, I don’t want to spend a lot of time “running lines” because I want to be organic and natural, be ready to rehearse with the director, and I want to spend time getting to know the crew and other cast members.

However, there are many actors who tweet from auditions or on the set, crew who tweet from the set, casting directors who tweet from auditions, and the like.

Is there a problem with that? Absolutely not. It is a personal preference. With social media, the sky’s the limit. Twitter is all about putting yourself out there and developing relationships. However, there are some guidelines to be followed when tweeting from the set.

1. Be creative in 120 characters or less. I think Guy Kawasaki has the most effective tweets today. His tweets are usually under 115 characters and they are effective. He focuses on the reader and their interests and makes sure they have enough room to re-tweet. So, tweeting from the set or auditions? Be clear, be creative in your writing, keep your audience engaged and wanting more, and give them a reason to re-tweet you.

2. Use care in your tweets. Remember the famous line from All The President’s Men “follow the money”? Well, your tweets follow you. Remember, when you tweet, blog, or post anything online, it’s kind of permanent, so use care in how and what you tweet. It wasn’t too long ago that an actor tweeted from the set of a commercial and got in a lot of trouble. Why? Because the commercial and what was being discussed during filming was confidential and the actor had “leaked” proprietary information in some of his tweets. The result? The actor experienced the proverbial cliché – what comes around, goes around – he was found out and was replaced. The point, which deserves a second mention – use care in how and what you tweet.

3. Be professional. When tweeting from the set, remember the reason you are there in the first place – you booked the job and the peeps in charge expect you to be professional and deliver on your promise – your ability to do the job and do it well. I recently read a quote from Rebecca Miller, who directed The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, among others, and she said that she expects actors to be “…totally committed to what they are doing” when they are on set. This means being focused on doing the work. Yes, there’s a time for tweeting and a time for working. Don’t let the tweeting part affect the work part – Do your job and then tweet, should the desire set in.

Yes, yours truly has tweeted from the set – in fact, I tweeted from the set of the latest web series I was in (http://www.marriagetrial.com), but I tweeted at strategic times that didn’t impact my work.

As we say in the entertainment biz, it’s all about the work…then comes the tweets (I added the last part myself).

Cheers and success to you!