The Value of a Good-Looking Site

So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided it was time that our film production website got a makeover.

I’d slapped the original site together in the heat of the moment, when we uploaded our first web short to Youtube, knowing that we needed some kind of a link on which to hang our online signboard. It was finished in about 24 hours, that first version of the site, using a clunky-but-passable template, and it served as a place to put data.

But we have a lot of projects brewing now, and it can’t hurt to have a snappy website, so I sunk some time into it. All told, it probably took me most of a week’s worth of my spare time to get everything from the content sorted out, to the template working how we wanted it, to getting the right plugins to do exactly what we wanted onscreen. It’s still not quite perfect — I csan’t quite get the logo the way I wanted it, and just noticed the differently-colored logo and headlines clash subtly, something I need to fix soon…

But in the end, it came out pretty good, considering it’s built out of free stuff: free template, free plugins. The only thing that isn’t free is the filehosting for the image galleries, which are over on my Flickr account. (But then, I had that already.) If you’d like to see my handiwork (and our content), click on the link, and you’ll see.

Brutal Rice Website Screenshot

Today, we saw the first benefits of this site makeover. Miss Jiwaku has been advertising for possible team members for an upcoming shoot. In the web ad she posted, she made sure to include a link to our website… and since it looks so professional, we’re getting way more responses (and way more positive responses) than on the last project, even though we can’t pay people much: people see the snazzy-looking site, they glimpse all the laurels under our first short film, and they want to be involved with people who know what they’re doing even if we can’t pay much (or at all).

Last time around, when we had no website, and no laurels, and no real online presence? We got a few responses, but not a lot, and Miss Jiwaku was even told off by one or two people for not offering high enough pay. Now, some people at least are cool with it, and some are so eager that they’ve told us they don’t mind working for free, just for the positive exposure.

I’ll have more observations about indie filmmaking in Korea (and in general) soon, but for the moment, the number one thing I can recommend is: make sure your website looks professional. Simply by taking that one little step, you will be doing yourself an immense favor.

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