This interview with Paige Williams, CEO of FilmSpur, appeared June 26 in Mamalode.
Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.
FilmSpur includes two major divisions: The Audience Awards—a social platform for film and The International Documentary Challenge—a timed filmmaking competition. As an independent filmmaker, I always loved winning The Audience Awards at film festivals because it meant the people I had made the film for liked it. In the independent film world, we need to be able to reach and engage a larger audience. And it’s really tough knowing where to put your film for digital distribution—there’s such a segregated experience from pre-production to distribution throughout the whole process of making an indie film. One has to use several platforms to reach their community and market the film once it’s done.
So, I put all of the different services filmmakers need into one platform. A filmmaker can raise funds on our site, post their films or trailers to promote their films, place their short films into competitions to reach audiences and monetize those films. The competitions provide a way for audiences to get involved with a film and find the best short films. Users can interact with the filmmakers in an online Q&A, comment and review the films and support filmmakers. Filmmakers can list all of the places their film resides digitally and each film and filmmaker have their own pages. (The next version of our site at TheAudienceAwards.com will release in a month.)
What do your kids think about your job?
I’m writing this interview next to Bennie, 2.5 and Jack, 6.5 years old and asked them this question. They said, “Because it’s neat and cool.“ Jack really likes that he’s been in one of my films. Bennie likes that I take Fridays off to be with him.
Share with us a total win (brag away!)
Three weeks ago, I was in Toronto for the Doc Challenge premiere at Hot Docs. As always, I was faced with the mom versus CEO role. I could go to Hot Docs one day, spend the day in Toronto the next and return to Missoula just in time to be with the kids and not miss one of my nights. It was an expensive trip and there were amazing networking opportunities that I would miss because I was only at the festival for a day. But it’s a choice I made because of the ideal, time with the boys comes first. I got home and the next day, Jack lost his first tooth and I was there for it. I was able to put his tooth under his pillow that night and wake up to see what the tooth fairy left (2 bucks!) I was so grateful I wasn’t still in Toronto. And, we licensed the finalist films to a network in attendance at the screening, so that part worked out anyway.