by Bri Castellini
The minute you decide to make a web series that’s public and discoverable online, you have decided to become, to some degree, a public figure. This goes double for actors, but writer/creators, particularly in web series, aren’t exactly hidden from view. It’s never too early to think about the way your public presence will and must change as a result, so let’s talk.
DECIDE HOW PUBLIC YOU WANT YOUR IDENTITY TO BE
When I first started making content for the internet, it was 2006 and I was thirteen years old. A combination of parental scare tactics and my vague understanding of the internet led me to the decision to never identify my last name, my state, or any other identifying details, even on my very personal and very public blog. There’s a reason all of my online usernames are BrisOwnWorld instead of BriCastellini.
Over the years, I relaxed these rules, especially as I started to seek broader audiences and decided having my actual name associated with my online “brand” was useful as I sought fame for my writing and filmmaking, but family members still get concerned with the number of strangers who have access to my full name and general location (Brooklyn, NY). Everyone has different boundaries, and it’s worth exploring yours before going too far on your online filmmaking journey.
- Do I want to use my full name?
- Do I want to use a name at all, or just a production company?
- How will I list my credits in episodes and on IMDb?
- Do I want to be personally accessible to potential fans/haters?
DECIDE WHAT PROFILES ARE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FACING
Once you’ve decided what identity you’re comfortable being forward-facing, you also have to check your social media privacy settings. All of them, not just the ones you regularly update. It’s the internet- finding people is the easy part. Decide if you want these various accounts to be public-facing (that is, part of your public figure persona and searchable for fans/haters) or private-facing (only accessible/used for your actual personal network of friends and family).
In general, I consider all my social media public-facing except for Facebook, but because Facebook has become the social media of choice for new networking connections, I’ve had to relax that rule a bit to stay in the game. I still won’t accept just anyone, even if we talk regularly on various Stareable properties like the community forum, because Facebook is where I share posts and content intended for a more personal audience and not everyone has a right to that information. My Facebook will not show up in Google search results for my name, and only the base information available on other social media accounts is public on my profile before I’ve added you as a friend….
Bri Castellini is an indie filmmaker and Community Director at Stareable, our favorite web series hub. Watch the remarkable Ms. Castellini’s award-winning web series, Brains, HERE. See Sam And Pat Are Depressed HERE. This post first appeared on Stareable’s Blog.