IndieTips: The Return

April 19, 2019
2 mins read

It’s been a while. A good few years. Three since the last published article, and perhaps four or five years since I published an article which wasn’t a repost or rehash of an existing piece of content. In 2017 I wasn’t too sure if there was a future for IndieTips, which was sad because its readership had been steadily growing for years, we had surpassed one million unique page views, and advertising space was always being booked. As a webmaster, you couldn’t ask for anything more, but as a creative, you could.

I was offered an opportunity to contribute content to PremiumBeat’s filmmaking blog The Beat, which was a better-paid opportunity, and my tips and tricks would reach a far greater audience. Initially, I had convinced myself that while my primary focus would be for The Beat, I would still make time to shovel coal into the IndieTips furnace. Ultimately? That didn’t happen. Why would I create content for a website with a small readership when I could create content and have my content read and digested by the thousands. It was an obvious choice, but still, it hurt to see IndieTips stagnate.

Traffic started to drop, once sought after adspace became plentiful, and for the first time in years, IndieTips was no longer self-sufficient and started to become a monthly expense. However, it was my baby, and I couldn’t let the domain fall back into the endless, infinite abyss where it would undoubtedly be snapped up in a second. I once let expire, and now to repurchase that domain it would cost me close to $1,500. I’m not even too sure how the domain become valued at such a price considering it was just linked to my teenage Tumblr and nothing else. Perhaps my hipster landscape posts were a secret hit.

With that, I’m here to say IndieTips is making a return. The website is set to become a more personal venture. Instead of existing as a bland entity of notebook friendly film tips, it will serve as a creative extension of my findings and troubleshooting, and generally, discussions of my gear and setups. This evolution was inevitable. As I progressed as a creative, the content started to echo a personal blog as I queried the problems I encountered while shooting, and these post garnered a lot more traffic than the posts that felt like they were found in that worn-and-torn film book you skim through every year.

image of a bearded man sitting on a bed operating a cinema camera.

The New Direction

Figuratively, and to some extent quite literally, I burned the pre-existing IndieTips to the ground. There were at least 250 articles published on the website, but many were whimsical, some were as short as a paragraph with a long quote to populate the word count, and a handful were movie reviews which should never have been a thing. Although, to give myself a somewhat defense, there were also a good number of articles with reliable information and brought traffic in by the hundreds of thousands, but they didn’t fit in with where I want to take the website. So, they too were purged. (I know that a good friend of mine who is a social marketing and SEO wizard is currently shaking his head in disgust.) stood to be the home for “fast, reliable, informational and notebook friendly filmmaking tips…” and that ‘we’ would be posting multiple times a week. That’s gone. Instead, a few times throughout the month there will be a lengthy, but valuable, article on the trials and tribulations I’ve fallen over while shooting on project A, or experiences learned while I was working on set B. There will still be a strong emphasis on lone wolf filmmaking, but with less of a focus on DIY setups and short-lived tips that serve no purpose other than to hit a content quota. The site has a new design which should echo the new direction; it’s clean and straightforward. The website will soon feature a shop to purchase digital filmmaking assets, but that information is for another day.

If you’ve been a reader over the past few years, thank you. I hope you enjoy the new content and that it assists you on your creative journey.

Lewis McGregor

Lewis McGregor is a filmmaker, photographer and online content creator from Wales.