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Old September 24th, 2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

Just like most newbies, I claim to have made a really good short film. Now I want to know your suggestions for what to do now.

Let's say, for argument's sake, the film really is good. Does it make sense in 2013-2014 to enter it into shorts competitions? Better to post it all over the net? Mail a DVD to your favorite director and hope he takes you under his wing? (just kidding, commence eye-roll)

I know this has been covered, but the relevant threads are really old, and I want 2013 thoughts.

[ [ [ Positive, constructive comments only please! ] ] ]
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Old September 25th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #2
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

Bump. Bump. Someone must have some thoughts!
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Old October 3rd, 2013, 01:24 PM   #3
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

It's been a while since i've been on here. As you say everyone thinks they have created a great short so you should post it on this section and get some feedback. Then if it is as good as you think it is people will tell you and direct you to the next step.
You will get lot's of people looking at it but don't be discouraged if no one comments on it.i've seen a lot of shorts on here with no comments made about them, i don't think people like to put others work down or be too negative so best to say nothing. Everyone has a different view and the fact you have actually created a short film is an achievement in itself.
As for entering film festivals that's great if you have the faith,time and resources to see it through, if so go for it and keep posting on how you get on.
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Old October 5th, 2013, 08:38 AM   #4
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

If I post the movie on here, won't that disqualify me from submitting it to [many] short film festivals?
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Old October 6th, 2013, 06:52 AM   #5
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

Here are my thoughts:

There are 10 billion film festivals, most of which take shorts. According to most folks only about a dozen are worth a damn as far as "getting noticed", that is, places where agents/distributors/bigshots actually attend. Those are of course the hardest ones to get into it. That doesn't necessarily mean the others are worthless, per se. Are you a great networker/self-promoter/etc.? Then any film festival could be good. You go, you meet people, you make connections, slowly grow your fan base, never know what might happen.

I have been (or my movies have) in a number of film festivals. The only one really of note was Slamdance. At any festival, all that stuff I just mentioned about networking etc. makes all the difference as to who attends your screening. Unfortunately, seems like there's no fest where people just go to watch everything, just like you and "real" movies, people go to fests to see certain things. So you have to make them want to see yours. I've been in many screenings with the number of audience members in the single digits. . . it's depressing. It's very hard to get people who don't know you (and in my case, even those that do) to care about this stuff.

The general advice used to be to send your work to between 20-40 festivals instead of just a few (of course if you're invited to submit to more, and when I say invited, I meant they waive the entry fee, then of course submit to more!). Don't know if that's the case any more, but as you can imagine that gets real expensive.

At this point, except for a few local ones that I can actually easily attend (Slamdance was about a $2000 trip, all told, and unfortunately I am not, after having attended, now famous, wealthy and typing this from my ivory Imac and dinosaur egg keyboard), I'm pretty much abandoning festivals as I think there's just as good a likely of my short films getting seen on Tumblr, youtube, etc. as a festival. The awards don't really mean anything unless you make them mean something, and the thrill of getting in etc. is short lived.

That's my stupid opinion. Others ARE great at networking etc. and thrive in the festival environment. I'm just not one of those folks.

As far as putting your stuff online disqualifying you, yes, that's true for some fests (some don't care, and I think a lot of those that demand a premiere MIGHT be referring to features only--you should definitely ask because I think a lot of the time they're feature-focused and aren't really thinking about the shorts when they post their rules), but ask yourself, would you rather have a couple, or thirty, or a few hundred people see it at fests, or have the whole world as your potential audience via the web? What's more important to you, eyeballs/views or prestige?

And one more thing, understand that just because you don't get into a fest (if that happens), doesn't mean your movie isn't any good. I have been rejected from many, and yet when I DO accepted, I generally get a very good response from the audience. Large audiences. Truly. Festival judges opinions do not equal the opinions of regular moviegoers/viewers.
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Old October 6th, 2013, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

Thank you for that quick and dirty on the festival thing . I really appreciate the honesty and lack of wet-blanket-isms. Positivity goes a long way. Pessimism, not so much. I'll post it on here soon.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #7
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

I think Josh provides a lot of great insight about festivals, the other thing I'd add is that even if your short does well in festivals that rarely leads to any real opportunity either.

I realize all of this must sound like a downer but it isn't intended that way, festivals are just so '90's, you'd do better if your short was picked by the staff at Vimeo for example, at least there you might get a couple hundred thousand viewers then its up to you on how to leverage that into something you want. There's other online type festivals that you might be better suited for your needs.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

That feels correct. Maybe instead, pretend like the internet is the festival cicuit--submit it everywhere you can, and create accounts on every site you can think o (tumblr, vimeo, youtube, etc.). Anywhere that lets you blog or embed or upload videos, and try to spread your love that way.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #9
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

It kind of depends on what problem your trying to solve, if you want a lot of people to see it in the off chance that someone would be compelled to contact you then YouTube and Vimeo are good channels to do that. I have about 70 videos online that have gained about 1.5M downloads, not once has anyone called or emailed me to ask me to produce something for them. However, I have enough diversity in content that I can use them as examples of work so that when I'm talking to someone I can point them to the appropriate videos to help close business.

There are a lot of people who have produced one good award winning short that never went on to produce anything more. Its not about the one of anything, but can you produce what people need for the amount of money they have to spend within whatever time constraints they might have.

If your hoping to use your short to position your work among the elite producers in the entertainment industry then you do probably have to try festivals like Sundance and Caanes but that level of festival often requires that the film be shown in a theater [film projection] which just the expense of filming out the short is cost prohibitive for most small independents with no guarantee that they will even except it.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 02:30 AM   #10
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

And again, I must emphasize how difficult it is to get into those A list fests. Between the 8000 or 10000 entries Sundance gets a year and the small number (100ish?) slots it has available for films, plus the fact that many folks just get in when they feel like it because they're celebs with their own projects, or have connections with the fest organizers, taking up valuable unknown indie filmmaker slots, it is next to impossible to get in. Also those fests tend to be after very specific things content-wise. As I said, you may have made something good that a lot of people will like, but it may not fit the feel of the festival.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #11
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

Okay, so is there a special way of submitting a movie to Vimeo that is different than just uploading it to your free Vimeo account? Do the movies Vimeo chooses to display on their Staff Picks or their other similar suggested-viewing type pages. I am not Vimeo-savvy
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Old October 8th, 2013, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

I'm not sure, all I know was that when I was a Vimeo PLUS member I got a lot more views than when I stopped paying for PLUS and became a regular free member. That could be coincidental but becoming a plus member isn't that expensive and if your going to upload HD on a regular basis its worth it.

Like I mentioned previously its probably more effective if you use Vimeo as part of a marketing strategy for showing your work, its a place where you can send people to view your work in a good viewing environment without crass comments and ads popping up, YouTube is more like dropping a bail of hay of the back of a truck, sure if for some reason it goes viral then the world is your oyster but the odds of that are slim and seldom do YouTube videos find much of a following based on quality of production or message.

It really depends on what you have and how good it is. I can't speak for Josh but I'm certainly not trying to discourage you from going down the festival route, maybe what you have is really that good or unique but even if it is no matter what you decide to do you need to have a plan of who your trying to appeal to and how you hope to reach them. Most festivals have become insanely expensive and political which makes it difficult to develop a good strategy.

Either way you decide to go, good luck.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 03:32 PM   #13
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Re: SHORT FILM FESTIVALS? or What to do with you really good short film?

I'd be curious about that vimeo question as well.

One thing you can do on Vimeo is the whole thing with channels and groups where you can add your video to other people's groups or channels (can't remember exactly how it works right at the moment). You can search for terms in the groups/channels like "short films", "comedies', etc.. .whatever's relevant to your movie and try to add yours to as many as you want. helps make it more visible to others.

The main point to all of this is that marketing something is hard. Trying to get people to care about your project among all the millions of other things out there competing for their attention is an ordeal.
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