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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old November 18th, 2008, 02:42 AM   #1
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film festival experiences

I don't even know exactly where to put this.


Thus far, I have only been to a handful of festivals (to support the screening of one of my own films, I mean), and granted, these are small ones. Very small. But these universal truth to these, is that for the most part, the only people attending the screening of any given film are the people that are directly involved with the film--director, maybe actors/crew, director's family, etc. As soon as their film is over. . BAM! They're out the door. This generally leaves me watching my own film with my woman, maybe my parents, and that's about it. Furthermore, it seems ONLY people associated with the movies attend the festivals; not regular folks. Sundance, Cannes, etc. aside, is it always like this? I try to be a nice guy and watch the whole program, at least for that day, unless it starts insanely early.

PS these are all fests with one screening venue. . .not multiple theaters with stuff playing in each simultaneously. The ones I've been to have one theater, and you're either watching a movie in there or not watching anything at all.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #2
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Josh, I've been to a few in Texas and California - had mine screen in Colorado and Iowa. All of these have been 'multi-venue' festivals. My experience is that people come and go. I pick a few movies I really want to see - and see them. I attend some workshops or seminars, cocktail chat-and-chews, and of course the awards ceremony/banquet if I'm winning something! But I look at them as networking opportunities - a chance to meet other filmmakers, producers, writers, what have you. I don't go to every movie showing.

My sugestion, is for you to go to SXSW in Austin. You will probably get a different feel. I haven't been for some time, but I think I'm going this spring.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 03:33 PM   #3
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Those fests are in a different league. I think sxsw is one of the "A" fests (top ten).
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Old November 18th, 2008, 05:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Those fests are in a different league. I think sxsw is one of the "A" fests (top ten).
It is, which is even more reason for you to go. :)

No matter the size of the festival... no one will come to see your movie unless they know about it and something makes them want to see it. Besides putting you on the bill, festivals won't do any of this, it's still up to you to do your own publicity.

If you want cheeks in the seats, you have to get the word out. Sadly, this means more time or more money on your part (unless your film gets bundled with something else that everyone already wants to see because those filmmakers are doing lots of publicity).

People don't go to film festivals just for the sake of art, they go for the same reason that they go to see a normal theatrical film... because the advertising and publicity has made them want to.

You MUST read Chris Gore's Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide. Drop everything you are doing and go buy it off Amazon.com right now. I'll give you my 100% non-money back guarantee on it!
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Old November 19th, 2008, 02:43 AM   #5
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I've got it. Read it. Just don't remember anything I've read. I'll have to look again.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 12:30 PM   #6
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The Internet is more effective for promotion

This is why I post my films and interviews online.

I get more views on YouTube than I'd ever get in a festival, although I still think festivals are an important part of getting exposure. I just haven't found one that's worthwhile yet.

At Sundance I saw a crew shooting a video where it showed desperate filmmakers on the streets trying to get people to take passes to their film and pry them away from the exclusive parties and corporate SWAG events to come watch their creation. It was like trying to sell Avon products to a leper. No one cared.

Get a good youtube/bliptv/vimeo/etc. page, promote it heavily and use festivals as a networking opportunity.

That's my 2 cents.

Scott


Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
I don't even know exactly where to put this.


Thus far, I have only been to a handful of festivals (to support the screening of one of my own films, I mean), and granted, these are small ones. Very small. But these universal truth to these, is that for the most part, the only people attending the screening of any given film are the people that are directly involved with the film--director, maybe actors/crew, director's family, etc. As soon as their film is over. . BAM! They're out the door. This generally leaves me watching my own film with my woman, maybe my parents, and that's about it. Furthermore, it seems ONLY people associated with the movies attend the festivals; not regular folks. Sundance, Cannes, etc. aside, is it always like this? I try to be a nice guy and watch the whole program, at least for that day, unless it starts insanely early.

PS these are all fests with one screening venue. . .not multiple theaters with stuff playing in each simultaneously. The ones I've been to have one theater, and you're either watching a movie in there or not watching anything at all.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 01:30 PM   #7
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Food for thought.
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