Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Managing Film Festival Submissions

Seems like my life revolves around mailing DVDs to film festivals these days. Have I mentioned this tedious process is not my favorite? (Yes, I think I have.) Since it's important, I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.

It's a tough thing to do, though. Submitting to festivals gets expensive quickly. The cost of producing the film is lingering in the back of your mind already, and then you add these new costs to the list.

There's the cost of burning DVDs, labels, and the case. Then you add the cost of each film fest submission, envelopes, stamps, etc. The straw breaking the camel's back is the occasional trip to the post office, just to make sure the thing has the right postage and makes it in the mail in time. And that usually happens when it's raining and the post office is most crowded -- how does it always happen that way? The whole thing is a bit nerve-racking, but I'm trying not to fret too much.

Without A Box (WAB) has a status page for your submissions. I never knew how much a little blue check mark could mean. The check mark means the DVD has been received, and the submission is being considered. It means ... this part of the process has gone well, at least. Now there's a hope that the little film-that-could will make it through to the final stage: being seen at the festival.

Yep, the whole thing is nerve-racking, time consuming, and tedious. One of the things I focus on to keep positive are the local screenings we're organizing. That is time-consuming as well, but the pay off is more immediate.

These local screenings are good for my soul.

A room full of people willing to watch your film, and stick around to ask questions afterwards? That's a gift right there, my friend. Something I'll never take for granted. I want more of that.

In the meantime, I'm looking into putting the film online for these submissions. I need to take the time to do that, because it would be much more efficient. No DVD production, no mailings to manage, and no waste in the process. I want the process to be as environmentally-friendly as possible, you know?

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