Alternate Ending

Wha?  A new blog post…but….but…you said…I know, but I was reminded after our last class that there were a few things left unsaid in terms of what the heck you could do now with all your newfound wisdom and finished video pieces. 
Sure, you could hunk your videos up on youtube – the digital equivalent of hurling a bottle into the sea, but there are other options, should you choose to explore them:

www.withoutabox.com

This is the site to become familiar with if you’re interested in applying to festivals in the future.  It is a clearinghouse of thousands of festivals (there really are simply too many festivals) where you can search, browse and generally be overwhelmed by all the places you can send a submission fee.  Best of all, you only need to put in your film’s information once – rather than the old method of downloading forms for each festival and filing them out by hand.  There is also an option for uploading your film so you don’t even need to head to the post office.  Warning – it can be addictive and horrendously expensive. 

Here’s a strategy I think works: 

First go to websites of independent filmmakers you like. 

(if you don’t know who you like yet check out:  www.expcinema.com,

www.marthacolburn.com

http://apecosmonauts.com/

www.poisonberries.net/

www.tscherkassky.at/

www.sometimesonsundays.com – hey, I gotta plug myself at some point, right?  BTW a new, much better looking site is coming)

On the filmmakers’ sites, go to their film page or awards section or something like that and see which festivals they enter.  It will give you a good idea of which fests will get you the kind of exposure you want.

Then go to withoutabox and look up those festivals to see when the submission deadlines are, if they require premier status, etc…Then you can make a more educated decision about where to spend your hard earned money. 

A potentially cheaper route is to go to clearinghouse sites that specialize in non-US festivals.  For some reason (cough, respect for art, cough), festivals outside the USA are often subsidized by the government and require no entry fee.  The only costs you’ll incur are the steep international shipping fees (they’re not that bad) – just remember to always write “For Cultural Purposes Only – No Commercial Value” on the envelope when you send in your submission DVD.  In addition to saving foreign festivals any import duties, writing “No Commercial Value” over and over and over again will give you a great sense of your value.  The two sites I use are:

www.reelport.com  (which allows you to submit your movie electronically for a small fee for a truly easy submission experience)

www.shortfilmdepot.com

You can also research foreign and domestic film festivals to your heart’s content at:

www.britfilms.com/festivals/browse/

In addition to film festivals, there are also plenty of opportunities to screen your work at “open screening” events and “microcinemas”.  Like open mic poetry slams, you can bring your film/video and show them, watch what other people are doing and talk to the filmmakers afterwards.  As you might imagine, the quality can vary wildly.  Here’s one right in Boston that meets the 2nd Tuesday every month:

http://www.coolidge.org/openscreen

And here’s a handy map of the country that shows you various open screenings/microcinemas:

http://www.wayfaring.com/maps/show/1151

Lastly, there are distribution centers where you can have your work archived and sometimes rented by the curious.  While these places mainly benefit you if you are already “established”, they’re something to think about if you want to archive your work away from where you live – kind of like protection in case your house burns down.  Please, quit smoking – you will burn your house down.

www.cfmdc.org/

www.anthologyfilmarchives.org/membership/

www.vdb.org/

For those of you interested in getting more experience on shoots, meeting other filmmakers, and generally being in on the “scene”, there are many, many websites that can hook you up with other likeminded folks.  Two of them here in the Boston area are:

www.beanywood.com

www.newenglandfilm.com/

But pretty much wherever you live, a quick google search will find you a local organization that lists events, a job board, etc…

And if you’re really stuck – ask me.  What?  Sure!  This weblog will never die (until the sun goes red giant and fries the earth to a hard carbon cinder) and so you can post any comment and it will email me automatically.  I don’t know if I’ll always be able to answer a question, but perhaps I’ll know some way to find out.  Also, it would be nice to hear about your progress out in the weird world. 

Okay, be good out there!

David Baeumler

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~ by sosundays on May 4, 2008.

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