Last year there was 6200+ shorts submitted to sundance and only ~70 screened
Thread: BillyBob wants to race cars...
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08-25-2010 01:17 PM
08-25-2010 01:24 PM
On our last shoot, we had a built stage and 2 locations. The set was a stand-in for the basement of one of the locations. Other than the usual lighting issues and trying to get that to match, we shot the basement scene. When we got on site 2 weeks later to shoot the "upstairs" we noticed that the "matching door" had the knob on the wrong side! Hanging the door backwards was not going to happen. After a quick pow-wow (I was DP), I said ok, we'll cheat it. Fortunately, the actor was wearing a shirt that was symmetrical. So we had him walk in from the wrong side to match the shot, and we reversed it in post.
We had a crew-only first cut screening last weekend, and no one even noticed! Talk about getting lucky!
Lesson learned: You can never be too careful on your pre-scouts. But since we were working without detailed storyboards, that kind of mistake is bound to catch you somewhere.
And I am SO glad I wasn't shooting this on film, because I lit it FAST and didn't match colors shot to shot. Since there was no color balance done for the first cut, it looked like amateur hour! I am very glad there was no one there that I knew!Don't be a BillyBob...
08-25-2010 01:43 PM
Look your list is fantastic. As Barry said it should be a sticky. The rest of the the items seem to be hard absolutes. This one about not submitting your first short is a matter of philosophy. It's also something that can be considered after you made it. "Hey this is pretty good" "Hey this sucks." I'm the filmmaker I mentioned whose 1st short wound up as programming on the Sundance Channel's website. That doesn't mean it's good enough to get into Sundance. But it means it would not have been fool hardy to have submitted. In fact, the thing I regret most is NOT submitting to major film festivals SOONER in my shorts career because I was afraid of the rejection. So I'm wary of a "rule" telling beginning filmmakers not to submit their early career work to major festivals.
So part of having your ducks in a row is getting your feet wet in the festival world. My advice would be, that if you can afford to submit to 10 festivals, and you think your 1st short is decent, send it to Slamdance, Sundance, and 8 smaller festivals where your chances are much better.
When I read "you" in direct response to something I've said it seems like you are speaking to me as opposed to beginning filmmakers or about things that beginning filmmakers should know / think about which would be odd since I've played Slamdance, Tribeca, SXSW, Toronto After Dark many mid level and genre fests, have distribution for 5 shorts, and booked the shorts programmers for Sundance, Slamdance, the author of Film Festival Secrets, Wholphin DVD programmer, and genre festival shorts programmers as Jurors for DVXuser fests due to meeting them on the festival circuit. In fall I plan on putting together a jurors panel from Indieflix, Indiepix, Bsides who have online and brick and mortar shorts distribution as well as major festival programmers and genre programmers for our membership.
So. I have some experience with festivals.
And actually it's only $35 dollars for the early bird shorts fee for Sundance. $35 to shoot for the moon.
On of the biggest problems our membership has is that they make films for DVXuser then they don't do anything else with them. Which is why I'm motivated to get them exposure to festival programmers and distributors.
08-25-2010 01:45 PM
sundance and slamdance early bird closed last week tho
08-25-2010 01:54 PM
if the world were ending this year, or Sundance was going to close it's doors that would be relevant
it will be $35 again next year give or take
and if your concerned about your $ that would be something to mark on your calendar so you don't miss it
point is, if you have your ducks in a row, that's the cost of the lottery ticket to the big show.
Even $75 is worth it.
One caveat - if you've missed the Sundance deadline, don't wait and not submit to other festivals for a whole year, especially if we're talking about a first short. Sundance doesn't care that much about premiere status for shorts. They've even found things off youtube to program. So send everywhere else if you've missed it this year, then, perhaps based on how you did at other festivals, decide if you want to submit next year to Sundance.
08-25-2010 02:10 PM
Alright. Fair enough.Don't be a BillyBob...
08-25-2010 02:19 PM
I hear you JDS. I'm just pointing out that those dates just ended.
I also believe it is well worth your while making those early dates if you can, not just to save money.
The best reason is to allow the festival reviewers a chance to watch your submission before
the floodgates open and all the other submissions arrive.
Now more than ever there are more and more people making shorts and more and more people submitting.
6000 shorts averaging 10 minutes each equates to 1000 hours of watching. Food for thought.
Also worth mentioning is that sundance and slamdance and many other festivals are now accepting online screeners via withoutabox
so no need to rush that fedex at closing time!
Last edited by J Davis; 08-25-2010 at 02:26 PM.
08-25-2010 02:27 PM
Here's a strategy tip to help your odds in those submissions.
You want to submit around the end of the 2nd 3rd of their submission window. The logic goes like this:
-- As soon as the submission window opens: "That short was pretty good, but we just started this. We'll probably see better."
-- Towards the end of the 2nd 3rd of their window: "Crap we need to start making some programming decisions. This was pretty good, let's put it on the 2nd look list."
-- Towards the very end of their submission window: "That was pretty good but it doesn't fit with the films we've already programmed." And/or: "We just don't have a slot for that film left." "We don't have a slot for another "X " type of film. We've programmed enough of those this year already."
In case "2nd 3rd" is confusing - I mean it's best not to submit during the very beginning, not to submit during the very end, but best to submit during the end of the middle - if that makes sense.
This is what I've heard. Can't 100% vouch for it but it sure makes sense.
08-25-2010 02:46 PM
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
- indiana/austin tx
Sundance doesn't accept by mail/fedex any more, or am I mistaken? Is without a box the only way to go these days for most fests?