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Getting noticed at film festivals...

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    Getting noticed at film festivals...

    Hey guys. I am going to shoot a feature this summer. It is an action film and I believe that it will be a great film. This film maker was telling me that without a budget, it won't be realistic and I won't get noticed when I submit to film festivals.

    I am on a low budget, but I know I can do a decent job, even without real special fx and crazy budgets. I have good people helping me out, a great script, great actors. He suggested for me to shoot a short first of the film and invest all my money on that project and then people would invest so I can shoot the feature.

    I don't have time to do this. I just want to get this story shot. I've been waiting for so long. I've been preparing for about 2 years already.

    what you guys think?

    If your script really is great, that's such a rare thing that you should definitely shoot it! And if your actors are great too, frankly I don't see how you couldn't get noticed. The problem with most films is bad scripts and weak actors. If your script is great and your actors are really talented (and you're a good director), heck, you can't lose no matter what you shoot on. The danger is your script and actors aren't as good as you hope...but if you don't make the film, how will you ever know?


      budget is a problem though - why dont you think about shooting one of the best scenes in the feature - and then show that around for funding, no wasted time and no wasted money


        great script + great actors = festival recognition.

        the only thing I can say here not to sound like Debbie Downer is...thats how every filmmaker feels about their baby. I think youre best bet is to make a short film first...see how it looks and does at a festival. Because #1 you will learn TONS and #2 you will make a lot less silly errors on your feature.


          Ok, if you've never done a short before then I'd say UR NUTZ going into a feature. But if you've done many little shorts and want to venture into this feature project I'd say do it, go for it damn it! How long can you wait?

          The fact that you don't have a real budget, if the film end up sucking and don't do well at festivals, alteast you got a feature under your belt and you can begin working on the next one! You have nothing to loose but doing this feature. But you have to be a tough guy though, because there's gonna be hell attached with this feature, just part of the territory.

          To sum it up, go for it!


            great script + great actors != success.

            Literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of really great, completely unnoticed films made each year.

            great script + great actors + self promotion + a bit of luck = better chance of success.

            I also recommend doing a short film, not because you can't make a feature, but I can gaurentee you that your "feature" won't be as good as you have in your head. And with no budget, you are going to face problems shooting; by that I mean, when you don't have enough money to feed your crew, and people get cranky cause they have to donate their time for months to get this shot.

            Features require a lot of planning and scheduling, which is a huge job in itself and half the reason why a lot of features fail or another reason they are bad (the director wearing a thousand different hats).

            Shorts are not easy to make either, in fact from a pure filmmaking perspective, not counting all the other things food, crew, schedules etc.. they are really hard to make interesting. Shorts already have a hard time since they don't have the "ooh ahh" factor of "I shot and directed a feature". But they certainly give you a much better environment to hone your skills. Shorts are also far more challenging on narrative flow and story. Features have a lot more time to tell a story, you don't get that luxury with a feature.

            Now having said that, I wouldn't recommend doing as many shorts as you can. Yes something can be said for the amount of stuff you've done, but, quality over quantity.

            Shorts cost much less, You can be far more experimental in a short (with a more forgiving audience). Getting through 120 shots (or less)is much less daunting than trying to get through 1200 shots (or more).

            But remember, opinions are like *******s.. everyone's got one.. myself included. Do what you think you can get done.

            Don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff.


              wow, thanks a lot guys. seriously, I think i'm gonna have fun making this film...and yes...hell will most def. break lose, but you know, hey, that's what film making is. and it's true, if it doesn't do good, I can always make another.

              and yes, i have made many many short films. i've even made some I even forgot about...pretty good ones too...i was just looking around for my stuff when i found this short film I even forgot i was a long time ago, but it shows how long ago i started. i started filming when i was 12. i've been shooting so many shorts. i even made a life 25 minute short (well you know) with my friend. it turned out pretty good...but it wasn't as good as what I can make it now...i've directed a music videos...i think i'm prepared for this....and if i'm not...hey, I will def. learn from it.

              thanks for everything guys! peace!


                You've been filming since you were twelve? What in the world are you waiting for! Go make your feature, and dont forget to post a link to the trailer here when you are done.


                  If you want to get noticed at a short film festival, here's what you need:

                  Killer story
                  Well executed killer story

                  Yeah, that 'bout sums it up. I suggest you do a short film, if you can't win 'em in
                  10 minutes, what makes you think you can in 90 minutes?

                  "Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
                  Portfolio of an Entertainment Blogger


                    Action films aren't exactly common film festival material. Sure, there are a few that specialize in Action, but by and large film festivals are a world of drama and comedy, in that order.

                    If you have many shorts available, perhaps you should test the film festival waters with your shorts. See if you can get them accepted. That might be one gauge of your talents. Once a festival has played one of your shorts and you have that relationship, they will be much more receptive to taking on your feature next time around.
                    Co-Founder, Matter of Chance Productions


                      Joshua, that's a good idea. I will see what I can do. Peace!