Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

We Should Come Up With Some Kind of Strategy

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It’s taken the same length of time some people take to make a feature film, but finally 17 is complete and DVDs have been sent out to those who took part in the production. Now, though, the film takes on a new life – a year (or so) on the festival circuit. The thing is – where to start?

Submitting to festivals is faster and easier than it ever has been, thanks to web sites like Short Film Depot and Without A Box. Our budget for festival entries is small to say the least, so we have to choose wisely.  Thankfully, quite a lot of festivals are still free to enter, and so will only cost you a DVD, postage and the time it takes to complete the entry form, which might only be a few seconds if you’ve already submitted the film’s information via one of the submission web sites.

We’re focussing on festivals by using a simple criteria.

  • British festivals – we’ve made a film that might work best with a British audience.
  • Festivals with a student competition – Jamie and I were both postgraduate students when we shot the film, and it was produced as part of our courses, so we qualify.
  • Festivals with themes that relate to our own film.  We haven’t made the Karate Kid Part II, but our film covers youth violence, bullying, coming of age, confrontation and revenge among other themes.
  • How much is it to enter?  We’re on a tight budget, so we need to be convinced it’s worth entering a particular festival as the entry fees will mount up quickly.

As always, you need to be up on festival politics, and it helps to find out which festivals are ‘hot’.  You might want to find out which ones might qualify you for the Oscars, just in case…  If you’re interested in how to make a successful short film, then a great case study is Gone Fishing directed by Chris Jones.  Pick out the story of the film from Chris’ blog.

If/when we get accepted by a festival, it will be a real validation of our work.  It wouldn’t hurt to win an award, either.

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Written by Matthew Redd

June 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

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