5 Reasons Not To Study Documentary-Making at Film School or University

I’ve taught at most of the major film schools in London. I also run my own documentary consultancy business (www.thedocumentaryconsultant.com) and teach short courses at the NFTS and Raindance. Increasingly I’m beginning to realise what exceptional value a great short course and/or a good documentary consultant can be – and how going to a film school may not always be the best route if you want to make documentaries that get seen. See if the following convinces you (though please note that I do not include the exemplary National Film & Television School in the film schools that I’m talking about here):

1 A Recent Graduate Of A Top London Film School Told Me: “I Learned Nothing About Documentary Making On My M.A.”
I recently led a one day documentary making seminar at a top London film school on my rules & principles of documentary-making. A recent graduate was there and I asked him what he’d learned about documentary-making on his M.A. His response shocked me: “Nothing”. He then went on to tell me about his graduation film; something didn’t seem to chime with me. I asked him a few questions about it and then suggested a fix. Immediately he got excited and agreed that for the first time his film could work. I find it shocking that so many film schools fail to teach an effective, structured approach to documentary filmmaking, and also fail to help students understand how to make documentaries that an audience might want to watch (and a broadcaster might want to show).

2 Documentary Tutors Can Give Simply Terrible Advice
A student who recently attended my Raindance Documentary Foundation Certificate told me that after struggling to find a focus and a story in her film school graduation documentary the advice that her tutor had given her was to “just keep filming and you’ll find your film.” Two years later – surprise surprise – she still hadn’t found it. In my opinion that isn’t great teaching. In fact I’d argue that it’s a terrible waste of the student’s money to be given such ill-informed advice. If medicine was taught like this then there’d be hundreds of criminal cases against medical schools. In my opinion documentary structure and its concomitant principles or rules need to be taught – and taught properly.

And need I add that it’s always better to learn from someone who has excelled in their field than someone who hasn’t.

3 Many Documentary-Making Courses Are Just Glorified Film Studies Courses

Many students of mine tell me that they learned more over two or three sessions with me as a documentary consultant or teacher than they had over their entire MA or BA. Considering you’re paying in the region of £23,000 for a degree or Masters, that’s in my opinion very poor value.

Many film schools purport to teach documentary-making but in reality teach a glorified documentary studies programme. A friend of mine teaches on a filmmaking degree at a London university and recently mentioned to another tutor how he spends three days preparing his weekly lecture. The other tutor told him that they personally never bothered preparing their lectures as all they did was show a film to the students and then got them to talk about it as: “everyone’s seen so many films in their lives that they have an innate knowledge of it.” I totally disagree with this approach to teaching – by the same logic you could argue that everyone has heard so much music in their lives that all they need to do is pick up a violin and start playing. There’s a huge amount of knowledge to learn before you can go off and make an engaging documentary and much of this is counter-intuitive and so has to be taught clearly and effectively.

4 I Learned Nothing About Documentary Making Over 3 Years At My Film School

At my film school I learned a lot about feminism, cod-psychoanalysis and post-structuralism. I could even drop the words “Jacques Derrida” into an essay, however when I left film school I went straight to unemployment. It was only as I started develping my own documentary ideas that I had to go out and discover how to make documentaries that the BBC might commission. All my teachings as a documentary consultant or film tutor come out of my hard-earned, tried and tested rules that I developed through research and practical experience working as a researcher and later as a producer/director at the BBC.

5 It Might Be Better To Spend Your £23,000 Film School Fee In A Different Way

What if you do as Paul Thomas Anderson did and eschew the film school route? What if instead of studying documentary making at university you instead spent, say, £750 on a short, truly inspiring course and several great documentary consultancy sessions? This can be a far more cost-effective way to learn what you really need to know to make documentaries that audiences want to watch.

As Werner Herzog says: “All you need is $ 10,000 (and guts) to make a feature film.” So with the £22,000 you had left you could go out and make two short and two feature length documentaries.

To see how Col Spector could help you with your film and to read some testimonials from filmmakers who have used his service go to www.thedocumentaryconsultant.com

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7 Reasons To Attend The 25th Raindance Film Festival

Independent film is exploding!

For 25 years Raindance has been bringing the brightest and best independent film to the core of London’s West End. This year is no different. A fresh crop of brash, fresh and bold new talent hits Raindance. Feast you eyes on films that are nothing like Hollywood.

If you are serious about being independent or serious about independent film you won’t be missing this year’s festival celebrating the best in independent film from around the world.

1. London’s first Virtual Reality Arcade

With most indie filmmakers moving to creating content for the internet, learn how this new technology platform enables independent filmmakers to make movies and make money.

A series of lectures and debates as well as screenings of a select handful of world premiere experiences makes this a ‘must-attend’ for anyone interested in this new film and distribution frontier.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday September 29 – October 1, noon til 7pm at the prestigious Hospital Club
Get your Virtual Arcade Tickets here

2. Want to make a movie?

Take a first timer suffering from a plethora of networking nerves, add in one of Europe’s busiest networking locations, sprinkle on a few quid of cash bar drinks and PRESTO – the opportunity to meet new collaborators of a lifetime.

You can buy individual tickets now but’s a lot cheaper to buy a Raindance Festival Pass.

3. Amazing Short Films

Raindance has always championed short films as the laboratory of cinema. Over the years we have shown well over 3,000 of these short gems, including early wortk by Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) and Gareth Edwards (Star Wars). We’ve 8 fantastic shorts programmes for you to enjoy. Remember that three Raindance shorts go onto the Oscars longlist: Best Animated, Best Documentary and Best Narrative Short.

Scope out the brightest and freshest new filmmaking talent

4. Live!Ammunition!

This is it! Your chance to pitch your idea for a movie directly to the people that matter: the people that decide which films get made and which get chosen to screen in cinemas and on TV.

Put a fiver in the hat and you get up to 2 minutes to convince the panel that yours is the next big thing. If you are boring they can and will gong you off. But they have to give you two good reasons why.

A tense and emotionally charged event that has launched many movies in it’s history, including ‘Meet The Parents’.

Friday 22 September 6:00pm Get your Live!Ammunition! tickets here [Free for Raindance members]

5. Web Series

We also have a stellar collection of Webseries pilots shown for the first time anywhere. These pilots were the best from the hundreds selected. Watch them, and all the events we’ve got planned as well, and engage in learning and networking.

Join us for a two-day Blowout of creativity and networking on Friday/Saturday 29/30 September

Read all about the Webseries programme here.

6. Great Documentaries

Raindance has garnered international acclaim for the quality of it’s documentaries. Also, being Raindance, these docs are unlikely to be seen anywhere else. Their subject matter and filmmaking style is far too contempory, and the topics too controversial, to be screened elsewhere.

Take the documentary tour and see what excites you here

Attend 25th Raindance.7. Get Partied Out!

We’ve never had more parties organised than this year. Our Opening Night Gala features the hottest indie film out there followed by the party of all parties featuring

Celebrate independent film on Wednesday September 2oth here

There’s 2 ways to attend:

1) with a Raindance Festival Pass
2) buy a Benefactors Package here [get behind the black curtain]

Cheapest way to Attend 25th Raindance

Do the maths: Tickets cost £13.00
Over 200 programmes and events
Earlybird Raindance Passes cost £49- £149 until August 20th
[members of Raindance always get the Earlybird price]
After August 20th Raindance Passes are £79 – £149

Attend all the screenings and events (except Opening and Closing night) for less than £1.00 per screening or event.

Get the lowdown. Attend 25th Raindance and Book Passes Online Here

Single tickets can be purchased from the box office now
book online here
– call the festival ticket hotline on 0207 930 3412
– at the Cinema Box Office at VUE Leicester Square from September 20th

The post 7 Reasons To Attend The 25th Raindance Film Festival appeared first on Raindance.

Raindance

4 Reasons Filmmakers Attend Film Festivals

From his book RAINDANCE PRODUCERS LAB (Focal Press).

In industry terms, film festivals are usually used as launch pads for films. Attended by acquisition executives and talent scouts, festivals are full of new product and fresh talent. Acquisition executives rely on the choices made by festival programmers to filter through the vast array of material in circulation. Individual festivals have built reputations based on their programming. In Europe, Rotterdam, Berlin, Raindance and Cannes all make unique programming choices that distinguish each festival from the other.

A film festival’s role is to provide an audience of receptive and appreciative filmgoers to view your work. Distributors can also use the festival to build publicity for their film before its commercial release. A festival is also a place where acquisition executives can discover new talent as they have a platform to screen their first shorts and features.

So why should you be there too?

Four Reasons to Attend Film Festivals

1 Do a deal

The primary reason for submitting your film to a film festival is to have it screened in front of acquisition executives who will ‘discover’ your film and make you an offer on the spot. If you are attending one of the smaller festivals, it is unlikely that this will happen. Film buyers travel through the major and mini-major festivals and would only consider a side trip to your screening at a smaller festival if you carefully planned the publicity surrounding your screening. They might reasonably ask why you had not been accepted into a larger, more convenient festival.

Reasons Filmmakers Attend Festivals

2. Filmmakers attend film festivals to win awards

If you read bios of filmmakers, you will often see the phrase ‘an award-winning filmmaker’, but the names of the awards are never mentioned. That is because there are only three awards worth naming on a CV.

The most prestigious award is the Oscar™. Even a nomination is mentioned on a filmmaker’s CV. The Academy has carefully presented itself to the industry as a credible event, although in recent years it has become known as a marketing contest with the cleverest and most expensive marketing campaigns winning the awards.

Following that, the Palme d’Or at Cannes is highly esteemed. Its cachet has become established because it is judged by very high profile industry jurors at the most important film festival of the year. The third most sought-after award is the Golden Bear presented at the Berlin Film Festival.

Many festivals offer awards to any filmmaker attending their festival as a means of attracting entries. A friend of mine, Dov Simens, had a 20-minute live action short starring William Forsythe. He submitted to the Montreal Film Festival knowing that they had a 35mm live action science fiction short film category and gave out gold, silver and bronze medals. There was one other entrant – Dov won the bronze. A few weeks later he did the same thing at the Cincinnati Film Festival and now calls himself a multiple award-winning filmmaker.

3 Sit on a panel / do Q&As

If award winning is not your thing, then get yourself invited to sit on a panel. Not only will it help you hone your public speaking skills, but you can then claim that you were directly involved with the festival. Alternatively, agree to a post-screening Q&A. Audiences are always keen to ‘meet’ the filmmakers and a personal appearance will help sell tickets.

4 Filmmakers attend film festivals to get reviewed

Film journalists really do not enjoy film festivals. Suppose your first film festival is a small regional film festival, a mom and pop film festival. The local weekly newspaper will have a film journalist who creates the weekly centre spread on movies from the press kits supplied by the major distributors. But with the film festival approaching, s/he will have to watch all the films entered into the festival and write reviews. As a producer, you want a good review, and hope and pray that the pictures you sent to the festival with your press kit are attractive enough to get printed in the newspaper.

The film journalist for this small weekly newspaper also has career aspirations. S/he would like to work on one of the daily papers, or get a job reviewing films on a radio or television station. Because the newspaper is so small they also have to cover the horse racing, but a festival really gives them some hope of a ticket out of Smallsville. Journalists have learned that they should always print a superlative in their review, even if they hate it, because they know you will quote their review out of context. For example: ‘Elliot’s first film is a fine example of how not to make a movie’ becomes ‘Elliot’s first film is a fine example’.

When you quote the journalist out of context they then can include your quote in their portfolio. If their quote makes it onto your poster, be certain you include their name and publication and send them a copy!

Why not come to the Raindance Film Festival and see if you can meet a filmmaker?

 

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Raindance

Here Are All the Reasons Why You Should Stop Making Films

Most of the time, there are more reasons to quit than to shoot.

How many times have you told yourself that you don’t have what it takes to make films? Films take time, money, talent, and creativity and more often than not you feel like you just don’t have any of those things. Maybe your parents have told you that it’s a waste of time. Maybe you’ve already tried to break into the industry and failed. Maybe you haven’t made anything in years because your inner child has been replaced by your inner critic who is constantly telling you that if you try you are going to fail.

If this is you, you should watch this video by Simon Cade of DSLRguide immediately.

When I was in first grade, my teacher asked the class to draw a picture of our favorite animal. Once everyone was done, we sat in a circle so we could show everyone what we drew. When my teacher held up my picture—it was of a cheetah—a boy laughed and pointed at it, and that was the first time in my life that I ever realized that something I made could be seen as “good” or “bad.”

Read More

No Film School

13 Reasons Why Filmmakers Celebrate Independence

Two huge civic celebrations of independence are coming up: July 1st is Canada’s 150 birthday – celebrating how they threw off the yoke of the British government, and July 4th – the day all Americans celebrate how a raggle-taggle gang of upstarts disrupted the British Empire by using creativity and innovation.

The world is dominated by news of social unrest and injustice. Fears for the planet’s ecosystem dominate the press.

Let’s put the pause on this negative thought: we’re making films to make the world better, and that’s what Raindance has been championing from the start. So let’s have look at the ways indie filmmakers can celebrate their independence.

13 Reasons Why Filmmakers Celebrate Independence

1.Big business salutes disruptors

It used to be that the big companies were pretty much unassailable. Companies that provided vehicles or finance were the preserve of the powerful and rich few.

Not anymore. The birth and rise of disruptive companies like Virgin, AirB&B and UBER are each an example of successful challenges to the establishment. How can we as filmmakers challenge the establishment and get our movies made and seen?

Do this right and you will be celebrated at Wall Street and the City of London celebrate the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Snapchat and so on.

2.Global collaboration

The internet and its myriad of channels have created a useful way for collaborators to engage across oceans and time zones. Never before has the globe felt as much as a village as it does now.

The Raindance Postgraduate Film Degree, for example, has students writing scripts in the UK, having them shot in Scandanavia, edited on the West Coast of America and produced out of Toronto by filmmakers who have never physically met.

3.Visual storytelling is everything

If you buy into my theory that everyone today is looking for storytellers – from ad agencies to Hollywood – and agree with me that a picture says a thousand words – you will start to see where I am coming from.

Isn’t this is the ultimate opportunity for filmmakers?

4.Raising money has never been easier.

The are’s two sides to this: Digital technology has made movie-making cheaper. And secondly – international film tax-rebate programmes have made finance easier to get.

That’s why I am presenting the Lo-To-No Filmmaking masterclass in Toronto and London this year.

It’s also why we at Raindance praise the independence independent film.brings.

5.Festivals are the new theratrical

It’s true! Distributors, film sales agents and filmmakers flock to festivals to gain the type of exposure you need to make your film stand out in the crowded marketplace. That’s why we founded Raindance Film Festival.

6.New ways to shake the money tree

Anyone with skilful use of social media can raise money outside the film industry. That’s really the true definition of the words Independent Filmmaker.

In other words, like our revolutionary American forbears over a quarter millenium ago, filmmakers need not rely on cash from the government tit of public funding. It really is a revolutionary idea to be able to celebrate one’s independence – free from the constraints money from public office brings.

Build your social media. Create interest in you and your work. And learn how to shake the money tree.

7. Phones and tablets – the new cinema screens

Board any commuter train at rush hour in the UK and you will see commuter after commuter with their noses buried deep in their hand-held devices watching everything from the news, sports and movies. What’s great about this is that it allows filmmakers to push their movies out to new audiences through iTunes, Youtube and Distrify – not only to get seen but to earn money as well.

7. New visions of collaboration

It’s taken a quarter century, but Raindance has finally figured out that a single ‘vertical’ doesn’t work anymore.

Look at this chart of the Raindance eco-system and see if there is a version of this you can create for your own career, your own company, or for your film (by integrating different media and merchandise for example.

Celebrate Independence

9. Second screen

Speaking about frontiers, what about making apps that go along with your movies? Dubbed ‘second screen‘ which means a second screen, like a cell phone or tablet that you watch along with your TV programme to enhance the experience and interact. Programme something exciting and your content will zip to the head of acquisition director’s shopping list. Here are 5-second screen apps that are shaping social TV.

10. Gaming

The gaming industry has developed storytelling to the point where it offers viable alternatives for filmmakers. Not only has the gaming industry’s animation techniques spawned technology useful to filmmakers, so too has gaming influenced storytelling.

Watch. Play. Learn!

11. Social media

Thank the gods for social media. Loathe it or love it, social media has now enabled anyone with the ability to tell a story, to be able to sell a story. Check out Ryan Koo’s Nofilmschool.com or Philip Bloom’s excellent blog, or screenwriter William C. Martell’s scriptsecrets.net. Each of these blogs provides interesting information and stories, and earn the owners money.

12. Self-distribution

The beauty of the internet also means that filmmakers can now sell directly to the public. Earn money from ads served against your movie on Youtube, like the British filmmaker, screenwriter and entrepreneur extraordinaire Dave Reynolds with his micro-budget genre masterpiece Zomblies now earning enough from Youtube to pay a salary of a production assistant. If you want to see a Who’s Who of Youtube’s money makers, check them out here.

Then there is Netflix which is soaring past 100 million subscribers in 40 countries. Now filmmakers can try and figure out how to use VoD sales projections in their film finance packages.

13.There’s never been a better time to make movies

Everyone is screaming for content. The traditional distribution platforms of TV stations, webcasters and movie theatres are all looking for movies. They are joined by the internet powerhouses of Youtube, Vimeo and now Netflix and Amazon Studios. They’re all looking for content or product. The trick is, of course, to monetize one’s content at an amount greater than the production budget.

FADE OUT

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s just too damn tough out there in the indie film world. Tough, it may be. But there is much to be thankful for.

Come on everyone. Shelve your regrets. Celebrate independence.
Let’s Make Movies!

Have I forgotten anything? You can always comment below

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Raindance

13 Reasons Filmmakers Can Be Thankful

As our filmmaking colleagues from around the world prepare for the Cannes Film Festival, over here in Raindance HQ in London we filmmakers and screenwriters watch the Cannes festivities with bemusement. What originally a celebration of film has turned into something of a circus,

Filmmakers the world over can pause for reflection each May. Here are fourteen reasons why:

1.There’s never been a better time to make movies

Everyone is screaming for content. The traditional distribution platforms of TV stations, webcasters and movie theatres are all looking for movies. They are joined by the internet powerhouses of Youtube, Vimeo and now Netflix and Amazon Studios. They’re all looking for content or product. The trick is, of course, to monetize one’s content at an amount greater than the production budget.

2.VoD is really taking off

Netflix is soaring past 100 million subscribers in 40 countries. Now filmmakers can try and figure out how to use VoD sales projections in their film finance packages.

3.Crowdfunding is coming of age

Zac Braff and Veronica Mars were so hugely successful that millions of more people became aware of crowdfunding as an alternative film finance source. This means more funders for YOU!

4.Raindance launches Raw Talent

Still in the soft launch stage, Raindance’s production arm, Raw Talent is slowly edging higher and higher over the parapet. This means more opportunities to get your movies made than ever before. Currently, we are about to launch production of Amber.

5. New super lightweight cameras

Not only are the new electronic cameras small, but the image quality is sublime. My guess is that a third of the movies we screened this year at Raindance were shot on cameras so small they literally fit in your palm (if not your cell phone). Add onto that, they are super cheap to own – opening up an moonlighting career as a camera owner-operators.

6. Phones and tablets – the new cinema screens

Board any commuter train at rush hour in the UK and you will see commuter after commuter with their noses buried deep in their hand-held devices watching everything from the news, sports and movies. What’s great about this is that it allows filmmakers to push their movies out to new audiences through iTunes, Youtube and Distrify – not only to get seen but to earn money as well.

7. Super small projectors

New small projectors can be carried easily in a backpack and can project from your cell or tablet using battery power. Now you can set up a screening anywhere you happen to be: in a park or a pub. Get some great content and a kicking sound system and the world’s your theatrical oyster.

8. New visions of collaboration

New technological advances have sparked new collaborations between artists working in different genres. Check out Montrealer Vincent Morisset’s work and marvel at the possibilities. It’s the new frontier where few have ventured yet. Be a collaborative pioneer!

9. Second screen

Speaking about frontiers, what about making apps that go along with your movies? Dubbed ‘second screen‘ which means a second screen, like a cell phone or tablet that you watch along with your TV programme to enhance the experience and interact. Programme something exciting and your content will zip to the head of acquisition director’s shopping list. Here are 5-second screen apps that are shaping social TV.

10. Social TV

TV isn’t dead, it’s become social TV. Apps and interactive features that allow you to fiddle with your remote, your cell or notepad are exploding on the market. Can you be the first to integrate this into a narrative movie or documentary? For example, BBC current affairs series Free Speech incorporates a Twitter-based panellist approval platform called the Power Bar. Watch and tweet in your approval or disapproval of the panellist’s comments. Figure out how to integrate these features into a dramatic storyline and you (and your banker) will have much to be thankful for.

11. Gaming

The gaming industry has developed storytelling to the point where it offers viable alternatives for filmmakers. Not only has the gaming industry’s animation techniques spawned technology useful to filmmakers, so too has gaming influenced storytelling. Watch. Play. Learn!

12. Social media

Thank the gods for social media. Loathe it or love it, social media has now enabled anyone with the ability to tell a story, to be able to sell a story. Check out Ryan Koo’s Nofilmschool.com or Philip Bloom’s excellent blog, or screenwriter William C. Martell’s scriptsecrets.net. Each of these blogs provides interesting information and stories, and earn the owners money.

13. Self-distribution

The beauty of the internet also means that filmmakers can now sell directly to the public. Earn money from ads served against your movie on Youtube, like the British filmmaker, screenwriter and entrepreneur extraordinaire Dave Reynolds with his micro-budget genre masterpiece Zomblies now earning enough from Youtube to pay a salary of a production assistant. If you want to see a Who’s Who of Youtube’s money makers, check them out here.

It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking it’s just too damn tough out there in the indie film world. Tough, it may be. But there is much to be thankful for.

Have I forgotten anything? You can always comment below

The post 13 Reasons Filmmakers Can Be Thankful appeared first on Raindance.

Raindance

’13 Reasons Why’ Season 2: What we want to see

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It’s official: Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is getting a second season. While we’ve already listed the perils of that decision, that decision has been made. So let’s look forward to what the show could do well and what it should do better.

Help for Jessica and Justin

The pair that should’ve been Liberty High’s “It couple” was at the beginning of Hannah’s tapes, but it’s the events described in the later tapes that leave them shaken and scarred entering Season 2. The show fleshed out Jessica and Justin better than the novel, especially with their family dynamics. Jess is now coming to terms with her painful assault and Justin with his complicity in what happened to her, but with the right support system they could both overcome. Read more…

More about 13 Reasons Why, Netflix, Television, Entertainment, and Entertainment
Mashable

Watch: 5 Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Color Meter

If you aren’t currently using a color meter on your shoots, this video might convince you that you should be.

Most filmmakers would agree that if you want to make your film look professional and cinematic, one of the most important aspects that you should get right is lighting. That’s easier said than done, of course. There are plenty of challenges when it comes to lighting, but one that a lot of beginner filmmakers tend to overlook is color temperature and the meter used to measure it. In this video, Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens goes into depth about why you might want to start using one to make the light in your scenes more even and accurate.

Getting the right color temperature in a shot is important if you want your images to not only look aesthetically pleasing, but match other shots as well. Morgan names five scenarios in which measuring color temperature would be most beneficial and necessary.

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No Film School

These censors created a whole new classification for ’13 Reasons Why’

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It’s difficult to think of a recent TV series that has prompted as fervent a discussion of mental health and suicide as much as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why.

The show’s been taken to task for its graphic and detailed depiction of suicide, and labelled as “dangerous content” by Australian mental health organisation Headspace.

Now, New Zealand’s Classification Office has decided to give 13 Reasons Why a new, unique rating: RP18. That limits the series to viewers over the age of 18, unless supervised by a parent or guardian.  Read more…

More about Rating, Classification, 13 Reasons Why, Suicide, and Mental Health
Mashable

Why Filmmakers Submit Early To Film Festivals – 7 Reasons

Raindance Photocall

You’ve finished your short, feature or documentry – congratulations – it’s festival submission time! Submit early! This is when you cross your fingers and toes and hope you get selected.

Here at Raindance Film Festival we’ve had a quarter of a century dealing with submissions from filmmakers, and nearly as long submitting our own work to festivals around the world. We also know how manic the filmmaking process is and how filmmakers rush to meet submission dedlines for the biggies like Berlin, Cannes, Raindance, Rotterdam, Sundance, SWSX and Toronto.

Here’s 7 Reasons You Submit Early To Film Festival

1. The Festival Programmers Will Be Fresh

One would think this is a no-brainer. But no, most filmmakers seem to wait until the last minute before they ship off their submissions. This means the festival programmers are faced with a huge number of submissions at the last minute. Remember that programmers have to finish their selections well in advance of the festival opening in order to allow for time for websites to be built, reviews written, films scheduled and hospitality arrangements made.

Raindance starts programming for each year’s festival a month after the previous one ends!

Benefit from the freshness of the programmer’s eyes.

2. Save Money

Have you ever had to pay for surge pricing on Uber? Most festivals, including Raindance have scaleable fees that rise dramatically as the deadline approachs. Early submissions are always the cheapest.

3. Festivals have time to ask you questions

I can speak from years and years of experience that the more time we have to work with you following selection, the more time we have to discuss your film and release strategy with you. In poll after poll of filmmakers who’ve attended Raindance the one regret they all have is: “I wish I had more time to plan my festival screening.”

4. It gives you time to research the festival’s programming strategy

Each film festival has a programming strategy. Early submission allows you to research a particular programming style before submitting. You won’t need to ask the boring questions that festivals like Raindance get asked all the time.

5. It allows you time to market your project

Getting the marketing vibe right is one of the trickiest things any filmmaker can do. Giving yourself the right amount of time allows you to test your marketing approach, to do AB testing and other promotional and marketing activity.

Remember: one of the best ways to get selected is to submit early, and then mount a marketing campaign. Festival programmers will notice your online activities.

6. You can meet other filmmakers

Get your social media up to scratch and start asking your ‘crowd’ about what you are trying to do and use their experience. Or collaborate. Or share accommodation!

7. You can plan your festival strategy

Successful filmmakers have learned that the backbone to their success is a strong and well thought out social media marketing and promotion strategy. Submitting early to festivals means you have the time and energy to create a viable social media strategy, not only for your film, but for you as a filmmaker.

The Acid Test

Are you ready to submit your films to a film festival?
Have you looked at their past editions to see if you can just their previous programming?

What about Raindance? Have you looked at our film festival website?

The post Why Filmmakers Submit Early To Film Festivals – 7 Reasons appeared first on Raindance.

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