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Liam

I'm thinking about starting a film festival...

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6 hours ago, mercer said:

Field of Broken Dreams...

Or Field of Rejected Dreams

at the risk of ruining my hardcore reputation i gotta say that i rlly like that movie

59 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

The novelty of getting farmer to let you do it in his cornfield or next to his cornfield would be pretty great

i knooooo cornfields are sooo cinematic. and at NIGHT? of course if youre having it late in the summer theres light in the sky til 9pm so... keep that in mind lol

POINT: i still think we need a random discussion of the day thread. the cornfields reminded me of the x files and i just wanted to say that the last season was truly beneath criticism

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13 hours ago, mercer said:

Or if you want to be really hip and are willing to take the time and raise the money, you could market the festival as an underground fest that only accepts films that were rejected from major/minor festivals. You could probably get some press and could appeal to a lot of filmmakers. Just come up with a hip name for the fest... Midwest Film Rejects or just Film Rejects Fest. Idk, just spitballing. 


I like the idea of only allowing films in it if they've been rejected somewhere!

Of course this is a bit of a gimmick, as ANY film can get itself rejected somewhere. 

But it is funny, and sometimes you need a bit of a "gimmick" to get some marketing traction. 

8 hours ago, kaylee said:

make everything as easy and cheap as possible. to paraphrase robert rodriguez, you dont need a good venue, you need a SHITTY venue. do it outside! summers coming


As we were discussing in another thread on EOSHD, some high(ish) power projectors are becoming fairly affordable! Plus a couple of outdoor speakers in a park, and you're away laughing. 

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12 hours ago, IronFilm said:


I like the idea of only allowing films in it if they've been rejected somewhere!

Of course this is a bit of a gimmick, as ANY film can get itself rejected somewhere. 

But it is funny, and sometimes you need a bit of a "gimmick" to get some marketing traction. 


As we were discussing in another thread on EOSHD, some high(ish) power projectors are becoming fairly affordable! Plus a couple of outdoor speakers in a park, and you're away laughing. 

Yes sir:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Holiday-Clearance-13-1-x-11-5ft-Airblown-Outdoor-Inflatable-Movie-Screen-for-a-Backyard-Theater-WSY/916442905?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=9390&adid=22222222228145600853&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=m&wl3=253994633263&wl4=pla-419764031758&wl5=9033288&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=115780932&wl11=online&wl12=916442905&wl13=&veh=sem

13 hours ago, kaylee said:

i knooooo cornfields are sooo cinematic. and at NIGHT? of course if youre having it late in the summer theres light in the sky til 9pm so... keep that in mind lol

Food hacks are trendy, why can't cinema hacks also not be big with the kids? I remember seeing the first Star Wars as a young kid in a drive-in movie cinema. Awesome experience. 

These kids today no nothing about that. They'd freaking love it. 

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6 hours ago, Matthew Hartman said:

I remember seeing the first Star Wars as a young kid in a drive-in movie cinema.

Local multi-plex for me with the StarWars, but I did watch "Corvette Summer" a year later at the Twilight Drive in.  Annie Potts in scuba flippers, yeah.  A double feature with "The Return of the Pink Panther"

 

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On 24/03/2018 at 2:49 AM, Liam said:

So I kind of want to start the smallest film festival ever…

In contrast to the other helpful and valid posts above, I'd like to challenge you a little bit around making it smaller rather than larger.

If I record a clip on my phone and then show my fiancé then is that the "smallest" film festival?  I would imagine that you would probably say that's not a film festival, and I'd probably agree with you, but what is important is WHY isn't that a film festival?  What are the minimum elements of a film festival that make it a film festival?

If I invite some mates over and we watch a video I shot, is that a film festival?  If not, what's missing?  More people?  More films?  Films must be edited?  Must be advertised?  Must be judging and a winner?

Make a list of what you think you require.

What are you hoping to get from hosting it?  Fame?  Fortune?  Gratification?  Gratification of what?  Making community?  Making a lot of noise?  Making a mess?

When you've done that, try and figure out how to minimise it - if you don't need a huge audience then you might not need a venue, which might mean you don't need insurance.  Try and think outside the box on this.  Ask yourself what you're willing to do in terms of 'breaking the rules'.  For instance if you were only interested in the community aspects of it you might drag out a an old Ebay projector (good films look fine in SD) into a park and use your mates car for sound, you'd probably be in violation of some kind of county laws or whatever, but maybe you don't care about these things.  Maybe there's a park that no-one will notice you using if you get there later in the evening (in summer it gets darker later so that works too).  Word of mouth and maybe photocopy a few fliers would get you enough audience for your own purposes.  

I think it's an awesome idea and I wish you all the success in the world, but I challenge you to think about what is important to you and have the smallest simplest cheapest least-official event that meets your expectations. :)

 

 

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6 hours ago, kye said:

What are the minimum elements of a film festival that make it a film festival?

There are none, it's whatever the organizer says it is. However, they're usually a bigger to attract more people which gives more exposure to the filmmakers, and helps to pay down the costs.

The word festival just means an annual gathering, celebration or commencement centered around a thing, but does not denote scale. Technically, a screening is not much different, but usually plays in a smaller, more intimate setting and is more about critque/feedback.

Often festivals will have other attractions outside of the films to attract more people to the venue, much like other types of festivals.

Honestly, I don't see festivals as being all that different from say a convention or a fair. It's usually all about the merch with a heavy industry presence, coupled with the main attraction. They've gotten pretty commercialized imo. I understand that pays the bills but it would be nice to see more grassroots/one-off festivals pop up where the focus is 99% about the film's and discussion panels.

I think if the setup cost is kept low, this can happen. BYO"" style. Obviously, the festival being talked about here would be local only. It could be done digitally via streaming, but then you miss out on the social engagement part which in my opinion is the real magic of a film festival. Gathering and conversing with like-minded peeps and learning about people's process.   

We have quite a bit of film festivals here in Seattle. But it would be cool to see more in places least expected, like Iowa.

If the OP plays his cards right and strategically, he could probably get some decent investment. Hit his local chamber of commerce, grab the attention of someone who is passionate about film and has money just begging to be spent. City officials look at these things as cash cows.

And don't forget crowd sourcing. Offer travel/admission packages at different tiers of investment.

It would be a ton of logistics but it could turn out to be a lot of fun. I think the corn field idea would prove to be an unforgettable experience, especially if the festival has a horror theme. A physically small entry that opens up to something vast. Maybe the festival is sat in the middle of a faux crop circle. Get creative. 

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I heard a story (no idea if it's true) about someone in the industry - maybe they were a film critic(?) - that had a large shed in their backyard that was setup as a makeshift cinema and they ran a video night every Friday night.  In summer they had it outside on their lawn.  Anyone was welcome to attend, they showed short films on any format (I think he had a collection of players for different formats, like VHS, Beta, etc).  It was famous for being a completely mixed bag - great films mixed with awful crap.  I heard that often the best ones were shot on poor quality equipment as his night was known to accept all formats so it attracted those people that either didn't know how to get access to good equipment or didn't know it mattered to film-festivals until after they'd finished.  Apparently he screened a film shot on one of those Barbie cameras (where the camera was mounted in the doll) and it was well received by the audience despite being very poor image quality.

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20 hours ago, kye said:

When you've done that, try and figure out how to minimise it - if you don't need a huge audience then you might not need a venue, which might mean you don't need insurance.  Try and think outside the box on this.  Ask yourself what you're willing to do in terms of 'breaking the rules'.  For instance if you were only interested in the community aspects of it you might drag out a an old Ebay projector (good films look fine in SD) into a park and use your mates car for sound, you'd probably be in violation of some kind of county laws or whatever, but maybe you don't care about these things.  Maybe there's a park that no-one will notice you using if you get there later in the evening (in summer it gets darker later so that works too).  Word of mouth and maybe photocopy a few fliers would get you enough audience for your own purposes.  


Get in touch with your local community board (whatever your lowest level local government body organisation is), it is likely they'll be quite supportive of community events such as this, especially if you can put a "local spin" on it. 

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:


Get in touch with your local community board (whatever your lowest level local government body organisation is), it is likely they'll be quite supportive of community events such as this, especially if you can put a "local spin" on it. 

In the states is called chamber of commerce. 

@Liam

Do you have a local Alamo Drafthouse in your area by chance? They run local film festivals all the time, meaning you can rent their full service venue. I went to a few in Austin Texas before. They were a blast. 

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Why not make it international and semi-virtual ?

Get 10 films from your local area and 10 from other countries that are submitted electronically.

Get a Skype connection to do a live Q&A with the international film maker.

Then we could all reciprocate by hosting a similar event where we live.

A whole international circuit of interconnected independent festivals at minimum expense.

 

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I don't think anyone would invest in me, and I kind of don't want anyone to. If they would, i'd just use that supposrt to make films and not feel enough like a failure to want to put this together.

There's also something weird and slightly cultish about it being our whole community... like it would become all about the horrible $16,000 local film just because everyone was involved in making it, and everyone would still be trying to reject the $0 budget film that I actually like. If I started giving power to everyone here who thinks they're a filmmaker, I might not even attend in the end.

Plus there's already the much more popular festival in my city, which I am somewhat trying to fight against, with the whole "Slamdance" vibe.

 

I'm surprised to hear I'd need insurance... can't anyone invite anyone to a meeting room in the library? Can't I insist we're friends just hanging out?

 

I'd love to make it international and include people from here especially, but I think I can feel it getting too big again..

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3 hours ago, Liam said:

I don't think anyone would invest in me, and I kind of don't want anyone to. If they would, i'd just use that supposrt to make films and not feel enough like a failure to want to put this together.

There's also something weird and slightly cultish about it being our whole community... like it would become all about the horrible $16,000 local film just because everyone was involved in making it, and everyone would still be trying to reject the $0 budget film that I actually like. If I started giving power to everyone here who thinks they're a filmmaker, I might not even attend in the end.

Plus there's already the much more popular festival in my city, which I am somewhat trying to fight against, with the whole "Slamdance" vibe.

 

I'm surprised to hear I'd need insurance... can't anyone invite anyone to a meeting room in the library? Can't I insist we're friends just hanging out?

 

I'd love to make it international and include people from here especially, but I think I can feel it getting too big again..

You only need insurance if it's your venue. If you're renting a venue, you should already be covered by the owner's property insurance.

If not, you definitely want that insurance, especially if alcohol and weed are involved. 😆Keep in mind, recreational weed is legal in my state, so I'm not suggesting anything illegal. 

You don't sound too confident yet to pull off a bigger event. If I were you I'd just call up the buddies and have a night of it. 

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6 hours ago, Matthew Hartman said:

If I were you I'd just call up the buddies and have a night of it. 

 

4 minutes ago, kye said:

Completely agree.  

Perhaps calling it a "short film night" might have better connotations?

Yeahhh.. I'd do that if I had film buds.

*cries a lot, but in a cool way*

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14 minutes ago, Liam said:

Yeahhh.. I'd do that if I had film buds.

*cries a lot, but in a cool way*

Is this film festival a way to find film friends then?  if so, maybe social media might be a good place to reach out to people.

Especially if there's a film festival already in your area and you want to be a bit counter-culture about it, you could post on a bunch of forums or whatever saying something like:

Quote

 

The Other Film Festival

Didn't get into BigFilmFestival?  Come to ours.  Hell, come to ours anyway.

No frills, no budget, and no taste.  All films under 5 minutes get screened.  Bring beer.

Email Liam at ........

 

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