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How to create One Page Sheet for your film?

ONE PAGE SHEET is a single document that informs and advertises that the film is ready for sale and/or publicity.

It consists of:

Title

Production Company: (Name of the production company/-ies in charge of bringing your film to screen)

Film website

Contact: (Email addresses and phone numbers to let people know how to get in touch with you/production team)

Logline: (Your film’s plot in as few words as possible (25-35 words is fine))

Story: (What story you are trying to tell in your film)

Buzz: (How you are planning and proposing to create a buzz for your film)

Crew: (What crew you have behind this project. Who has worked on this film)

Talent: (Let people know who is appearing in your film)

Location: (Where your film is going to be shot)

Budget & Financing: (What your budget is and how you have financed your film, how you are going to collect money for your film)

 

Film Festivals – Tips – part 2

If you are short of money you need to find as many free of charge festivals as possible and keep a detailed budget of all your pre-festival expenses such as:
–    Postage.
–    Promotional materials.
–    Submission copies.
–    Screening copies.
–    Festival fees.

When it comes to submission fees you, as a filmmaker, have to decide whether this specific festival is worth paying the fee or not. Most European festivals are free of charge. Most North American festivals need to be paid for, and some of them are pretty expensive. I usually pay for the most prestigious festivals for shorts and I usually advise my colleagues to set a fee limit and stick to it such as £50 or so. Obviously it depends on how high you value your movie and what chances you see for it being accepted. Otherwise you might spend more money on the submission fees than you spend on making the movie☺.

Once the festival gets your submission form and your film, they usually get in touch just to let you know that they have got it. But it happens, and not that seldom, that the festival doesn’t get in touch and then you are left wondering. In that case you have got two options choices. You can either e-mail them, asking politely if they have got your film or you just wait until the call for submission ends and you will be able to check the website to see if your film was accepted

Some festivals don’t inform you that your film was received but put that information on their website. That is when you need your record book of the festivals you submitted your film to. It might be time consuming but making a film is time consuming and promoting it shouldn’t be any different.

If you want to write to the festival organisers regarding your submission, I would first advise you to check the festival website and see when the call for submissions ends. You will see if any information regarding films accepted has been posted on it. If nothing is given you can write a nice e-mail asking when the decision, about submissions, is going to be made. You probably won’t have time for it but still, don’t be a nuisance and, don’t write to each festival a million times each day.

Once you have been accepted to the festival, send the festival programmer/director a thank you e-mail or card and start thinking about whether you are going to make it to the festival or not.

Of course part of any competition is a rejection. Unfortunately you will most probably get loads of rejection emails from festivals before you get accepted to any of them but it doesn’t mean that your film is bad. You have to remember that each programmer has a different taste in movies and that it may be a different taste to yours. I know that often it’s hard to handle the rejection, especially when it seems like everything that bounces back is a rejection. That is why it’s always good to have your support team next to you, to comfort you.

If you are accepted to the festival and decide to attend it (remember only go if you can really afford it, your next film may need the budget more), you need to research it and organize the logistics for your travel and stay (ask the festival organisers if they will cover the travel and/or hotel expenses, some festivals participate in the costs). You will have to, or you should at least, research the local media and focus groups that might be interested in your film and be prepared marketing wise.

If you have not thought about your film’s visual identity before, this is the time to do it. Contact a good graphic designer who can help you create a poster, postcards, stickers and of course your business cards, without which you don’t attend any festival!!! If you have some extra money, you can also create some other promotional materials such as pendants, badges, t-shirts or something similar that could help you to create goodie bags.

Of course, we live in the era of the internet so don’t forget about the website for your film where all the marketing and press information are included such as:
–    Stills.
–    Synopsis (various lengths).
–    Cast and crew list.
–    Trailer & clip reel.
–    Bio/filmography for the major cast and crew.
–    Posters (if you have any).
–    Contact information.
–    Screening times and places.
–    Awards.

All the information ought to be easily downloadable for the media, bloggers, etc.
If you don’t have the resources to build the website for your film or if you have a short film and don’t want to spend any extra money on the website, you can try our own film summaries page that will help you build the website.

It is also handy to have someone to help you put posters and fliers around the town once you get to the festival. You can either use your crew members who are travelling with you or use your family if they are coming.

It is vital to know who you are going to take with you to the festival. If it’s only going to be cast and crew or if it’s going to be the professional help as well (such as a publicist, a PR representative, a sales agent, lawyers etc). Of course it all depends on your budget and what you are planning to achieve at the festival. Most feature films want to be sold to distributors and most short films want to either get a sales agent or try to find someone interested in their next project. A short film is still your calling card and it’s very unlikely that it’s going to make you filthy rich.

Before you arrive at the festival try to get hold of a delegate book/list and arrange meetings with people you would like to talk to. Don’t forget to let the media know that you are willing and available for interviews.
Whilst at the festival do not forget to attend as many panels, screenings, discussions, Q&A’s as you can. Prepare yourself for introducing your film and for the Q&A sessions.

If you still have some time, check the venue where your film is going to be screened as well as talk to the operator about the screening ration, sound etc.

When the festival is over you have to go back home (sooner or later). Once you’re home, check your list of the goals that you set yourself for the festival and cross off what you managed to achieve. Fulfil all the promises you made regarding screeners or future projects. Follow up with the press letting them know that you can provide any information they need. Also get in touch with other filmmakers who you met at the festival and start getting ready for the next festival or the next film.

I’m Tired…

I’m tired of being perfect.

I’m tired of the expectations put on women all day long, every day, all year long.

I’m tired of having to think about the ‘to do’s’ lists even before I open my eyes.

I’m tired that the moment I finally open my eyes I’m already out of time.

I’m tired that I have to be everything to everyone. I need to be a perfect mother, perfect wife and perfect business owner even though most of the time I have no fucking idea how to do it.

I’m tired that I need to make all the decisions.

I’m tired that my life has become one long service attending other’s needs.

I’m tired that I’m stuck and can’t move on ‘cos there is million things that need my attention before I can even think of moving on.

I’m tired that I lost myself in life that feels alien and doesn’t even feel that is part of me anymore.

I’m tired of being tired.

Film Festivals- Tips – part 1

Film Festivals are great places to meet people, to network, to watch the films that you would never normally see otherwise and of course, and most importantly, to get your films watched by the audience.

The film festival will give you exposure to industry delegates, film lovers and the media. Film Festivals, and even more festival awards, are a great way to get noticed by “head hunters” looking for the next Scorsese or Tarantino.

However if you want to take full advantage of the festival circuit it’s necessary, or at least advisable, to set your goals clearly. You have to ask yourself a very important question which is: what do I want to get from submitting my film to this specific film festival or to any film festival in general?

Is it:
–   Distribution deal. (distributor, sale agent)
–    Exhibition and exposure.
–    Awards.
–    Networking.
–    Media coverage.
–    Deal for the next movie (it does happen)
–    Learning.
–    Watching movies.
–    Attending parties.

Once you have your goals set clearly it will be much easier to choose festivals which http://www.magdaolchawska.com/film-festivals-tips-part-1/dsc01928/are the best for your film. Identifying the right festivals for your film is hard work. There are a few really prestigious festivals that everyone wants to get into such as: Berlin, Toronto, Sundance, Cannes but of course very few do and sometimes it is better to submit your film to specific festivals such as: documentary, shorts, horror etc. This way your film can get the right exposure and be seen by the right audience and it might be easier to find a distributor or a sales agent.

You can start with dividing your list of festivals into 4 categories (of course it is very personal and it depends on the films genre and your objectives for the festival circuit):
–    Top Film Festivals – internationally recognized festivals (Cannes, Sundance, Berlin, Venice, etc.).
–    Major Regional Film Festivals.
–    Regional Film Festivals.
–    Young/new Film Festivals that have not been around for to long

When it comes to following deadlines, filling in application forms and just keeping track of all the festivals you have submitted film to, you need to be very well organized. The best is to keep a folder or a notebook where you can keep all the relevant information.

At bulletfilm com – film festivals section we have a great list of over 2500 film festivals from around the world so start digging. The festivals are updated daily so all the information you find are new.

The premiere status of your film (we’re not only talking about the world premiere but also continent, country, region, city etc.) is very important, especially for feature films (shorts not so much. I usually send my shorts to as many festivals as possible). Of course you won’t be able to premiere your film at every major film festival so you need to carefully select the festivals that you would love your film to be premiered at. And remember, you probably won’t be able to send your feature film to more than one festival within one geographical area so choose carefully which one it is to be.

Before you send your film to the festival read carefully the RULES & REGULATIONS and make sure that you are sending the right DVD (PAL or NTSC, Region 0, 1, 2) in the right number of copies and that the DVD works. Include all the information required by the festival on your DVD’s cover (I usually include short synopsis with a still from the film) such as:

  1. Format (DVD PAL or DVD NTSC).
  2. Title of the film and the director’s name.
  3. Festival’s the film participated in (If many choose the most important ones) or awards if your film has won any. This may be unpopular but sometimes it is easier to get to the festival if you’ve previously been accepted somewhere else..
  4. Category of submission (check with the festival’s rule-s and regulations).
  5. Running time/duration.
  6. What the film is shot on.
  7. Narration/dialogue.
  8. Contact email/Phone number.
  • Film’s website (if it has one, always recommended).

With each copy of the film you will have to send the application/submission form (sometimes you fill it in online and you just need to attach your registration number). I also always send a submission letter together with the press kit.

Film Distribution – which way to go part 2

…NEW WAY OF DISTRIBUTION

Before you decide or start working on self-distribution with your production team try to answer at least the following questions.

  1. What is the type of your audience?
  2. What is the niche for your film?
  3. Film marketing services (internet marketing, social networking, keywords, Search Engine Optimization)

If you still are in a pre-production, it would be good if you could answer all those questions and start working on your marketing campaign right away. All this efforts will pay off once the film is made and you start distributing.

If you decide to do the distribution yourself it will obviously take longer to distribute your film across various channels. However you will retain full control over your film. It may sound tricky but you have to remember that distributor buying your film doesn’t mean your film being distributed. It might as well stay on a shelf for another 20 years. Of course you can sign a contract with a distributor to distribute your film in only one outlet and carry on distribution by yourself in other outlets. You may end up having different theatrical distributor, different DVD distributor and the one doing it on the Internet. Or you may end up distributing by yourself through all the channels. But in that case you will need loads of help form the people working with you.

It would be good to have someone in charge of promotion and marketing and distribution. Like PMD, for instance.

DIY distribution needs to be planned carefully during the pre-production stage so you will be able to obtain all the necessary promotional and marketing material during the production. DIY distribution is tightly connected to careful planned marketing strategy.

That is why starting building the audience at the very early stage of your production is vital. However building audience that is going to be interested in your movie means that you need to identify it.

DISTRIBUTION/PROMOTIONAL SITES

  1. NETFLIX
  2. BLOCKBUSTER
  3. REDBOX
  4. iTUNES
  5. VEOH
  6. JOOST
  7. HULU

I would advise every filmmaker to have a DIY distribution as a backup plan if what they want is to sell their film to the distributor and hope they can do it at film festivals. Don’t forget that getting into A-list film festival is incredibly hard if you already don’t have a track record with this festival or your film doesn’t have a good track record with some other festivals.

I would say, plan for the festivals but keep in mind that most indie films end up with DIY distribution. For which you need to be prepared way ahead of the film being released.

Outlets for self-distribution are basically as same as for the traditional distribution:

–   Theatrical release

–   DVD

–   Internet

–   Foreign rights

Your theatrical distribution will be strongly connected to DVD release and distribution. Now it’s a bummer. Don’t expect to make money on the theatrical release!!! Theatrical release is mostly to give you access to some good paper reviews and make the general publics aware of your movie.

With independent films it is always good to start the distribution just right after a festival screening ‘cos your distribution will be strongly connected to the buzz your film recieve at the festival. If you wait for too long you will have to build the buzz for your theatrical distribution once again. And this can be really hard to do.

In fact, DVD and Internet is where you make the most money and don’t forget foreign rights (on that you can make a deal with a distributor who deals with foreign rights).

Work out the best strategy for your film and remember that it can change along the way. It’s not necessarily permanently. If something’s not right, you can always alter the whole strategy. So good luck.