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I have uploaded my work in the past




When I complete my next short film, I will put it straight up online.




I think the best that could happen to my short is that it gets accepted by on of the big international Festivals.




I think it’s more important to build a large online community by uploading my work, than to keep it eligible for Festival consideration.




Comments:



Lawrence Gray says...
Tricky one is this... The online audience is usually very manufactured by twitters and facebooks and endless promotional activities and multiple hits from friends and click backs. How much of a real audience it is is a mystery. And how much it counts towards building a good pitch for funding your next one is dubious. Whereas a showing in a major festival means you've been endorsed by opinions deemed reliable. On the other hand, creating product for the two arenas is probably a very good idea and since web productions need only be five minutes, it's the ideal place for very short films and has been known to attract a lot of attention if the film showed amazing special FX or something unique in the story telling.

So I really wanted an extra choice in the questionnaire that said: It depends...


Jill Wisoff says...
I'm a feature filmmaker. I almost uploaded my first feature after it essentially completed its festival run and was being courted for, especially, itunes rights by a couple of distributors who did not have broadcast contacts I was comfortable about and I had to repeatedly stress if they couldn't deliver broadcast/cable vod why would I give them 20-40% of monies when at this stage you can have your work streamed through aggregators without sharing that income??? When I was about to just give in and hand it over just to be done with the process, the film fell into the hands of a long time distribution expert with years in the business who is working with indie filmmakers to monetize on multiple platforms who strongly urged I not allow upload of the film as it will ruin my chances for broadcast/cable vod. Sure enough, a few weeks later a broadcast aggregator finally decided to shop my re-edited film (he turned it down in its festival edition) and the first thing he did was freak out over if it had been put on the internet for download/streaming...a potential disaster was averted as I was able to say to him NO it's NOWHERE BUT FOR SALE AS A DVD ON AMAZON. Even that might have been problematical but it wasn't. In any case, a warning out to you feature filmmakers...look at the statistics on monetizing...spot #1 still stands with broadcast/cable vod in a huge way...after that comes internet vod through itunes and then onto other platforms...I'm very frustrated not having my film out there for easy access and have been getting endless requests for it through people that had worked or are aware of the film, however, not giving the film a chance for broadcast/cable vod would not be wise, and, the reality is, once your film is available online for streaming, download, that's forever. I don't know that this is problematical for shorts whatsoever, but if you have a feature film you need to think long and hard...if the film is not something that is broadcast quality it won't make a difference but if it's a "product" that can be suitable for that market, at this stage, you need to still wait. I think in a few years when the internet and broadcast are fully fused as one entity we'll be looking at a different scenario but as of today, this situation still holds.


Tito Sacchi says...
I don't think you can generalize. Each pieces of work will have a different set of priorities. Not to mention that probably it is better to be selected or win some awards toward the beginning of one's career. An maybe later build up more of a fan base (or was't it the other way round? ) See, I don't know ; )


Greg Ivan Smith says...
I'm wondering how recent uploaded films need to have been produced?


Rich Pickings says...
I think these questions are difficult to answer. It absolutely depends on the nature of your short and what you want to do with it. If you hope to get picked up for some nice, lucrative, regular work with a commercials company the best thing you can do is get your short, funny, concept-based film out on the internet and hope it goes viral. If you have a nice long, beautifully shot character based drama and are hoping to get a feature commissioned, it would be nice to get it in front of development executives, commissioners and industry press at a big International festival with an immense track record where it has been cherry picked from tens of thousands of short films produced all over the world.


Jonathan Weston says...
The big festivals need to change to accept uploaded films. Another clash of old and new media...


francesco caradonna says...
I think that some festivals represent an investment; I mean: fees, prints, travels and bla bla bla...it's similar to a bank that gives you money and then obviously want it back...yes this sounds crazy to me...I don't care to subscribe festivals, I care about making films, I don't care about winning a festival, I care about making contacts and build a network to share knowledge...if a festival represents a way to be noticed let's organise free screenings everywhere...I mean is a festival depending on movies or have movies to depend on big festivals?...does it make sense?


Samuel Baumel says...
After being rejected by the major film festivals and my local favorites I am happy to put my work online.


Leah Borromeo says...
As it stands, I have no issue with uploading online. But I know I'm not in a position to even consider being in one of the premier Festivals.
Perhaps my position will change as that becomes more of a possibility.



Will Manning says...
Personally, I'd rather my work got maximum exposure through uploading, than holding back and hoping for acceptance into festivals. The online community provides an open platform for sharing and collaborating which is great, but can dilute the content somewhat. I may consider entering work for festivals in the future, but I am new to this, so building my online reputation is my priority for the near future.


Jane Merrow says...
I am just going through all this with my first film and have changed my thoughts - better to upload ASAP


steven christopher wallace says...
I have always applied and screened at film festivals first, then followed up by posting my videos online. The internet will always be there, but like it says above, if you do post online you are invalidating yourself from most important screenings and awards.


Nusrat Howard-Moore says...
The issue is: enough already of EXPENSIVE festivals! How can an indie compete? Thank god for free festivals that pay 'big money'. I shall not share what they are of course hehehe


Trevor Hargreaves says...
After keeping it for the big festivals first - then spread it as far as possible. best of both worlds


Barbara & Thomas Cavaliere (CAV initiatives) says...
As a video artist, my issues are different from most of shooting people, I think.


Lou Hamilton says...
It is a shame that uploading your film makes it not eligible for the Premier Festivals- the Festivals should be about celebrating filmmakers and their films and helping them to become more successful alongside whatever tools the filmmakers themselves can find to make their work public. I upload mine but put a password on until they have been screened. Not ideal though.


Mike Cerda says...
I think it's important to build a large online community... BUT it is ALSO important to get your film into festivals. It's not all Black and White... but shades of Grey.


nick white says...
Think we're still in the process of transition - film festivals should drop the premiere requirement for shorts - it's outdated and unnecessary.


Edmund Fargher says...
I think it totally depends on the film. Some are more likely to make an impact i arenas other than festivals. So I don't think either is "best" or "more important" because it depends on circumstance


Zohar Rom says...
Still working to build that audience!


Clinton Orman says...
You misspelled "one"

The next big film festival revolution is online, and perhaps to leave the concept of the festival behind completely. Throughout their histories, film festivals have always moved in a more egalitarian direction, this is the obvious next step.


Ian Fischer says...
I recently made my films open to the public and I have had film festivals seek me out.


Innis Moore says...
At the moment, prestige that comes with an important festival selection still outweights building an online community but hopefully that will change in the forthcoming years especially if festivals loosen their eligibility criteria


Luke Flegg says...
I'm sure most people wish there was a "Depends" option in this poll for each answer.

Generally speaking, the more ambitious the production (particularly if a feature) the more likely I'd be to keep it festival eligible.

But I think increasingly more festivals will accept entries that at least have been online in the past, if not still remaining online.


Tanuja Amarasuriya says...
I found it hard to answer these questions in such a binary fashion as I think it depends on the film. I make different decisions based on the type of film, who I imagine the audience is (and how best to reach them), the budget for distribution and other factors - so in reality I would vote differently for different films I've produced. But I do fundamentally believe that it is vital the film has an online presence - whether that be the entire film or not.


Ainsley Brown says...
I already use Vimeo but only to get feedback on my experiments with different themes and visual treatments, moving moodboards.


Faye Wilkinson says...
It depends on the work. Some shorts are more suited to instant upload while others that are conceived and produced for the festival circuit should wait till they hit the big screen, then later be open for widespread viewing online.


frank frank says...
upload. yes.


Graeme Cole says...
Needs to be assessed on a film-by-film basis.


Sam Purewal says...
At the end of the day it depends really on your reason why you're making a short film.


Catherine Taylor says...
I really wish it was possible to do both, upload AND have the festivals still accept it. I also think that a strong online presence might influence the festival's selection, or maybe open their selection up to more possibilities.


Tom Schillaci says...
Question: How do trailers fit into this discussion? Let's say the duration of the final piece is 22-minutes. Would posting a 2-minute trailer ruin the chances for the 22-minute piece to be accepted to festivals? I would like to build online buzz and still be able to submit to festivals.


Rafal Rakoczy says...
Most important reason why we want our films to be shown in major film festivals is that if our work is good enough we might have some good producers interested in our next project. but than second reason is that I want my short film to be shown in a big screen with a proper quality, that is why I shoot with 4K image quality and I do my best to achieve cinematic look.


Amber Moelter says...
I've heard more and more that big festivals are a game of who you know, with diminishing rates of success (or distribution that pays), so I would rather build my online community with feeding them new content.


vasco de sousa says...
I want to make films for people to see in the cinema. For me, that social experience is where it's at. If I just wanted an audience who watched it at home, I'd stick with television.


Johnny Parker says...
Festivals seem to have this 'you saw it here first' attitude which doesn't help short film makers. They are also too expensive and they seem quite happy to take your money, make you jump through hoops, sign endless terms and conditions and then don't show your film... its a bad experience all round. Uploading gives freedom and an audience with no cost... win win.


George Pursall says...
It all depends on what you think is the more guaranteed or likely route to success , whether it be festivals or online. For me, I like to think that getting into a big festival gives you and your film the greater chance of exposure to the people who matter far more then the internet can. However, there is nothing stopping you putting a film on-line after you have done a round of festival submissions. Whether film makers can wait the year or so to do this is another question however!


Kelly M La Rosa says...
I don't believe in festivals. If I'm gonna make it big it will be by my own hard work not some fluke of a break.


Jon Garbett says...
I personally probably wouldnt wait for a film festival to tell me that i can or cannot have it anywhere else. Im too impatient. I want my film out there as quick as i can

However. I wouldnt put it on line until festival circuit is done.

I am literally just starting to the festival run for my short and am entering as many as possible. If a festival wants premeire - i will see at the time


Nicholas Paton says...
As with most filmmakers, I want the best of both worlds. It's frustrating having to wait for the festivals, but the whole film-making process is slow and frustrating really, so holding in your excitement at sharing your brand new short for a few months (or a year) to try the Big Festivals before uploading it is a suitable test of your commitment to the film and the film network.


Jennifer Hegarty says...
I think it's a question of balance. Knowing your film's market and audience from inception, being clear about where you want the film to end up, and how it serves the filmmaker are all factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Building a large audience doesn't require uploading the final film, there's plenty of other material generated during the film-making process that audience, fans and community can engage with, and and endless amount that can be generated specifically for them with planning.


Deborah Brozina says...
I don't see this as an either/or situation. The festivals can help generate traffic. The bottom line is that each film has to have a distribution plan and business plan before a frame is shot. Whether it goes to a festival or not will depend upon this plan.


Alan Andrew Taylor says...
Online Social media plays a huge part of reaching and connecting with my audience. If I were to use traditional methods only, I would have no relationship with my viewers. I currently showcase my work online and as well as my entire audience being online, 100% of my business comes through online networks such as linkedin. I think Film Festivals need to use online to their advantage, ie trailers online but final film hosted on one platform with advertising; the timing of release on formats is essential.


Jose Huwaidi says...
Media is going on-line and people too. Festivals will have to change their policies rather than giving prizes to those big budget works that can afford publicity and leaving aside those works that are getting more and more popular through on-line networks.


Daniel Hopkins says...
Can't you have your cake and eat it? Surely the way to go is to enter film festivals for a year/18 months and then go online after a year/18 months of success at the festivals. this also give the film a longer lifetime as well. I have had shorts 10 years old go online in last year and get a buzz. So the online community will wait. If it is good they will wait.


Kate Jessop says...
I usually upload once it's done the film festival circuit


Nigel Smith says...
It depends on the film, but I'd certainly want to give any new film every opportunity to succeed on the festival circuit before making it available online. Once every other avenue - festival, television, DVD etc... has been explored, I'm happy for a film to end up 'archived' online.


Nicholas Hughes says...
Festivals are often a soul crushing experience, in my opinion. Full of cliques, empty promises and people with not much talent but a gift for schmoozing ruling the roost. Sure, you might get lucky at a festival but you get more heartache.


Raindance Film Festival says...
Festivals and web online screenings are currently vying for premiere status.

Most festivals, including Raindance disqualify a film if it is online. This doesnt mean you cant put it on an exclusive website with controlled access like Vimeo.com.

Putting your film online without considering a festival strategy would be unwise.

However, a series of festival screenings can enhance your online presence and audience if planned correctly


ed hartwell says...
I have found that festivals have requested my films specially after seeing them online, but also a good online presence can only be achieved if the film has been screened out in the real world.

A recent film of mine - THE DAY THE ROBOTS WOKE UP - http://www.edhartwell.co.uk/robots
has over 1700 views online, this is down to festivals promoting the film which then generates more views online than all the festival audiences put together.

However, if you put your film online without any festivals showing it, the views usually level off at 200 after all your mates have seen it.

So unless you think you have real shot at an oscar and need to get into a special festival with tight rules, put your film online, and then send it to festivals as well.

And finally, there is a typo in the question 3, it says "by on of the big" and not "by ONE of the big.."


Miles Watts says...
It really is a split, I think. We do a web series, 'Zomblogalypse', which now has a good cult online following, but we also got our feature film 'CrimeFighters' into this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival and so many amazing opportunities have come up as a result of that. The two are bleeding into each other now because audiences who've seen CrimeFighters are starting to watch Zomblogalypse, and vice versa. We've found that having a strong online presence is just as important as the prestige that comes with a festival screening. I reckon it's best to do both, with different projects.


philip ilson says...
As I work with Festivals, I'm biased towards the traditional festival model. Although I don't agree with the premiere ruling of some major festivals, but also note that it is very rare for a festival to insist on a world or UK premiere; there are endless festivals around that will screen your film even if it is on line.


stuart adams says...
Just made my first short, and gonna put it on vimeo, no aspirations other than for feedback, portfolio and potential collaboration as writer/director,got a script in competition, but is art about competition or connection, having said that I am not anti-festival, I just don't feel ready or inclined for that hullabaloo!


Mark Jones says...
I think you need to decide what you want from your film. If it's money then I don't think on-line is for you. If it's exposure and about building a fan-base or raising your profile then Yes it is very useful.
As an emerging documentary maker the internet (Vimeo) is where I put 1) films that are past their Festival sell-by date (2 years+), 2) Films that were made for clients like NGOs, and are therefore not festival material but are still examples of my work I'd like to get exposure for. 3) Trailers used to raise profile, awareness of a project and in future some cash through on-line donations (crowd funding etc).


Jacqueline Wright says...
Speaking as a comedy director, it seems to me that the big festivals definitely favour 'serious' dramatic films or beautiful animations over things that make people laugh. Whereas with an online audience the opposite is true; people would much rather have a giggle in their lunchtime than be moved to tears (at least, I think so). So our film-a-month project has been entirely hosted online - www.jackalfilms.co.uk/calendar - and so far we've had some festival interest in the concept itself, as well as the films. So maybe our films will get into festivals because they've been successful online... (obviously not Edinburgh though).


Lizzie Francke says...
I think that the important thing is to create a following - you need the noise of festivals but the exposure that online provides. It is a case of finding a balance, but also for festivals and online to find a way of working together to give maximum exposure.


Xanthe Hamilton says...
This is not a black and white area, it totally depends on the reason for making the film, and your agenda.

Particularly when starting out as a filmmaker, it can be very useful to put a film online to reach a large audience, and get feedback. I did with my first few films, and it definitely led to a lot of worthwhile exposure and contacts.

However, once a filmmaker is more accomplished, and are more likely to make the grade to get into the larger and more credible festivals then it's probably worth sticking to their rules. As being officially selected for the bigger festival does give the signal to potential investors or employees that you can make the grade.



Simon DaVison says...
This is not such a big issue for shorts. But it will be for features and webisodes.


Marcus O'Toole says...
I think it depends on the type of film one makes and what they want to achieve with it. Short, snappy, sketchy stuff works better online than at festivals, but for more dramatic fare, I'd say the opposite.