Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Make a Movie: Film Festivals

Once your movie is made, and you’re happy with it, it’s time to get it out into the world.

Naturally, everyone wants to go to Sundance. Or Cannes. And maybe your movie is amazing, and it will go there.

But… probably not.

Granted, you can enter your movie, and if you really think it’s good enough, I say do it. It’ll cost you money which you might never see again, but at least you tried.

The thing of it is, there are probably five or ten really “important” film festivals in the world. They’re hard to get into.

And if you do it, then, awesome! And if you don’t, well, even if you got in, the chances of someone important seeing your movie and buying it and putting it out were always kind of small.

But film festivals, in general, can be a good thing. You can get a few awards, and sometimes that gets you into bigger festivals.

And more importantly, your movie will get seen. And that’s why you made it, right?


So here’s what you want to do:

First, find a film festival (or two or three) that’s near where you live. Why? To see it with a paying audience. So your cast and crew can see it on a screen, and invite their friends and family to see it with them.

It’s fun, man! Remember when you wanted to make a movie? Remember when you just wanted to have fun and make something cool?

So yeah. Someplace nearby.

After that, go here:


Register. Find film festivals that interest you. And please, read the rules. If you live in New York, and the film festival is for people with New Mexico ties, then don’t enter.

Yes, people do stuff like that. All the time.

And after you enter your film in a few festivals…

Well, what comes next is up to you.

If you win some awards, see if you can turn that into distribution.

Or put the film up online, and let people buy DVD copies. You can do that through Amazon.

Or get it up on Netflix.

Or don’t do anything with it. It’s your movie.

And after that comes to next question: Do you want to make another one?

Good luck.

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