So you've done the hard part. You applied, you got in, you booked your ticket into town, and now your packing. Heck, your mom might have even had your dad's tux pressed for you. Welcome to the club! You are an "Official Selection." Don't let those butterflies overtake your ability to control the moment and get the most out of this experience. Here are 5 Things a Filmmaker Should Bring to a Film Festival:
A DVD Backup of the Film
A Filmmaker should always have a backup tested copy of the film on them. Film Festivals lose screeners, Blurays don't always work, and often times filmmakers forget to send a screening copy of the film. The biggest challenge with online submissions and online screeners is that many filmmakers forget a festival can't screen a youtube video. Who wants a crappy transcode of a youtube video on the big screen anyways?
Most festivals can screen a DVD backup, but do your due diligence and send them an email asking what format your backup copy should be in. They'll be incredibly impressed you are even thinking about such things.
A Film Festival is an incredibly fantastic opportunity to network and put projects together. You don't need anything fancy and Vistaprints.com usually has a great deal. No one will judge you if the Vista watermark is on the back side of your cheap business cards. There's nothing better than an email a month later when they find your card and need a freelancer for a quick gig.
Postcards are cheap and printing a thousand will cost you less than $100. You can leave them in stacks all over the place and people love to pickup postcards they see on tables. In fact people love having things in their hands so any cheap thing you can have printed with your website and film information is a great idea. I've seen everything from pens, to toothbrushes, to condoms with film information printed on them. What stands out and what is individually and uniquely you?
Time to make sure those batteries are charged up! You can't always count on the press photographers to send you copies of the picture so their is nothing like having your own camera on you to take home the memories with.
A "Doers" attitude
Be ready to answer questions about what you are working on next and your plans for after film school. Everyone wants to know! Get ready to talk about that new script and be jazzed for your future. Optimism is infectious and everyone wants to be around someone who is going somewhere. So Go!
Brandon Ruckdashel is the Festival Director for YoungFilmmakers. He has been the Program Director for NewFilmmakers for the last three years and Marketing Director for six. Brandon is a filmmaker who is most well known for his acting work in the HBO series Co-Ed Confidential and numerous B-Movies. Brandon has worked with Roger Corman alumni Fred Olen Ray and Jim Wynorski along with a number of other very talented directors. Brandon's Directorial debut GRINDER will be out in theaters in 2016.
YoungFilmmakers screens quarterly in New York at Anthology Film Archives. Opened in 1970 by Jonas Mekas, Jerome Hill, P. Adams Sitney, Peter Kubelka, and Stan Brakhage, Anthology in its original conception was a showcase for the Essential Cinema Repertory collection. An ambitious attempt to define the art of cinema by means of a selection of films which would screen continuously, the Essential Cinema collection was intended to encourage the study of the medium’s masterworks as works of art rather than disposable entertainment, making Anthology the first museum devoted to film as an art form. The project was never completed, but even in its unfinished state it represented an uncompromising critical overview of cinema’s history, and remains a crucial part of Anthology’s exhibition program.