Re: Entry Fee Rereredux

From: Jason Halprin (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Mar 10 2006 - 14:30:30 PST


I think where we differ is that I feel getting large amounts of work
together at one time for showing is a service to the filmmakers. I'm
not suggesting that having your work seen at a festival will lead to
getting screening fees, but rather that being able to share your work
with a larger number of interested audience members (filmmakers
included) is valuable in and of itself. I don't assess a tangible
value to any of this, and I think that each filmmaker needs to make
this assesment for themselves; decide if the fee at a particular
festival is justified by the experience of presenting it there. This
is never a certainty, even when a programmer requests to see your work.

I am curous, DH, what you mean by festivals being self-serving? Do you
mean financial or professional gain for those who work there? Could
you elaborate on this point and/or cite some examples? I'm not trying
to be antagonistic here, I really do want to know where you're coming

What I mean by volunteering at festivals is along the lines of the
bumber sticker "Stay in school, learn the system, then change the
system." Is you feel the festivals don't serve the filmmakers, I
suggest getting yourself in position to change them from the inside.
-Jason Halprin

--- email suppressed wrote:

> Jason,
> Most of your points are well taken, but I do question the degree to
> which festivals lead to "higher stature" for the flimmaker. Very few
> festivals are capable of doing this.
> My point can be summed up thusly: Since its the filmmakers that fund
> the festivals we should be asking what kind of service or benefit we
> get from submitting to festivals. As it is, submitting one's work is
> a
> form of gaming: we pay the fee based on the hope for a certain
> outcome.
> If festivals would put some effort into serving the filmmakers
> rather
> than themselves, I would be far less critical.
> >One of the basic facts that exists for many A/G film and video
> makers
> >(in the US and elsewhere, though not everywhere) is that they will
> >never recoup the costs that are associated with their work, let
> alone
> >turn it into a full-time profession. As such it is more accuratley
> >described as a hobby, and hobbies are money-losing ventures.
> the majority of all indipendent films of any genre never make any
> money
> so
> A/G filmmakers are not unique in this sense, except that the amounts
> of
> money they loose are probably smaller than the amounts other people
> are loosing.
> >Cinematexas, PDX, Onion City, and others are not seen as
> >culturally more valuable than Sundance in the eyes of the vast
> majority
> >of potential financiers and donors. . .
> Perceptions can be changed by rigorous intellegent marketing, if the
> people marketing a festival
> can't articulate the value of their festival to local businesses,
> viewers, art councils, etc . . .
> then the festival needs to get new leadership or it should die.
> >Or volunteer
> >for one so that your labor may bring down the fees for that
> festival.
> >Write the grant proposals, talk to donors, make press releases, pass
> >out flyers, get on the radio, do whatever it takes.
> No, what you are suggesting are more ways for the filmmakers to serve
> the
> festivals. What we need to see are the ways in which festivals can
> serve the
> filmmakers.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.