festival responses

From: Chris Kennedy (email suppressed)
Date: Thu Jun 11 2009 - 19:34:23 PDT

> Date: Thu, 11 Jun 2009 00:00:50 -0400
> From: David Tetzlaff <email suppressed>
> Subject: festival responses
> Chris wrote:
>> The notion that there needs to be feedback in the submission
>> process carries
>> the danger of the the idea that the filmmaker is somehow an amateur
>> (room
>> for improvement) or that something went wrong with the film along
>> the way
>> (too much orange 3 minutes in?).
> I must disagree. Most films have DO room for improvement regardless
> of the experience level of their makers (in the narrative world, seen
> anything Spielberg's done lately?). Things do go terribly wrong.
> Several years ago I saw a film by an experienced and well know
> experimental maker who was venturing into the 'experimental
> documentary' genre. It was excruciatingly bad, and something had
> clearly gone very wrong with the conceptualization.

Agreed. But I'm not sure the programmer/curator is the particular person to
give the advice on how one could improve a piece (as your own anecdote below
proves). Especially not in the moments during preparation of a festival.

>> Do we expect feedback and critique when we've gotten in?
> Uh, if not, what's the point of making films? Masturbating when our
> work comes on screen in front of viewers we don't care to hear from?
> Getting strokes from the programmers who have invested their reps in
> selecting our work?

It was a flippant comment, but the feedback we get when we get if we get in
comes in much different form (primarily, the audience), not the screening
committee checklist. I just can't imagine writing to a programmer and
saying, "you like it? Really? Could you tell me why?" :)

>> A simple "you're in" or "you're out", put nicely, is really the
>> best way to
>> go.


> when a film that contains Brechtian interruptions in the form of
> intertitles keeps drawing comments like "the text really took me out
> of a potentially compelling storyline" I know we're dealing with a
> doofus who has never heard of Brecht, never seen Weekend or Tout Va
> Bien, and wouldn't last ten minutes trying to watch Riddles of the
> Sphinx. And as depressing as that is, in a way, I'd rather know what
> we're dealing with than be left in the dark.

That's a different issue, though. Figuring out what a festival's interests
(or lack there of) are, not learning how to "improve" your piece (would you
really take out the intertitles because your work isn't being shown?). A
whole different can of worms...


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