Making a Movie: The Vagaries of Film Festival Submission

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Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014

I decided early on in making The Primary Instinct, that I would want to submit it to film festivals as parts of its roll-out strategy. Not only do festivals provide an amazing platform for publicity, word-of-mouth, and potential acquisition, but I also love the culture there. From the few festivals I’ve been to (Sundance, SIFF, IFFboston), I’ve always felt like the air is electric with anticipation and excitement for quality cinema. It would be a huge honor to be a part of that in some way.

But submitting to film festivals is no easy task. There are pages and pages and pages of rules (much of which I’m guessing is meant to weed out those who don’t follow directions exactly), and tons of documentation is required. After the jump, you’ll find a few things I learned about the festival submission process.
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Making a Movie: Five Things I Wish I’d Known

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Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014

It’s been an intensely busy summer as I’ve struggled to keep up with my full-time job, my podcasts, and my film. But we are now closing in on the finish line. The official submission deadline for Sundance, our first desired festival, was August 29th, and we mailed a nearly-finished version of our film in just in time. A few color and sound issues remain to be finalized, but otherwise The Primary Instinct is 99.9% done, and almost ready for submission to a bunch of other festivals in the weeks to come.

As I look back on the past few months, there are a bunch of things I wish I’d done differently. As one indie producer put it to me, there is a steep learning curve for independent filmmaking, but it gets easier every time. Unfortunately, this was my first time, but hopefully some of you can learn from my mistakes. After the jump, you’ll find a few things I wish I’d known going into this whole process. These things will be obvious to anyone who’s made a film, but for me, they were a learning experience.
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The Tobolowsky Files Ep. 66 – The Benefit of Doubt

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Theater is like life, you never know what will happen next.  That’s supposed to be the good part.

The Tobolowsky Files is a podcast from the people who brought you the /Filmcast, featuring a series of stories about life, love, and the entertainment industry, as told by legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky. You can e-mail Stephen at stephentobolowsky(AT)gmail(DOT)com. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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The Tobolowsky Files Ep. 65 – All In

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We’re all gamblers. The only difference is that some of us know what a sure thing looks like.

The Tobolowsky Files is a podcast from the people who brought you the /Filmcast, featuring a series of stories about life, love, and the entertainment industry, as told by legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky. You can e-mail Stephen at stephentobolowsky(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
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Making a Movie: Tech Rehearsal

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Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014

Last night was our tech rehearsal and full run-through for the concert film we’re shooting with Stephen Tobolowsky. We had a documentary crew on-site to shoot an official “making of” short film, but I also threw together a quick video on my Panasonic GH4 just to give you some idea of the complexity of what we’re attempting this evening. You can find this video after the jump.

You can still buy tickets for tonight’s show. Hope to see some of you there!
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Tobo Interview 3

UPDATE: I made a mistake on which cameras will be our primary cameras. They are actually Sony HSC-100′s. I’ve updated the post below.

Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014

We’re just a few days away from our live performance of The Tobolowsky Files at the Moore Theatre, and its accompanying film shoot. Sales are going briskly, but if you’re local to Seattle, I hope you’ll find the time to buy some tickets and join us on Saturday.

I’ve performed with Stephen several times already and it’s always been a great experience. But setting up these live shows, advertising them, and getting butts in seats has always been quite a challenge. This time around, we’re actually adding an HD multi-cam shoot to it, exponentially increasing the complexity of the event. Hit the jump to learn more about how we plan to pull this off.
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Making a Movie: How to Build a Kickstarter

Primary Instinct

Making a Movie” is a series of columns that chronicles our attempt to make, market, and distribute a film with Stephen Tobolowsky in 2014

Thanks to you guys, we met our Kickstarter goal in just 12 days. Our Kickstarter project now has just a few hours left to go (you can still back us by clicking here), but we are well into pre-production for our upcoming shoot.

Our Kickstarter project took me roughly six weeks of work to create. Looking back, there are a lot of things I would’ve done differently. After the jump, I share some learnings I’ve had throughout this process. I also had the chance to chat with Cesar Kuriyama and Matt Reynolds, both of whom had great success with their respective Kickstarter projects. Cesar successfully funded his 1SecondEveryday app and Matt got his film, The Great Chicken Wing Huntfinanced. A podcast recording of our chat can be found below.
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Groundhog Day Live Read

10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.

But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.

That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »

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