When I was about 16, my hometown’s local college hosted Jonathan Safran Foer for a Q&A. At the time, I’d only read a few chapters of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, but I knew what I needed to know: Foer was a successful, published author, and that’s also what I wanted to be. Continue reading “Dead End Day Job”
La La Land was ok. I mean, don’t get it twisted, I cried at the ending. That’s not particularly surprising- I cry a lot at TV and movies. I’m wired to care more about fictional narratives than actual human people. That’s not the topic of this blog. The topic of this blog is the sometimes inescapable self congratulatory subjects of media- ourselves. Continue reading “What else do people do again?”
If April was bummer month for my blogs and vlogs, I genuinely don’t know how I’m going to categorize May. Continue reading “Transitions”
On May 19th, 2015, I called 911 for the first time because my roommate couldn’t stop puking up blood and after spending approximately 15 hours in the ER with him, I didn’t eat for the next 2 or 3 days.
This is a blog about food, and my strange love/nope relationship with it. Love because I feel very passionately about certain foods and enjoy eating, nope because my immediate reaction to stress, anxiety, or being busy is skipping meals or full days worth of food. Continue reading “My love/nope relationship with food”
I’m a very picky writer, and that’s starting to bite me in the butt as I go back on the job hunt, desperate not to end up as a barista again. I’m also a jumble of confusing and sometimes unrelated skill sets and strengths as a human in the workforce, which means my poor butt is not looking forward to the end of this metaphor. Moving on. Apologies to my butt. Continue reading “Writer?”
The focus gets soft midway through the video because I started slowly moving forward on accident. Whoops.
This is not an April Fools video.
I have always been a shameless self promoter, but now that I’m attempting to join an industry built on networking and chance, I’ve gotten so much worse. Now, even in my Facebook bio, I have to make reference to the fact that I’m an indie filmmaker, that I have an award-winning web series, and that I work at MTV. All these things are things that will hopefully eventually impress someone enough to give me money or a TV show. Continue reading “Face Person”
I have made no secret of how proud I am about my web series, Brains (2 complete seasons plus extended universe projects online now!) or my friend Chris’s web series, Relativity (complete miniseries online now!), which I produced. But the thing about making films or series, particularly in the independent sphere, is that no one cares without them laurels.
These are laurels:
Essentially, laurels are the fancy little images you get if chosen to be in a film festival, to promote their festival as well as promote that you got in. They’re a badge of honor for any filmmaker, because it means your film/series was chosen out of many other submissions to be screened or highlighted or otherwise. It adds prestige and viability to your image and is an invaluable way to build credibility to continue in the industry.
The image above is a collection of all the laurels my web series, Brains, has collected thus far. It’s incredibly gratifying to look at, although many of the festivals we’ve been in were online only (meaning no live screening with an audience) and none of them are eligible to add to our IMDb page, because they don’t qualify as “legit” in the eyes of the people who make those kinds of decisions. And here’s the major thing I want to talk about today:
The entry fees are too damn high!
I appreciate and love every festival who has let our weird little series into their ranks, but most of them are low prestige and were either free or very cheap to submit to. That’s good and bad for us: good because we can afford them and because more people will see our content, bad because many of these festivals are small enough that we can’t leverage our inclusion for funding or respect in the larger, more prestigious world of “legit” indie filmmaking.
Why not submit to an award show like the Webby Awards? It’s literally designed for content like ours!
THE WEBBY AWARDS IS THE LEADING INTERNATIONAL AWARD HONORING EXCELLENCE ON THE INTERNET. (via)
Even if we chose to only submit for comedy series, a single entry submission for the Webbys is $385. That’s 1/6 of the money we made from IndieGoGo to make the entirety of season 2. For 3 entries, the total submission cost is OVER HALF OUR BUDGET.
How can you honor excellence on the internet, a place where anyone with a camera and a dream can make content, by charging this submission fee? You know who you’re ACTUALLY honoring?
Don’t get me wrong- Krysten Ritter was incredible in Jessica Jones. But talk about unfair competition. She probably makes more in an hour than we spent on BOTH our seasons. Good god.
This is bigger than one festival, though. The Streamys, another online-specific award show, at least have a flat fee when submitting one project for multiple categories, but that fee is still a non-refundable $95. And to get ahead in the world of indie filmmaking, or entertainment in general, you can’t just submit to one or two. Here is Brains’s track record just from a single submission site (FilmFreeway, which I would absolutely recommend)
And that’s just for the first season.
Bottom line: if your film festival is specifically for independent projects or online projects but your submission fee is over $30/$50 (per category especially, but also per project), maybe you should reconsider who you’re doing it for.
We cannot compete in this market. We cannot afford to, and that’s insane. The whole point of creating things independently is doing cool things with fewer resources on your own terms, but this process of paying insane fees to submit our hard work for consideration and viewership is disheartening and unfair.
If I had $385 (the fee to submit to a single category at the Webbys, I’ll remind you) I’d use it to make more projects, not submit it to your elitist “indie” festival, because apparently, it’s “make things” or “maybe get considered for an award that could bring new credibility and prestige to your cast and crew.”
Call me crazy, but I think it should be both.
On December 12th, 2016, I was sent a cursed object in the mail. So I decided to film my assumed inevitable demise.
Watch Relativity, the show that came out the same day that caused us to be more freaked out than we might have otherwise been, here.