I am Alessandro Frosali and I write and direct my own films through my production company, Yeti Boy Films. Today we release our latest called Incubus and reflect on the nightmare of releasing short films to the world.
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Short films will make you a better filmmaker.
Like many aspiring filmmakers, we love to make short films. They not only improve our abilities as filmmakers but they begin to allow us to experiment and ultimately create what will be our style as content creators.
I have made nine short films in two years and have experienced a dramatic increase in ability, technique and style.
But I have learned another thing.....
When making a film, everything is a dream, the planning, the filming, the assembly... But as soon as the edit is complete, the nightmare of releasing it begins.
So you made a short film, one that you know is on par with some of the other viral ones out there. You've just spent three months wage on it (which coincidentally is how much you would spend on a wedding ring) and you are ready to release it.
Should I enter my film into film festivals?
You tell yourself that you need to get it into a festival... Why? Because according to your film teachers and filmmaker friends, festivals are the only way to get seen and get kudos for your film, except...
The money is gone.
Whether you budgeted for it and overspent on production or you didn't even think about it in the first place, film festivals cost a lot of money and take time to plan out and research. Sure, I have a Withoutabox account and have submitted films into festivals, but even the good films you make won't be accepted into more than four out of ten you've entered. Yes, we all want to make it into Sundance (and if your film is brilliant, you should go for it), but film festivals are not the only way.
What about releasing online?
I am guilty of being fed up with festivals and releasing my films onto Vimeo or YouTube, hoping that a few Facebook posts and friends will carry it into superstardom. But the crushing reality is that I now have 180 views on my film and it will probably stay there.
This is where the work starts.
As writers, directors and producers of small content, I think we need to realize that there is a new role in the short indie filmmaking process. It is called 'Marketer.' It is as important as the other roles. Moreover, the reality is that you probably don't have money to hire one, so you are going to have to learn how to do it yourself.
No one will care, until they see how much you do.
When you release your film there will be people who love it and the buzz that this creates feels amazing. After a week, interest wanes and leaves you feeling like nobody ever cared at all. This is when you have to push it, send out emails to everyone outside of your usual circles (and I don't mean sharing it on Facebook again). Find someone to write an article or write one yourself, find someone with followers to share or tweet the link. Ask people who have had success, search all available avenues and look for new and exciting ways to market your film that no one else has tried. Just keep at it!
When passion starts to fade, the movie has run its course.
There comes a time when you accept that your movie will not make it any further than where it is right now. This is the time to start working on the next one.
The nightmare of releasing your next film won't go away... but you can always run faster, be stronger and get smarter about how you deal with the challenges ahead.
Source: Yeti Boy Films