Things are fully in the trenches here in Post on FSM. The cut is locked and I’m mid-way through color timing and sound mixing. I still don’t know exactly when the film will be finished, but the end is certainly in sight.. and its both a huge relief and a daunting prospect. Once the film is complete, a whole other part of the film world awaits me – one that I have relatively little experience with, especially considering I’ve made 13 short films. Thing is, I’ve always focused so hard on the making of my films, that I’ve neglected the festival circuit and its various trappings and rituals. I’ve certainly submitted. And been accepted. I’ve even won a few nominations and awards. But the truth is that in the past I’ve typically spent all my money making the film, leaving very little to market and promote it.
There was always this little voice in the back of my head saying, “No one buys shorts anyways, so spend as little as you can getting into a few festivals so you can beef up the resume and then keep making new stuff!”
But with FSM nearly finished and ready to go off to market, I have to face the reality that I need to be intelligent and strategic about my festival plans, and that I have no real idea how to be because of my lack of experience. I’ve never been in a position to afford to travel to see my films show in another city or country, even though I’ve been a part of numerous international and national screenings. I’ve never attended a large festival as a patron much less a filmmaker (I’ve seen a few films at VIFF each year but that’s about it) and only once have I had the opportunity to speak about my film in a Q&A-like setting after a screening. Years ago.
So, when I begin the festival submission gauntlet that is looming ahead of me, I will be jumping in at the very, very deep end. I have no idea what to expect and I’ve been reading blogs or interviews of other indie filmmakers just to get a glimpse of it.
Its certainly thrilling to imagine that the film might get accepted/selected to screen, though it is equally daunting to think that it might not get chosen. A peer told me not to pin my hopes on the film getting into specific festivals – ie. “if it doesn’t get into ______, the the film is a failure!” But of course I can’t help but hope that it will get some kind of homegrown screening, being a Vancouver film and all. I guess we’ll find out once we start submitting. Even if it doesn’t we can probably arrange a few nights at a local theatre.
Right now its just that limbo state where you feel like you have a good movie, you know why you made it and what you were trying to do, but you don’t yet know if anyone else is going to “get” it, and subsequently want to show it at a festival, or even see it. Its a weird place to be, especially having put in so much intense work into it – more than any of my short films. I can’t wait to show FSM to the world. I am so intensely proud of what I’ve accomplished, not only as a director (which is huge for me of course), but as a writer (which I never thought I’d be) and producer as well. I’m overwhelmed with the talents I’ve met and been lucky enough to work with on this film, I’m humbled by the support of mentors and industry professionals who have helped me through the ups and downs the entire way. I can’t really say enough about Avi Federgreen and what it means to me that he chose my film to be made.
So stay tuned, FSM is about to be unleashed. And it could be one helluva ride.