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As I expand my mini-film festivals beyond the small local sci-fi conventions to new cities and states and different genres, I'm often asked about the details of what I do and I've found it useful to have a page to point organisers to.
As I also obtain permission for all the films I screen, I need to explain to filmmakers and rightsholders exactly what I'm doing and why so that they can better decide whether they want to entrust me with their baby.
So here's a page to cover what conventions, filmmakers and even audiences might want to know about what I do. I maintain another page to explain why I do it.
I provide this service to conventions primarily to contribute high quality themed film content to your programming, without your having to worry about any aspect of making it happen.
There is no financial component to these mini-film festivals. I do not charge filmmakers submission fees or offer prizes. I do not expect any direct financial payment from conventions. Your events will not make direct financial gain from my mini-film festivals but you may well benefit by selling convention memberships to anyone attending a mini-film festival on opening night that's free and open to the public.
Here's what I provide:
Here's what I need:
I have not yet required travel or hotel expenses, but would not say no to them if you can afford to offer them, especially if I'm travelling to your event from another state. When they have been offered, they have been much appreciated.
While I usually work to what has become my standard model, I'm open to any suggestions as to how you might prefer it to be changed for your particular event. Of course, we should work this out as far in advance as is possible.
If I'm contacting you, I've already seen and enjoyed your film and believe it would be a good fit for a particular convention. It may fit the theme of the event or tie in to the special media guest. It might just be a peach of a film which I've been dying to put in front of an audience.
I may have seen it online, at another film festival or even as a submission to another film festival (as I currently screen for five different events). In some instances, I may already have reviewed it at my main review site, Apocalypse Later. You may even have originally sent it to me for review.
Primarily what I'm asking for is your permission for me to screen your film. I'm very keen to obtain permission from filmmakers (or other rights owners) in every instance, even if the state (eg Arizona) doesn't require it. If I want to screen a film again, perhaps at a different event to a different audience, I'll ask for your permission again.
There is no financial component associated with my mini-film festivals. There are no submission fees for filmmakers and no payment for me. At small conventions, I try to keep my first set on opening night free and open to the public to bring new people into fandom. However, some conventions take place in closed venues so audience members have to have event passes to attend. However, I never charge admission to any of my mini-film festivals.
With the sole exception of Phoenix FearCon, which I program from submissions, these mini-film festivals are not competitions and there are no awards or prizes.
I may also be asking for a high quality digital copy of your film so that it can be seen exactly as you intend it to be seen. In some instances I may already have this, perhaps from Vimeo or YouTube, but often I'll either not have a copy at all or only a lower quality one. The screens I use are often portable, but size varies as they tend to be provided by the convention. I usually screen from my laptop, which usually copes well with anything except full quality ProRes files. The highest quality under that level is recommended.
If you're a local filmmaker, I'll also ask if you might be available to come out to attend and be part of a Q&A. This is not required, of course, especially on what are often Thursday evenings and as there is no budget to help you attend (beyond a pass into the event, if needed), but it does add value for the audience and allows you to connect with them directly.
If you agree to let me screen your film, I'll highlight it in a number of places. Since 2014, I've been handing out flyers after each set to list films shown, with various details: the names of directors and production companies, the lengths and years of release and, if applicable, the IMDb pages and links to see them on Vimeo or YouTube. I'll include similar details here on this site in the appropriate setlist. I'll also aim at reviewing each film at Apocalypse Later.
My film festivals are free of charge and I hope you enjoy the service I'm providing enough to come back for future events.
If you are attending a set that's free and open to the public, please take the opportunity to look at what else is happening at the convention that's hosting me. If you like what you see, please consider buying a membership.
While I have programmed a set for Phoenix Comicon, I mostly program for smaller conventions that provide a much more personal experience than at large events. The negative side is that there's much less of most things on offer but the positive side is that your time will be more valuably spent at every aspect of it. If you've ever met a special media guest and wanted to spend more time with them, then these small conventions are absolutely for you. I've often sat down with a Guest of Honor for an hour's chat.
Please support the filmmakers. What I do wouldn't be possible without them so, if you enjoyed a movie at one of my mini-film festivals, take a flyer afterwards and consider contacting the people who made it to tell them what you thought and then check out their other work. Buy their DVDs, watch their films on Vimeo or YouTube and tell your friends what they're missing.
As of 2015, I've been handing out free convention ribbons at every mini-film festival set I host. Please take one and affix it to your convention badge to proudly proclaim that you're an 'Apocalypse Later Mini-Film Festival Aficionado'.
Also as of 2015, I've been handing out free information sheets which detail all the films that I screen in a way similar to the event pages on this site. Please take one to show you what's screening at that event.
And, if you like what I do, please let the convention organisers know so that they can better judge whether they want to bring me back for their next event!
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