May 28 2010
We’re pleased to announce that Unseen Abilities will be playing at the Rainier Independent Film Festival.
It will be showing in what we feel is the prime time slot: Saturday June 12th at 8pm in the larger venue. Here’s the full schedule.
We’re looking forward to the festival and its beautiful location. As Rebecca Winters Keegan of TIME magazine wrote about the festival:
In the foothills of Mount Rainier is a rarity — a film festival actually focused on film.
If you’re up for a bit of a drive, come out and see the film. Also wish us luck in nabbing an award.
October 7 2009
Crowned Indie-Fest Winner for the 5th Annual EFF (Ellensburg Film Festival), Unseen Abilities headlined the short program on Sunday, October 4th.
Films winning awards at EFF were:
- Best Feature - World’s Greatest Dad
- Best of Washington - Back to the Garden
- Best Documentary - Sweet Crude
- Best Short - Fan Mail
- Indie-Fest Competition Winner - Unseen Abilities
- Best of Fest - Pirate for the Sea
EFF was a blast. Looking forward to future festivals!
September 10 2009
Just saw the trailer for Official Rejection - a film that, ironically, is getting picked up at various film festivals. It certainly has appeal to hundreds of thousands of filmmakers wondering what they have to do to get into a festival (and if getting selected is even that helpful).
To date, the film has submitted itself to 48 different festivals, but got the nod in 10 of them, including wins at the Oxford Film Festival, deadCenter Film Fest, and VISIONFEST.
Though they are doing well at festivals and are selling clothing and books on their site, I think they are missing a far greater marketing opportunity. If I were working with Official Rejection, I would launch a community site to embrace the “rejected” filmmaking community and would create badges, awards (most rejected, etc) and otherviral enablers as their audience is far greater and far more valuable than then the film festivals they are attending. I recommend they embrace rejectees, rather then brag about their festival acceptance.
Check out the Official Rejection trailer yourself:
August 23 2009
Being a first-time filmmaker who knew he didn’t have enough money to make a full feature, I relied on the advice of friends: “If you want to make a short, make sure it is under 30 minutes–otherwise, you’re film will be considered a feature and you’ll be competing against the big boys.”
Seemed like solid advice at the time. I ended up with a film that naturally would have been about 35 minutes, but edited down to the recommended 30 minutes.
As I began submitting to festivals, I wondered what festivals thought of lengthier short films. The official stance from any festival is that the runtime doesn’t matter.
As I began tracking which festival selections and put myself in the shoes of a festival programmer, it is clear that film-length does matter.
For example, in 2009 the largest film festival in the U.S., SIFF, showed 124 short films. Thanks to the full 25 days SIFF has to screen the films, runtime matters little to them compared to other festivals. 94% of the films selected were under 20 minutes. The only one approaching 30 minutes was the newest Wallace and Grommit film.
Why does film-length matter?
It’s simple: when programmers consider including a 30-minute short in their festival, they have to cut approximately five other short films out of the festival because they have a choice between showing the 30-minute short, or six 5-minute shorts. Plus when programmers are playing scheduling tetris, it is difficult to fit a longer short into a themed short films package. This means the lengthy short has clearly stand out above nearly all other shorts to even be considered for most film festivals.
In hindsight, I should have planned for Unseen Abilities to be a 60-minute feature. If I were to shoot another short, I would try to shoot for a 5 minutes film and be sure to stay under 10.
September 9 2008
Like most new filmmakers, my primary goal with my film was to submit it to Sundance and get accepted into the film festival. As you join the industry, you start to learn about many other film festivals that matter as well, but there something about the recognizability of Sundance. In the public eye, if you say you’ll be submitting it to film festivals, the first thing that will come out of most people’s mouths is: “You mean like Sundance?”
Last Thursday I mailed out Unseen Abilities in time for the regular Sundance deadline and you should have seen the look on the girl’s face who prepared my package - she was absolutely amazed that someone from around here was mailing something to Sundance (complete with a Hollywood, CA address). Even though I just gave her my address, she was star-struck and said “Are you from around here?”
I must admit that it felt good to mail out to Sundance, but it will feel much better to get in. Only time will tell…
July 12 2008
As the first official post on the Unseen Abilities site, I want to share my goals with the site and with the movie.
I’d like the site to share my experiences as a 1st time writer, director & producer who hopes to gain attention from investors so I can turn the movie into a full feature after doing well in the film festivals. I hope other filmmakers will find my tips valuable or at least join me in the conversation of what it is like to create a movie.
I’d also like to provide fans of the movie with more information about he people involved in making this film possible.
Yes, I am writing my first post @ 3:40 am after struggling with Final Cut Pro & Sound Track Pro issues. This is another thing I intend to write about as I had to do a lot of troubleshooting due to the lack of solid documentation available online or in the manuals.