We raised around $2000 to assist with the cost of the festival circuit, film promotions, media distribution and this website. I wanted to take a moment to outline how some of that money has been spent. I've not kept exact records but it's safe to say we've gone well over the $2000 budget, and that just means that I've personally suplimented all the costs out of pocket. That's not to say the $2000 wasn't extremely valuable though as it pushed me to apply for things I would otherwise have been more reserved about. Anyway here's a few of the biggest things we've spent the money on:
Without A Box
The largest cost. There have been many more festivals using other systems I won't bother listing, but by far the most convenient one was 'Without A Box' and we have 20 submissions, mostly still pending screening approvals. Keep an eye on our project calendar to find out what we're submitting to.
If you're signed up on IMDB please take a moment to rate the film and share it.
Short Film Central
This site acts as a database for shorts and allows us to list screenings and awards.
Our social media site. It started out free in the early days but has been a paid service now for a couple of years. It's been incredibly good value for what we got out of it though, and we'll keep it running as long as we can.
A good number of DVDs have been posted out to various festivals and events. Mostly in the early stages after the film's release. I managed to reduce costs by using an online postage printing service that saved me a trip to the post office each time. All I had to do was make a DVD, label it, print and fill out paperwork, put a cover on the DVD, slip it all in a padded envelope, stick the postage printout to the front and leave it out for the postman to pick up. This is by far the most time consuming part of the festival process and luckily things are beginning to evolve to make things more online. But Festivals are largely the oldest part of the film making process and decades behind the rest of the industry. So when you add the festival fees to all these steps it's, predictably, one of the biggest costs.
As a related note... I've found some smaller screening events that sounded interesting that didn't publish enough information on how to apply. So I'd email them and give them links to the film on YouTube. I'd get back replies that say how much they like the film (having watched it in a little window on their laptop), but could I send them a DVD as well so that they can watch it on their big screen (Ironically, DVD is lower resolution than YouTube and the wrong frame rate). Shortly after they've received their free DVD I'd get a rejection email. It does make you wonder if they're really just fishing for free DVDs. Certainly you can tell from this that they're not using common technology to it's best. I can easily view the YouTube version on my big screen in full HD at the correct frame rate through any number of methods and it kills me to be sending out DVDs as samples (lower quality, jumpy mis-matched frame rate, costly time-consuming delivery).
It's early days yet, but we have been selected to screen at two festivals and already won one award. I suspect we won't be getting quite the festival run most would hope for though since we published it online first, and that's just the nature of the beast. We knew that going in... which is why I'm not spending ten times more on the festivals (easily done). But you can't complain, unlike YouTube all the festivals in the world couldn't give you a thousand views a day!
By the way, did you know we now have a bigger female audience than male? 56.5% Female in the last week. The female audience has been growing now for a while. It's largely in the younger age groups.