Friday, January 22, 2010

Welcome To Lucky 13

For those of you who followed this blog last year on the Dances With Films message board, welcome to the new location. The message board is up and running for year 13, so feel free to drop by and say hi to your friends.

For new readers, here's the deal:

Screen festival submissions long enough, and you start to notice trends in storylines, styles, music, etc. Like old-fashioned mimeographs, the further these copies are from the original, the harder they are to stomach.

I started this blog last year for selfish reasons. I wanted filmmakers to stop sending us the same, tired, bad movies. They really are painful to watch - and we watch them all. It was my hope that, giving filmmakers a peek into what we're seeing over and over and over again in submissions would make them think twice before spending their time, energy and money on something that has been done a million times before. If this all worked, then I'd get to watch better movies.

Because, you know, it's all about me.

As a reminder from last year, here are the ground rules:

First and foremost, these are general notes. I'm not going to identify any specific movies, so don't come looking here for insight on your submission – even though that is an almost irresistibly fun guessing game.

This blog is like a classroom setting, so I'm not going to spend a ton of time on the good stuff. That's for your premiere. Here we have the lab coats on. It's a given that just completing a movie is an accomplishment worthy of pride - but if we all settled for that, we'd be making home movies. There will be some heat in this kitchen.

How Our Process Works:

Without giving too much away about the secret inner sanctum of judging, At DWF we get together once a week - or more as it gets down to crunch time - to screen short films as a group. Features are taken home and screened individually by up to 3 judges. This blog is more about the short submissions, though I might pop in some feature notes as well.

That's it. I look forward to your feedback on my feedback.



Kenneth said...

I think what you are doing here is incredible. We all need to know what will make us get better.

info said...

Hello, I submitted to your festival last year and it wasn't accepted apparently due to your judges being unable to figure out part of the story. However, since that time, I've made some changes suggested and other ideas gathered from your blog last year and since then have I received a bunch of great reviews and awards. I've still been very selective of my festival choices since and it hasn't played in LA yet. My film is a completely original and absolutely not boring to watch. Any chance you can extend an invitation this time? :) (I'm TomB in WAB)

RSMellette said...

Well, you can always resubmit. Just last year we had a short film get into the festival after doing much the same thing you have done. No garuantees of course, but if your film's better, you know you've got a better chance.

catwoods said...

Hey, RS--like the digs.

It'll be fun following a different kind of blog for variety.


Terry said...

This blog sounds good. I'm writng a novel but I find screenplay advice is also helpful,since it's another way to tell a story.