Monday, May 14, 2012


Let me first say that I am not complaining.  The stats I am about to point out are a part of human nature. which of course means that they are as aggravating as rush hour traffic. 

Have a look at this graph:

This is a graph of the page visits for the blog you're reading right now.  I don't know if you can make out the dates of the twin peaks, but they are right before we announce what films will be in the festival.

As I said, I'm not complaining, just making an observation.

One of the objectives of this blog is to give filmmakers an insight into what kinds of movies we're seeing in submissions and especially what problems we see over and over again.  I would hope that filmmakers thinking about their next film would come mine the gold we've been digging for all these years - and, in a selfish way, I'd like you all to make better movies because the bad ones are just too painful to watch.

But is that happening?  Obviously not. 

Just before we announce, filmmakers crash the blog to see if they can learn anything about the fate of their film. A fate which might have had a better chance if they had read the blog before they shot - or better yet, wrote - their movie.

I am not surprised.  Prior to all of this Internet stuff, filmmakers would ask me for advice and I would tell them, "You're looking at me now, and you think you're listening, but you're not.  I will give you some good advice.  Everyone who has experienced what you're about to experience will give you good advice ... and you will ignore it and do what you were going to do anyway.  I know this is true because I did it.  All of the people here did it, and we can see in your eyes that you're going to do it, too.  It's human nature."

So, please folks, if you're coming to the festival check out the panels.  Write down what they say and post it on your computer as a daily reminder.  If you can't attend this year's festival, or the panels, flip back through my blog.  Learn why people are falling asleep during your main character's introspective self-realization.  Figure out how to change it into something active; something that will engage the audience.

Learn from the filmmakers who went before you, and maybe you won't be so anxiously checking this blog on the run up to next year's lineup.

Thanks for reading.


Anonymous said...

This is seriously douchey elitist @#$% and shows some true colors. You can call my comments sour grapes cuz i'm not in, but in all sincerity that's not the point. i'll not submit again nor recommend to anyone.

RSMellette said...

I was going to ignore this comment because of the lack of ... diplomatic tone - but there is a fair point to make here.

When you screen as many movies as we have, you learn that some mistakes are just that - mistakes. These are not subjective, matter-of-taste, things. 100% of the people screening movies with mistakes will say, "That's not right."

These are the filmmakers who need to study this blog.

As I've said many times before, some fantastic films don't get into the festival. We just don't have enough room for every movie. This blog probably won't teach them anything about making a better movie - but they might learn something about the selection process that will help them break into the festival circuit.

And, of course, some people will get bitter - and that is a sure sign of the death of any career.

Anonymous said...

I gotta stand up for Robert and Dances with Films here. I got rejected from DWF and a bigger, international festival ended up selecting us for our world premiere. It is only because I got rejected from DWF and I didn't get bitter/stop working on my film did the film make it to Fancy Fest X. I give many thanks to Robert and other helpful commentators for their advice and insight.

RSMellette said...

Glad to hear it, thanks. Congrats on your success!