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Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution

Book Description

Short films have come into their own, not least in part due to the incredible new ways to distribute them, including the Web, cell phones, new festivals devoted to shorts--even television and theatres. This is the ultimate guide for anyone who's made a short film and wonders what to do next. Whether your short film is meant to be a calling card, a segue to a feature film, or you just want to recoup some of the costs, this book describes the potential paths for distribution. Written by the short film programmer of the Tribeca Film Festival and featuring contributions from top film festival directors, as well as studio, marketing, and technology executives, this book shows you what's important to the decision makers and gatekeepers. This is the definitive handbook filled with insider information available nowhere else.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Halftitle
  3. Title
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Dedication
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Preface
  9. Introduction
  10. 1. Testing the Waters: The Indie Landscape
    1. Gore, Penguins, and the Cultural Zeitgeist of Distribution
    2. The Producer’s Perspective
    3. Conversation with Andrew Herwitz
    4. Strategizing Specialized Film
    5. Management Matters
  11. 2. Learning to Float: The Buyers
    1. Who Is This For, Anyway?
    2. Swimming with Dolphins: Shorts Distribution 101
    3. Who’s Gonna Rescue Me if I Start to Drown?
    4. Life Starts When?
    5. Taking the Brake Lights Off Your Film
    6. Make Your Mark
    7. So You Want to Sell That Short? Not So Fast …
  12. 3. The Deep End: Exploring All Options
    1. Why Should You Investigate Competitions?
    2. Why Should You Think Beyond Traditional Narrative Film?
    3. Why Should You Care About The Academy Awards?
    4. What Else Should You Think About?
    5. Plympton’s Dogma
    6. The Fragile Emotion
    7. Life in Short
    8. Conversation with Tom Quinn and Carter Pilcher
    9. Rudiments of the Short Film
    10. What’s a Short Film, Really?
  13. 4. How I Learned to Swim: Filmmaker Survival Stories
    1. Full Circle
    2. Trial and Error in Hollywood
    3. dare to Create
    4. Mother’s Journey
    5. The Long and the Short of It
    6. Conversation with Peter Sollett
    7. Losing Your Virginity
    8. Interdependent
    9. Group Therapy
    10. From Nelson to Gowanus and Back
  14. 5. Little Fish, Big Pond: Thinking Globally
    1. Shorts Down Under
    2. The International Marketplace for Short Films: Now with a Digital Assist
    3. Short Films in Japan
    4. Magic Little Differences: The European Audience Loves Short Films
    5. How to Make It with a Short Film in the UK and Europe
  15. 6. No Lifeguard on Duty: Internet and New Technology
    1. Conversation with Megan O’Neill
    2. Demystifying Mobile Video: The Market Opportunity
    3. Conversation with Jim Bankoff
    4. Brave New Virtual World
    5. Conversation with Bahman Naraghi
    6. The Power of Distribution, in the Hands of Filmmakers
  16. 7. Navigate the Rapids: Film Festivals
    1. Running Time
    2. Premiere Requirement
    3. Completion Date
    4. Exhibition Format
    5. A Briefing on Shorts
    6. Show ’Em Your Shorts!
    7. Conversation with George Eldred
    8. Some Serious Funny Business
    9. Conversation with John Polson
    10. Your Short Film and the LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender) Film Festival
    11. Conversation with Trevor Groth
  17. 8. Waterlogged: My Story
    1. The Unfortunate Television Incident
  18. Swim Test: The Workbook
    1. 1. Creating Your Logline
    2. 2. Expanding the Logline into a Short Synopsis
    3. 3. Creating Your Tagline
    4. 4. Creating Visual Elements
    5. 5. Creating the Pitchline
    6. 6. Developing Your Festival Plan of Attack
    7. 7. Investigating Distribution
    8. 8. Designing a Worksheet for Your Short Film’s Progress
  19. Index