This post comes from Warren Etheredge, one of several hosts who travel to SXSW to promote the resources Washington State has to offer production, showcase the best of Washington wine and food, and engage content producers and filmmakers in meaningful discussion.
This is the conversation we should be having at SXSW.
I heard this statement paraphrased and repeated frequently over the course of the opening weekend of the film component of Austin’s urban-seam-bursting, genre-busting festival. Filmmakers don’t just want to have fun at SXSW, they want to enjoy meaningful dialogue about their craft and the content of their work, and swap valuable, behind-the-scenes stories to ensure their future success.
This is exactly the opportunity Washington Filmworks (WF) provides by hosting dinners and cocktail parties at festivals and in cities nationwide. In early March, WF returned to Austin for its second annual series of soirees, presented in conjunction with The W Seattle and with the support of filmmaker Ben Andrews and his production company, Evil Slave, LLC. My role, simply, is to corral the best and brightest movie-makers, producers, actors and screenwriters to join us for Read More…
Strange and wonderful activity is afoot in the Puget Sound area thanks to the short film The Maury Island Incident. The project was one of several that Washington Filmworks (WF) committed funding assistance to through the Filmworks Innovation Lab and the first to be completed. For the second year in a row Burien, Washington will host the Burien UFO Festival (aka BUFO) on April Fools Day. This festival is inspired by the film.
The Film + Music + Interactive Happy Hour returns to Spitfire in Seattle this Wednesday, March 26. This installment features a presentation themed around music.
The Seattle-based hip hop artist Sol will present his own story. Sol demonstrates how artists can use an effective web presence to connect with fans and enhance an artist brand. Sol first established himself in the Northwest music scene through the EMP Sound Off! competition in 2009. Three years later, he released the independent album Yours Truly, which quickly rose to #1 on iTunes US Hip-Hop Chart (#4 worldwide) and debuted on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart. Sol spent much of 2013 on a 10 month globetrotting hiatus with the Bonderman Honors Travel Program at the University of Washington. He has performed at SXSW, Bumbershoot, Sasquatch, and two sold-out shows at Showbox at the Market; he continues to tour nationally in support of his latest EP Eyes Open.
No matter the focus of the presentation – film, music, or interactive – these events are the perfect opportunity to network with fellow industry folks and discuss collaboration across disciplines. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips from James Keblas, networking king.
- Go alone. If you go with friends you won’t network.
- Go with a goal.
- Assess the field. Ask the hosts at the sign-in table who is there; ask other people who they have met, etc.
- Find a personal connection. Be funny. Be interesting. Show personality.
- Follow up and keep folks informed about what you’re making.
- Repeat often. The more you do it the better you will get at it.
- Go to non-film networking events where you can stand out. Chamber of Commerce and tech events are great. You will be the coolest person there and you never know where business opportunities exist.
See you at Spitfire. Socializing kicks off around 5 pm and the presentation begins at 6:30 pm.
Looking for options for releasing your films through VOD platforms? Check out this post from Douglas Horn, feature film producer, director and respected blogger in the film industry. Last spring Washington Filmworks shared his post on available VOD platforms, but in the quickly shifting landscape of film distribution, a lot can change in a year. Horn generously shares his latest research in this recent post entitled VOD for Independents in 2014.
VOD for Independents in 2014
One year ago I wrote an article about the VOD platforms that had the greatest impact for independent film and series creators. It quickly became one of my most popular articles. As I prepare to release several of my own films on VOD, I am struck by how much has changed in this area in just a year. So here is the 2014 edition of the VOD rundown.
The 2103 article covered about a dozen VOD platforms and services in a number of sectors of this space. Much of that has not changed much in a year: you still (mostly) need an aggregator service to get onto iTunes; Netflix still seems to me like a platform that will kill your hopes for any VOD sales elsewhere. Rather than rehash that article, I’ll point you to it to read for yourself. This article will focus on VOD platforms that offer direct filmmaker to audience platforms. (I plan to cover how to get your film on iTunes in another article soon.)
What to look for in a VOD platform
Picking a VOD platform is not a small decision. Even with platforms that are non-exclusive and make uploading your materials easy, launching a film onto a VOD platform takes time. You need to upload images, films, trailers and bonus materials, set your pricing structures, customize your landing page, plus add all the extras like merch, soundtracks and perhaps screening info. This takes a lot of time. Once your film is loaded up, you’ll be forwarding this information to a lot of people and probably advertising it. So you want to choose your platform carefully since…
Washington Filmworks frequently assists filmmakers with inquiries about where to start looking for the perfect location for their project. Washington State is rich with diverse looks to suit all types of production. Whenever possible we always suggest hiring an experienced location manager, but when you are working on a low budget project, the best asset that you have is yourself. With this in mind, we have developed a resource with tips about how to put your best foot forward!
Be professional when approaching potential locations. When a property owner has a good experience with a production, it benefits the entire community, and keeps the door open for the future. Remember that this is as much about building longterm relationships as it is about individual projects.
Take a look at our tips for locations on a budget. WF – Locations on a Budget
Washington Filmworks (WF) uses our Location of the Month newsletters to showcase the diversity of unique looks and resources in a number of jurisdictions around Washington State. We also distribute these via our newsletter if you would like to subscribe. Find previous installments archived on our website.
TOWN OF LA CONNER – March 2014
La Conner, Washington was founded in the early 1860s and is Skagit County’s oldest community. It is a charming village located on the banks of the Swinomish Channel. If you need a place to relax and browse through unique shops and art galleries, if you want to watch the waterfront or enjoy fine restaurants, inns and bed & breakfasts, then come to La Conner. You can also enjoy natural beauty and wildlife such as bird watching; La Conner is wintering grounds for Canadian & snow geese and trumpeter swans. The fertile farmlands continue to produce food and seed crops and, of course, the annual Skagit County Tulip Festival is celebrated around the world.
LA CONNER WEATHER
- January – High 45.1 F, Low 34.5 F
- July – High 72.2 F, Low 51.7 F
- January Rainfall – 3.56 inches
- July Rainfall – 0.80 inches
- January Snowfall – 2.1 inches
- July Snowfall – 0.0 inches