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Spring Into Washington Festivals


Lots of Washington film festivals are coming up. We’ll save you a seat.

Washington Filmworks (WF) has been working to build a comprehensive statewide list of film festivals and competitions and Washington has many to choose from each year. So whether you’re a filmmaker looking for the perfect audience, or a lover of cinema on the hunt for something special, we promise there’s a festival in the state that fits the bill. Here are several happening this spring thru the end of Read More…

VOD for Independents in 2014

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…

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Looking for Locations on a Budget?


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

Get Set for Grant Success


Tracy Rector and Lou Karsen on location. Photo courtesy of Longhouse Media.

Looking for film funding? Tracy Rector and Lou Karsen have some advice. recently named the pair “Seattle’s best kept filmmaking secret”, which was a kind accolade, but quite surprising considering that their film projects have been shown on National PBS, Independent Lens, National Geographic, ImagineNative, and at Festival de Cannes. The duo is also the driving force behind Longhouse Media, a nine-year-old nonprofit organization that has produced hundreds of films, runs media programs in tribal schools, teaches after school workshops, administers adult training classes, and programs a film and panel series known as Indigenous Showcase at the Northwest Film Forum.

Karsen and Rector are currently working together to co-produce and co-direct Clearwater. This feature documentary is the cornerstone of Read More…

How Section 181 Helps Washington Filmmakers

181The following post briefly outlines Washington Filmworks’ (WF) understanding of Section 181. While this article serves as an overview of the tax policy, WF encourages filmmakers to contact an attorney to learn more.

The enactment of Section 181, as part of the American Jobs Creation Act Of 2004, signaled a change in U.S. policy towards filmmaking in the United States. By minimizing investor risk through film subsidies, Section 181 helps to support film and television production and to prevent “runaway production” of the film industry.

Over the past few decades, many American film and television productions have been lured away from the United States. This shift in production resulted in the loss of enormous amounts of revenue.  Recognizing the need to support the American film industry, Congress passed legislation that brought about Section 181 of the U.S. Tax Code. Section 181 currently falls under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, extending the incentives for film productions until December 31, 2013.

What is Section 181?

Section 181 states that an investment in a motion picture shot in the United States is Read More…

VOD Options for Independent Films and Series

Washington Filmworks wanted to remind local filmmakers and content creators about the fantastic article covering VOD resources for independents that Douglas Horn put together on his blog this March. He’s hard at work on a follow up piece with even more information, which we aim to share as it becomes available.

In the meantime be sure to check out VOD Options for Independent Films and Series.

About Douglas – Douglas Horn has written, directed, and produced a variety of projects from commercials to features. His films Full Disclosure, Coffee & Pie, Entry Level, and others have won awards at festivals and garnered distribution in many territories and media. Douglas is one of the founders of Popular Uprising, a media company that creates works based on new viewing trends and distribution media—the first of these projects is the series DIVERGENCE currently in release. Douglas discusses the changing world of filmmaking and distribution on his blog:  He is a long-time resident of the Seattle area.

Washington: Permission to Film

Interstate Dusk

Interstate Bridge in Vancouver

Washington Filmworks strives to showcase the diverse looks our state has to offer production. Whoever said “you can’t be in two places at once” has obviously never filmed here. While your cast and crew are in Washington, they can also be in a snow-covered Bavarian village, a serene Japanese garden, or a wine country vineyard. No matter what setting you envision, chances are you’ll find it within the borders of Washington State.

Aurora Corridor_Shoreline

Aurora Corridor, Shoreline

Once you find that unspoiled location in the perfect town it’s time to secure permission to film there. But with nearly five hundred municipalities in Washington, where does a filmmaker start? Washington Filmworks can help connect you with a Film Liaison, the proper city authorities in most areas, but if you’re reaching out on your own, begin with a little research. Area Film Liaisons help to facilitate motion picture production within their jurisdiction. Liaisons are often an appointed staff member of a city or representatives of a Chamber of Commerce, who assist in communications between production and the host community to ensure the best possible outcome for all parties. Read More…