View Full Version : Online Film Festival Could it Work

02-08-2012, 11:20 PM
Here is an idea for you guys. How about an online film festival. Let's discuss the idea and what you think would work.

Here are a few ideas.

1. Online Festival would need to be promoted. It would only last a certain amount of time. There should be some films in it that have not been seen online before. Once it ends films are deleted from server. Not all films need to have never been seen but should be not shown on youtube or vimeo yet.

2. Next, each person that enters the online film festival would need to promote the festival. We could make it so your video does not show up if you don't promote the link to several people and get them to sign up. But this could lead to fraud of sign ups.

3. At festival people can sign up to purchase dvds from festival of films they like.

4. The festival could last a few days. Let's discuss.

5. Autographed dvds by director/film maker possible available for order. This is a special offer during online festival.

6. possible chat room with film makers at certain hour for film fest films.

7. Freebies for people that watch films in the online festival optional. Digital or mailed? This could be free promotion for your self. Maybe give out a short film.

8. would you want to have a chance to build an email list of customers by giving away a freebie?

I think an online film festival could be a good idea. It could bring you viewers that could get to know you as a director or film maker. It could also bring you sales of your films. It could build your customer base.

I think a film festival like this could be better for film watchers. They can watch them from home. If they don't live in the same state they don't need to travel to see the film. This could bring you more viewers. Traditional offline Film Festivals charge too much to watch films at times. This makes it more likely that viewers may not watch your films.

Should the online film festival be free or cost? I am thinking free but it should only be available for a short time. This way people may want to buy dvds of the films.

An issue could happen if too many free festivals are online and people don't buy films. That is why these festivals should be limited and not happening all the time. Make people miss your film and consider buying it on dvd after they see your film. Just an idea. I am sure if online festivals takes off things may need adjustment to make sure they work for selling dvds.

I was thinking the videos could be hosted via unlisted youtube videos or unlisted vimeo. Not sure which would be better and safer. Maybe have it on our own host but the issue would be uploading of all the videos and removing them after the festival. A webpage could be made via a normal host but not sure if it could handle the bandwidth for the number of viewers. I have used hostgator in the past and it may work.

02-08-2012, 11:37 PM
Sounds like a fairly plausible idea.

Maybe the first year it's free or with token admission, however subsequent years do have a legit participation fee so that servers don't get bogged down.

02-08-2012, 11:38 PM
Overall the purpose of film festivals is to get your film seen by somebody important and distributed.. (along those lines) but with the market over-saturated and low odds of getting your film distributed... film festivals and conventions are less important compared to what they once were but they still offer one great thing: a chance at socialization. It's the social aspect that attracts a lot of people. Like you said in your other post... free free, drinks, parties, etc. That's the best part of film festivals! (ones that actually get seats filled)

I'm afraid online festivals wouldn't add anything to the market.. everything is flippin online. Social networking instead of face-to-face interaction ... child texting during recess instead of playing kickball or soccer... pretty soon nobody is going to leave their computers or tablets.

That's my rant :D haha

02-08-2012, 11:46 PM
I'm afraid online festivals wouldn't add anything to the market.. everything is flippin online. Social networking instead of face-to-face interaction ... child texting during recess instead of playing kickball or soccer... pretty soon nobody is going to leave their computers or tablets.

That's my rant :D haha

I agree this world is too much online and we need to disconnect. Matter of fact there was a time where I purposely did not get internet and actually felt better about it too. Now with iphones and constant connection even stop paying the internet bill you would still have the cell internet connection. Ha.... The internet takes away from my TV time.

I was thinking this online film fest idea would be interesting because you could get people from all over the world to be in the fest. You would not need to charge viewers to watch your film unlike offline festivals. I was thinking getting people to see your film may be what some people want.

I see your points and they make sense about the parties and socializing.

This online film fest idea is a marketing idea for your films. Much like the giveaway events that internet marketers have to try to build their customer lists and get people to know who they are. It can be a branding event. You could draw viewers that would never see your film to this event and gain exposure.

02-08-2012, 11:51 PM
I agree! I have purposely postponed getting a smart phone because I don't like the idea of being connected to the internet whenever and wherever. Half the time I wish I could leave my cell phone at home.

I think as a movie watcher... there is nothing more magical than going to the movie theater, eating popcorn, and sippin on a coca cola.

02-09-2012, 01:17 AM
I see you are asking about the perspective of the filmmaker. I
have some thoughts from the perspective of an audience.

What I love the most about attending a film festival is seeing a
movie in a theater with an audience who really love movies. I
would miss that in an on line festival. Itís not really much
different than watching a movie someone posts here in indietalk.

I also really enjoy hanging around the theater lobby and talking
to fellow film fans. The good fests have a meeting room where
people gather to talk. Some direct people to a local bar or
restaurant where they have reserved a back room so movie goers can
go, meet and talk about movies. I would miss that in an on line
film festival. Chatting in a chat room isnít much different than a
conversation here on indietalk.

I would not be willing to pay to watch movies at home. The obvious
exception being a movie made by a director I already admire (if
itís exclusive to the on line festival) or starring actors I
admire. In other words - names might draw me to pay to watch
movies at home.

I go to a lot of festivals and I have found that in general the
weakest aspect is the shorts programs. Itís the features that draw
me. Watching short films on line as part of a ďfestivalĒ really
doesnít interest me and watching features on line would loose too
much to get me to pay for it.

The social part of a film festival is what really makes it fun and
unique for me.

02-09-2012, 01:33 AM
I think there's several existing online 'festivals' that work similarly to what you've described. Personally I've never paid much attention to them for most of the same reasons directorik mentioned - they just don't have the features of a festival that interest me. Also, as it is I could probably sit on Vimeo all day watching good short films if I had the time, but since I don't I'm not looking for an alternative.

02-09-2012, 02:40 AM
Ok you guys have convinced me that maybe this is not a good idea.

02-09-2012, 02:35 PM
Hi, I'm new to these forums, But i just started an Online Film Festival. It's Called Indiedemand. And it's completely free. Well be posting New films each month, with a small competition and giving the ability to the viewers to donate to each film maker. I just started this film festival and i'll be adding a lot more features in the coming months. I hope you like it!

02-09-2012, 03:34 PM
Maybe it's a matter of perspective; there are a few sites that do the same sort of thing, but from a TV channel paradigm, rather than a festival. I don't know exactly how WELL they work, but I know that some of them do. Get people to submit films, features, shorts, series, etc. Change content on a regular basis (maybe monthly?) do special events like live chats, commentaries, giveaways and contests. If you can get a steady stream of submissions going, you can program by genres (october is horror month, or somesuch) and get people to return for reoccuring series.

The more I'm thinking about it, the more it's just running a youtube channel where the videos are removed once a month, and there are lots of content creators.

indiedemand, is your competition juried or done by user votes? The latter could be sort of neat; have a little poll app beside the video display, letting people rate the film, directing, audio, acting, music, etc.

That said, I've never personally watched a feature length film on my computer, even when I was interested in doing so. If I'm at a computer, I'm either wasting time at work (as I am now), or working on music when I'm home. I can sometimes squeeze a video or two in there, but if I want to watch a movie, I'll turn on my tv.

02-09-2012, 05:17 PM
Our competition is done by user votes. Right now we are only a short film festival, but we are looking to add Feature films this year.

02-09-2012, 09:09 PM
There ya go rockerrockstar.

You should become an audience for these films in this
on line festival. See what you love and what you might
do differently. An excellent example of what you were
thinking of doing. I'd love to hear your reactions.

02-10-2012, 12:03 AM
I am checking out the films on Indiedemand fest anyways so far I really like Free Aloha. That is really an amazing surfing doc.

02-11-2012, 03:34 AM
Alright I checked out all the films on the Indiedemand fest. I will admit I did not watch all the way through some films just because they did not interest me that much. The good thing with online fests is that if the film is not your cup of tea you can stop watching it and start watching one of the other films. Unlike in real life where I would feel bad as a audience member for leaving the theater in the middle of the film. I don't really need to worry about hurting film makers feelings when watching online. I just move on. I also can fast forward while online to see if it gets better before making a judgement of leaving the film.

I looked over all the films and the strongest film was Free Aloha. It was my vote of Short for the month. I noticed that this film maker was smart and put links to his website and facebook. I added the facebook page for the film on my facebook. His facebook page looked real professional too.

Anyways, as far as a online festival I think it could maybe be done better but this was at least a running version of a online festival. I am not sure how many people that watch the films will donate via the pay pal button but good luck with that.

I think more of the film makers should have posted links to their production websites or facebook so that they could attract future viewers. If they got facebook then maybe they will subscribe or add you. This will keep them in the know when you release future films.

One advantage these online festivals could have versus just putting it on youtube or in the screening room is that the film makers could each promote the fest to the crew, cast, friends, and family. So you would have traffic from all the other film makers that could potentially see your film. This is another way to get your films seen.

02-11-2012, 02:48 PM
YouTube are kinda doing something similar to this at the moment, you send a film a in and then viewers get to vote on the films, the films with the most votes get shortlisted (50 i think is the final) these are then voted again by viewers. Ones with top votes get sent to Venice film festival and judged by Ridley Scott and the overall winner wins 500,000 to make a film. I may have completely missed the point :P haha, but it sounds as if it could go along those kinda lines?