21-Day Filmmaking Competition Team Newsletter #1
7/1/11: This is the standard letter that goes out to all Team Leaders upon Team Signup. If you are a Team Leader and have not received letters like this, contact ProjectTwenty1@gmail.com to ensure that we have your proper e-mail.
Dear 21-Day Filmmaker/Animator,
Congratulations on signing up for the 21-Day Filmmaking Competition! This email is to give you some instruction that you may not have been able to find on the website.
First, here is your basic Calendar of Events:
NOW-JULY: Gather your cast, crew, locations, equipment, and music. If you don’t have these things, find them through our networks, Susie Filmmaker, our website’s Forum, or (if you’re local to Philly) our networking events. We’ll also send you your forms, waivers, all that fun stuff, for you to look over and ask questions about before filmmaking starts in August.
JULY 30: You receive the “Secret Element” from us, either at our Launch Event or via email, and you begin to make your film.
JULY 30- AUGUST 20: Make your film!
AUGUST 20: GET US YOUR FILM, along with your forms, waivers, etc. and (if you can) promotional materials, and DVD graphic design before the deadline to compete for Awards.
AUGUST 20-OCTOBER 2: Hype up your new film! Make trailers, slide shows, whatever will build enthusiasm for your film and get people to come out and see it.
AUGUST 22: Deadline for Late Films to still receive a theatrical screening (though they will not be eligible for Awards).
SEPTEMBER 29-OCTOBER 2: Your film receives its World Premiere theatrical screening at the Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival! Maybe you even win Awards!
Starting October 3rd, you may put your film itself online and/or engage in any other promotion/marketing/sales you wish. We’ll be doing the same on our end, submitting your film to other festivals around the country, and getting you some sweet, sweet non-exclusive distribution wherever possible.
The Competition works thusly:
ALL filmmaking/animation is to take place during the 21 days between July 30th and August 20th. We will be holding a Launch Event on July 30th, at Lucky Strike Lanes (1336 Chestnut St. – returning teams note: this is a DIFFERENT LOCATION than last year). If you are local, we highly recommend you coming out, because it will be swarming with writers, actors, editors, and people who in general want to offer you support and a helping hand! It’s a wonderful resource, and everybody could always use ONE more person for something on a set, right? We also use the Launch Event to reveal the “Secret Element” which MUST appear in your 21-Day Film.
If you are not local, have no fear! The Secret Element will be emailed to you SIMULTANEOUSLY to it being announced in person (approximately 6:00pm U.S. EDT on July 30th), so you will not have a strategic advantage by being local.
Last year, the Element was “Between the Lines,” and we wound up with films about driving tests, palm readers, towns amidst two sets of railroad tracks, and even some drug use (oh, you filmmakers!). This is ALL valid. We want to make sure nobody starts early. But we are not going to limit your creativity once July 30th rolls around, so twist the Element however you need to to fit into your dream film! Keep in mind, our judges consider your creative use of the Element when making their decisions for Awards, so make sure it’s in there.
NO Creative work is to be done before the 21 Days begins, so you are not behind if you haven’t done anything yet. What you CAN do is the technical aspects of pre-production, like locking down locations, cast, crew, and equipment, as well as PRE-PROMOTION (many Teams are already blogging their efforts and building Team websites), so get to it!
NOTE: IMPORTANT!!! Along with making your film, there IS (unfortunately) paperwork involved. As we will be presenting your film to the rest of the world on your behalf, we need to be sure it’s YOUR film, that you OWN everything in it. NO copyrighted music, NO cast or crew you did not have sign waivers, etc.
Paperwork will work much the same as last year:
1) ALL PAPERWORK will be due upon completion of the film. This includes the Participants Agreement, Certification Form, Promotional Form, etc.
2) We will be collecting ALL WAIVERS from you. Everybody who helps with your film: cast, crew, location owners, musicians, MUST sign a waiver. And we NEED THEM (or copies of them). The reason? We are acting as your non-exclusive agents to the rest of the world when it comes to your 21-Day film. We would be putting ourselves into legal disputes if we started certifying things on your behalf that we can’t prove. And we love you all, but not THAT much. Do your homework… films include paperwork, so get used to it! We’ve tried to keep things as simple as possible, and we don’t like it any more than you do.
All U.S. Forms and waivers you will need, along with an explanatory README file, are downloadable via THIS LINK HERE. If you are competing internationally, we will be sending you your forms shortly, but they will approximately mirror the U.S. forms.
This part is NOT MANDATORY, BUT it would behoove you to also have a graphics/illustration person on your Team, and/or to have somebody on set doing STILL photography in addition to the normal film/animation crew. Remember, most still cameras shoot at a much higher resolution than video cameras (even HD), so blowing up a screencap will not look as good for your DVD cover or poster than what a talented photographer and graphic designer could put together. Just sayin’.
We ask that you send us your trailers, your posters, EVERYTHING you make related to this film (in as high a resolution as possible), so that we can use it elsewhere when submitting your films to our Screening Partners. We are constantly expanding our venues, partners, and markets, and ask the people who’ve competed in years past… we do a TON of promotion for you! That’s why so many of you come back year after year.
This is your film, be sure to make a film you want to make. Trust us, it’ll show. AND you’ll be able to use it over and over after our festival ends. 21-Day Competition films have screened all over the country!
Lastly, if you have questions on any of the above, or anything else we didn’t cover, call or email us. We’re here to answer your questions and make sure you make the best film possible. And as always, thanks for participating in the 21-Day Filmmaking Competition! We guarantee you won’t regret it. In fact, we’re sure it’ll be a filmmaking experience you’ll never forget.
More emails will be forthcoming between now and the Competition Launch on July 30th, so stay tuned. It’s going to be an awesome ride!
Stephanie Yuhas, Executive Producer
Matt Conant, Artistic Director
Exhibit. Promote. Inspire. Connect.