Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Without a Box, Helpful or Harmful?

I know the frustration of film festivals. We personally have dropped close to $500 on entry fees alone with no real results. Today I will drop another $160 into 4 festivals and see what comes of it. I am using the service Without a Box which makes entering festivals as easy as clicking a button.

However, upon looking at another rogue film festival's website and their slamming of withoutabox, I may reconsider.

Check out what the Dark Carnival Film Festival thinks about withoutabox.

Q. Why don't you use for submissions?
A. We don't really need them, since we have our own online submission system. It works pretty well for us, and collects all the information that distributors and sponsors request. Beyond that - our position is that Withoutabox has done as much harm as good to indie filmmakers. Basically, WAB puts the filmmaker at the bottom of the foodchain - even though they claim the opposite.

They streamline the submission process, but they also create an environment where the process itself becomes nothing more than a means to generate revenue. WAB can funnel tons of submissions to a festival, which makes the festival lots of money. However WAB also charges festivals a lot of money to use their service - and those charges are passed on to you in the form of higher submission fees. That means everybody is making money from indie films EXCEPT for the people who make them!

What's even worse, some film fests take in so many submissions that their selection committees can't watch them all. So who ends up deciding the fate of your movie?

For these reasons, Dark Carnival currently boycotts WAB, and we urge filmmakers to do the same.


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