The Best Film Festival Tools You Need to Know to Get Your Work Seen | Kristen Palana | Skillshare

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The Best Film Festival Tools You Need to Know to Get Your Work Seen

teacher avatar Kristen Palana, Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (13m)
    • 1. Introduction: Welcome and Meet Your Instructor

    • 2. Top Websites For Independent Filmmakers and Animators

    • 3. Tips For Making a 15 Second Teaser For Your Film's Pages

    • 4. Thank You For Taking This Course. Please Review

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About This Class


Are you an independent filmmaker or animator? Would you like to know the best places and my own personal favorite websites I use myself as an international award-winning indie filmmaker? Take this class to ensure your work gets seen both in traditional international film festivals as well as in online festivals.

This is a quick mini course that will help you get started using the best websites and platforms for launching your independent film or animation for screening at international film and animation festivals. It will also give you tips and ideas for creating a 15 second preview teaser to help make your online filmmaker page stand out to the judges.

I'm a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media and the Program Director of Film & Digital Media at The American University of Rome and a practicing award-winning multimedia artist. Since July of 2016 I am based in Yangon, Myanmar and serve as Visiting Associate Professor of Digital Media at American University of Myanmar.  I've been advising BA, BFA, and MFA students since 2000 to craft better, more powerful video, animation, and multimedia messages for use online and offline. I also assist 20K+ online students around the world since 2014 through courses on graphic & web design, illustration & digital painting, animation, video, crowdfunding, influence, creativity, and more.

Spend just under 15 minutes getting up to speed, then you can begin creating your own filmmaker page(s) so you can get your work out into the world and in front of your audience.

Empower yourself now by enrolling in this course and join our growing learning community and let's get started boosting launching your next film or animation today!

Meet Your Teacher

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Kristen Palana

Professor, Award-Winning Artist, Digital Do-Gooder


My goal is to empower ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

I'm an award-winning artist and educator helping empower ordinary people around the globe to communicate effectively and tell their own extraordinary stories through a variety of media. I have created dynamic content for clients including UNICEF, The United Nations Population Fund, The World Food Programme, Children International, The Aid Myanmar Society, The B-52s, and The American University of Myanmar.

I have 19+ years of experience teaching digital media and creating innovative programs and courses for secondary, undergraduate, and postgraduate students as well as adults and children with no formal education in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. I've also been teaching tens of thousands of onl... See full profile

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1. Introduction: Welcome and Meet Your Instructor: Hi. Welcome to this quick and easy course that will help you get started with the best online tools for getting your work seen by your audience in international film and animation festivals. First, I'll show you my top favorite websites that I use as an international award winning animator and multimedia artist. I'll then give you tips for dressing up your filmmaker pages with a 15 2nd teaser by using my most recent film as a case study. My name is Kristen Polana. I'm an artist, educator and author, teaching thousands of university students around the world. Since 2000 I've also been teaching online since 2014 to tens of thousands of students. I specialize in helping ordinary people do extraordinary things through simple, clear explanations and baby steps building upto larger things. How can I help you today? 2. Top Websites For Independent Filmmakers and Animators: so I actually use my video plus account with ah to other websites, so I'm going to start. Well, let's start with film freeway dot com. So this my video plus account is automatically linked to my film freeway account. So where there are two major websites that if you're, ah, budding filmmaker or not so budding filmmaker or animator, um, that you should become familiar with they are without a bucks dot com, which I'll show you in a moment and film freeway dot com What makes these websites so wonderful? Well, this is actually my page. So when I submit ah film for consideration to an international film festival, the judges will come to this page and it's password protected. I've already put the password, and so it enables me tow Watch it. But then, if you scroll down, you'll see. Here's my 15 2nd teaser now that's actually connected to my YouTube account. So film freeway dot com accepts YouTube and Vimeo videos that you can automatically put on your page. And basically I have the overview of the movie and all easily in one place for the judges are my credits, the specifications and screenings and awards all the places that it's screened today. Awards, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. And then, if I scroll down, there's my director biography with the Handy Little Photo, a director statement For those who so interested social media buttons, etcetera, it also gives me options to put production photos as well as my trailer, my website and then any mentions or news and reviews, other attachments and things that I may wish to head. So I actually like film Freeway a lot because they're one of the newer websites. But what I liked the best about it is that my preview movie that the judges we're going to see are as high of equality as what I put upon Vigna, which is HD very high quality. Now let's talk about without a box dot com because they were the very first website of their kind. Now again, I'm just taking you to my page that judges would see, but unfortunately and they may have changed things since then. This was 2000 and four. Excuse me, 2000 and 14. Ah, the thing I didn't like about without a box is that when you put your preview video on here , they actually compressed it, and the quality is not as good as on Vimeo or in film freeways. So judges would be watching my film. And if they were watching my film and trying to decide about choosing my film over someone else's, and they were submitting the very highest quality, it would put my film at a disadvantage. But again, just like with film freeway, you get Paige and I, U C have actually multiple projects on here and and just like film Freeway, it gives the summary the videos, the press, press kit and screenings. You see, I didn't update my screenings. It doesn't show as many as on Film Freeway, but these are my submission videos. My director statement resumes etcetera and more about the musical composer, etcetera, etcetera. One Nice thing, though, about without a box compared to film freely, is there automatically tied together with, um, hang on. I am db Okay, So I've gone toe. I am DB, which is the big website for filmmakers. It's the one where you're going to find the big Hollywood blockbusters as well as the independent features and independent film production people. Because I have had my videos and animations accepted in particular film festivals. It automatically enabled me through without a box dot com to get on IMDb profile. Now, as you can see, I've been horrible about doing anything with this page and which is kind of a shame, actually, because they do get a lot of traffic. So one of these days I should go back in here and actually update my profile on IMDb. But anyway, you can see that I have a couple of projects listed on here. Certainly not all my projects. And if I click on this too shall pass, you'll see this horrible stub looking page that doesn't really have too much on it. But it just has some of the information pulled from without a box dot com anyway. So one definite advantage to using without a box dot com is it's ah, immediate tie with I M. D B. Otherwise, if especially if you're a student, a recent film graduate or ah, brand new filmmaker or new animator, I recommend film freeway because if you go to their main site, you will see that you have the ability to browse film festivals and every film festival that you enter has a fee usually, but you have all different categories. You can search by entry fees so you can search just the free ones or the ones that are very inexpensive. They have special categories just for documentaries, horror, SciFi, etcetera. They also have the ones that qualify you for the Academy Awards. Weaken Dream, right? So those are the big. So here you go. Academy Award qualifying festivals actually got into one with my animation Larry and Roz not too long ago, anyway. So So that's film Freeway. And, of course, the other thing. With Without a boxes, you can do the exact same thing. You click on it and then you can search all of the different festival. So without a box was the big industry leader than film fest film. Freeway came along and gave filmmakers that higher quality submission option for judges, and they kind of turned things upside down for without a box. So at the moment, I think without a box is trying to fight back. I've see that they've read on their website, and they probably have new features. So that is the rundown on private videos and also filmmaker websites for filmmakers I hope you found this helpful. And if there's something else that you would like to know that I didn't cover, just start a new ah discussion and I'll be happy to answer your questions, take care and see in the next lesson. 3. Tips For Making a 15 Second Teaser For Your Film's Pages: Hi there. I just wanted to show you a teaser that I made not too long ago for one of my fine art multimedia animations. This too shall pass so this, too shall pass is a animated short about life with small Children, the ups and downs. And it's actually this is my website. Ah, you can see it's three minutes and 55 seconds. So it's sure So, basically, I have been in a number of international film festivals with this animation and others that I've done. And one thing that they like you to submit when you're applying to be in these film festivals is either a trailer or a teaser. Now a trailer is something you would see much more for longer films, films that are feature length one hour and 1/2 or even, you know, shorter films like half a Knauer. So it's kind of it would be weird to make a trailer, which is usually around one minute long, sometimes could be two minutes long. Ah, for an animation, that's three minutes and 55 seconds. I would be, you know, almost half the movie, right? So a teaser makes much more sense. They also make them for feature films as well. And basically what it is, it's 15 seconds. Can you imagine 15 seconds? Um, and all you're doing is you're generating curiosity or not necessarily trying to sell anything or, um, do a call to action or anything like that. You're just wanna kind of establish a few key things. So I will talk about that in a moment. So this is my teaser. It's also on YouTube and let's have a what shall we So 15 seconds that Ah, all right. That's all the stuff coming in from YouTube. 15 seconds. So what can we possibly express and 15 seconds? Well, what I tried to do with my animation is I tried to give a sense of the production values. So hopefully and what I can do is let me read, maybe played in the background again. Just seek unsee so you can see some actual scenes from the animation. You get a sense of my painting style, my animation style. There's a little bit of text to kind of explain a little bit about what the animation is about. It's about the extreme highs and lows of parenthood specifically, um it deals with a rather sticky subject, which is that of postpartum depression. What if someone with postpartum depression were to make an animation and not all at once, but a little tiny bit, Couple drawings a day for two years? What would it look like? So that was basically the gist of my textile just to run it again in the background here. Okay, so I'm trying to establish production values. I'm trying to give a really quick overview of the story and the context with not too much text, just enough that you can read in a few seconds. And then instead of a call to action, I just put the title of the animation. I've actually heard from some of my film guru friends, Um, that they love, love, love this teaser. They felt it was very effective. In some ways, maybe it's even better than the actual animation itself. Although luckily have been fortunate to win awards with this too shall pass as well. But I'm actually particularly proud of my teaser. 15 seconds. So, um, if you are thinking about making a teaser for your website, your movie or product, your brand or whatever it is that you do thes air, a couple of things you might want to keep in mind. That said, just like with making a 32nd ah, video animation or business card, It takes a lot of thought, a lot of effort and quite a bit of time to make a good teaser. That's 15 seconds. So definitely don't try to make a teaser and 15 seconds and call it a day unless you are superhuman. Okay, hope this helps and see in the next lesson. 4. Thank You For Taking This Course. Please Review: thank you for taking this course. I hope you found my tips and tricks helpful, clear and easy to use for yourself. Please remember, you can always ask me a question by starting a discussion or by contacting me through my website or Facebook page. If you did find value in this course, please do take a moment to leave a rating or review. Your feedback helps me best provide a high quality course experience for you and your online classmates. I also look forward to giving you personal feedback on your project. Click the project, but and under the video lessons to start. Thanks so much for being a student in my online classroom. I hope to see you again soon.