5 or 6 Things I Learned at Tribeca
Last week I was pleased to attend the Tribeca Film Festival as the producer of “Snaggletooth,” our short film written and directed by Colin Bishopp. Even though I’ve attended a dozen or so film festivals, this was a watershed. We were treated to a number of perks (director’s luncheon, producer’s reception, festival publicist) that made the experience different. Here’s a few takeaways from the festival:
Marketing matters - We were one of 63 shorts selected from over 5100 entries. Of course we had a good film, but we also made an effort to stand out from the crowd during the submission process by following the programmers and sending each one a personal note, a promo piece and a blu-ray.
Get there early - Most of the attending filmmakers come for the first half of the festival, if not the first weekend, so if you want to mix and mingle it pays to plan accordingly.
Meet the staff - While it’s fun to talk to fellow filmmakers and attendees, this is a rare opportunity to get face time with the folks who are responsible for selecting your film. Say thank you and be friendly—you’ll be back.
Skip the movies - Chances are, many of the selected features will be picked up for streaming or even theatrical distribution, so unless you really want to experience the Q+A with the filmmakers, stick to the talks and other events.
Bring a change of shoes - You’re going to be on your feet. A lot. And unless you can afford a Lyft everywhere you go, plan on getting in your 10,000 steps a day ---and then some.
Followup - I collected a lot of business cards, postcards and scribbled notes. While it’s unlikely that I’ll be working with any of my new acquaintances in Manitoba or Memphis any time soon, they may well turn into FB friends or Insta pals who can help me spread the word when my next film is ready. I'll be happy to do the same for them.
Oh yeah, next time I'll get in the front of the picture. Or bring a box to stand on.