At Jesse Pinkman’s house, Albuquerque

I Must Submit

So far I've submitted my new short film A Trophy to 7 film festivals, with about 7-8 more on my "to enter" list before year's end.

15 film festivals doesn't sound like much, especially as there are literally hundreds of them all over the world. But those entry fees add up quickly. Some European fests are free (though they rarely play many American shorts), but many in the US demand $40 or more per film. $60 entry fees are not uncommon, and I've even seen a couple festivals ask for over $80. Mind you, these are the fees for short films. Features cost even more!

Festivals have to struggle to survive, so I won't deny them this source of revenue. But those high fees explain why I have to be so selective about where I send A Trophy. If I had $50,000 burning a hole in my pocket, I could afford to submit the damn thing everywhere. But I don't, so I'm doing a lot of homework and entering only those quality festivals that attract good-sized audiences, don't charge an arm and a leg, are places where I could ostensibly attend if accepted, and first and foremost seem open to a weird film like A Trophy, with its tiny budget and troubling themes. In other words, now is the true test of festivals' claims that they care more about story and originality than they do about high production values.

In other news, I spoke again at the motion conference in Albuquerque earlier this month, which was fun, especially for the Breaking Bad sightseeing (see photo at left) just days after the show's finale. There are so many Breaking Bad tourists in ABQ now - far more than even a year ago. Funny how cults can grow so quickly.

I've also landed a couple of decent writing jobs, including an article on Indiewire, probably the most popular site for indie filmmakers on the Web. On the downside, I missed out on what was potentially a great little TV gig. Oh well. Win some, lose some.

And yes, I am thinking more and more about starting a crowdfunding campaign for my third feature Dial 9 to Get Out. I'm actually thinking about it all the time. So if it happens - and I see no reason why I shouldn't try - I may shoot for February as a start date for that. Dreaming up lots of fun backer rewards until then.

Finally, I caved in and joined Twitter. If you want to follow me, I'm @MarkTapioKines, what else?