Sydney Film Festival ‘Short Film winners’ workshop – online video distribution

Had the great pleasure of being asked to contribute to some workshops for the finalists of the Sydney Film Festival Short Film Festival, sponsored by Dendy

The workshops discussed the move from Shorts to Long Form, and I was asked to demonstrate online video distribution strategies.

My fellow panel experts included Paper Giants producer Karen Radyzner from Dragonet Films Master & Commander / Happy Feet scriptwriter John Collee and John L Simpson from Titan View, responsible for the innovative distribution strategies for The Jammed and Mens Group.

Over the two hours, we had 3 x 35minute groups sessions with the short film finalists comprising Directors, Producers, Writers and Animators, before being treated to lunch at the Chef’s Gallery and then onto Event Cinema’s to see the shorts.

I put together a brief powerpoint with some examples of online video strategies which you can see below.

From the panel discussions, the following observations can be made:
1/ A short film maker either goes for the Festival circuit or for online audiences. Genre often dictates this eg comedy works very well online. Festivals exclusivity restricts online distribution.
2/ The Production Company is just as important to brand as is the project. Think how Blue Tongue Films or Warp Films have such a good following.
3/ A new project can instil new life in an old project. Projects can have long tail effect. Chis Kezelos talked about how how his film Zero is still seeing traffic which always increases when he releases new work – see Zero below.
4/ Producers want to sell their shorts direct to their audiences, as well as through channels such as iTunes, but there is not the check and instant technology to do this. DRM, encryption, security plus online payment systems aren’t developed or integrated enough, and often cost more to implement than the short film makers yearly potential revenue. Paypal’s Digital Goods product can help this, and the Dynamo Media Player looks promising.
5/ Revenue generation isn’t a primary goal for the short film maker but any revenue is good revenue.

Dendy Short films:
Laugh-out-loud, surreal, visually inventive and achingly sensual – the finalists in this year’s Dendy Awards for Australian Short Films contain every shade of the cinematic spectrum. The line-up includes three titles selected for the Berlinale (including winners Julian and BINO, two for South by Southwest The Hunter and The Maker and one for Cannes Yardbird. The 10 films are competing for three prizes: the Dendy Live Action Short Award, the Yoram Gross Animation Award and the Rouben Mamoulian Award for Best Director. The ten finalists will screen together on 16 and 17 June and the winners will be announced at Sydney Film Festival’s Closing Night ceremony on 17 June.

Dendy Supporting the SFF short film awards for over 20 years. Proud supporters of the Yoram Gross animation award

ZERO by Chris Kezelos

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One Response to Sydney Film Festival ‘Short Film winners’ workshop – online video distribution

  1. Pingback: Speaking on D.I.Y. distribution « Nick Bolton

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