Every brief that comes across a filmmaker or agency’s desk provides a choice. In that moment, you can choose to pay the bills or work on a project you love. If you’re one of the lucky ones, those two overlap. That was the case for the team at Blue Ox Films when they got a brief from The CW. It didn’t have everything planned out, and that was a beautiful thing.
Whether it’s your first foray into content creation or you’re already on your way to having a sizable audience, there’s always something to learn from other YouTubers. It’s not easy to get those 1,000,000 followers, let alone trying to get there on your own.
Many of the filmmakers we’ve spoken to over the last year learned as they went, simply because YouTube wasn’t quite the media titan it is today. But none of them got where they are today without looking to others for help. And this is your advantage.
Before the lights, cameras, actors, and awards, there’s only you and your idea. This idea exists in the dark, constantly evolving and begging to be put into the real world, representing a million different possibilities before it takes its final shape.
As filmmakers, we all stand on the shoulders of giants. No matter how original or visionary you think your work is, odds are, you’re re-hashing an idea used by a filmmaker (or two) who’ve also borrowed that same idea from another filmmaker’s work a half-century ago.
Drea watches more than 350 films every single year and plays an active role in whether they’re successful or not. She’s well aware of the uphill climb many filmmakers face to get accepted — she said Sundance receives around 14,000 submissions every year and only 100 actually get a premiere. So, in an effort to make that climb a little more friendly, we decided to chat with Drea to put together a rough guide for getting into film festivals.