Hi all Rebecca Gold has just won at a film/web festival which is cool, we will be sent a statuette with our winning category written on it, which is exciting but… we have to pay for it and to get it shipped to us? I know that festivals have to make money somehow but paying for your own statuette, is this normal, is this right, shouldn’t we get this for free? Thoughts everyone, does anyone have any experience with this? I would love to hear your feedback.
It’s reasonable to have to pay for shipping costs - I’ve done that before.
That being said, I’ve seen one festival that didn’t create the trophy to send you unless you paid. That seemed a bit scammy to me.
I guess the thing to look for is: did people who attended the festival in person get their trophies handed to them?
That is usually specified in the “Rules and Terms” section of FilmFreeway or the festival itself; if it wasn’t, then that’s really bad practice on their part. Paying shipping fees is reasonable, though, as Herman said, particularly if it’s international shipping, and I expect that part of it. On the other hand, I’ve had (admittedly small) trophies sent to me at no cost, so it depends on the festival. I’d say go back and check the rules carefully and see if they’ve stated it anywhere.
Thanks for your comments guys, I’m learning a lot about festivals the pros and cons. And there’s a lot of cons out there.
Congratulations on your win, BTW!
Yeah; the festival circuit can be a bumpy road. My main pursuit is making short animated films and I’ve experienced the very wide spectrum of festivals from incredibly well-run well-attended fests that have the filmmaker at heart to those that have little or no audience and terrible organization…and then there are those that are just a money-grab…
When I started out, I applied to a lot of festivals without being very discriminating. More recently I’ve learned to keep it to ones that:
- focus on web series to some degree (like those in the Web Series World Cup)
- are past their first year, if I know nothing about the people running it
- are either local, or that I might have a reasonable chance of traveling to
Sound advice, but I’ve also entered quite a few that I can’t travel to and done well at them (these had a film focus, though). Is it just me or has the circuit been flooded lately with a lot of cheap festival clones (same description, similar setup, different names); generally online only. I admit I intially was sucked into entering a couple of these until they started to multiply.
I don’t do online-only festivals anymore, because for me the best value of a festival is the in-person networking.
And yeah, I submit to everything in the Web Series World Cup without being able to travel to half the locations, because there’s some prestige in placing on their Top 100 ranking.
I still think there is value in some of the well-established online festivals with good track records, especially for web-based material like web series. I wouldn’t enter films into them as some film-based festivals prefer the film not be available publicly, but I think they do help with viewership for web stuff. I’m just incredibly leery of this sudden boom of online festivals, all exactly the same (down to the exact wording; copy and paste) and all from the same part of the world. Again, just my $0.02
Oh, I’ve seen the ones you’re talking about
Yeah, those. AND my apologies to Ian - we strayed a little bit from the original topic!
I don’t mind paying for shipping. I do think it’s not cool to ask filmmakers to pay for the trophies. I’d rather they skip the trophy and send me a certificate if that’s the case.
Running a festival is very difficult work. The first couple of years, it’s not uncommon for organizers to simply not budget (or not budget enough) for certain “mundane” things, like:
- Water for panelists
- Tape for signage
- Signage (for things like where the bathrooms are, where’s the box office)
- Lanyards and nametag badges
- Garbage/recycling bags (you can never have enough of these)
- Drives (you can’t have enough of these either) for media
- Table/chair rentals
So when I see stuff like “you have to pay for your trophy” happening I want to believe they got to the end of the festival and ran out of money. It sucks, but it shouldn’t fall on the filmmaker to make up for that shortfall.