So yesterday I posted this on our facebook page:

A festival director and producer “to do” list for this week:
1. Finish downloading and testing official selections
2. Finish downloading and testing trailers from our finalists
3. Continue to work with our sponsors like Mix on Main to promote the festival along with partners like Oasis Day Spa 
4. Pick up everything we need for our Filmmakers Lounge
5. Update our RSVP list
6. Announce our special guest emcee
7. Thank our judges
8. Finalize our programs for printing
9. Pick up the awards from Loria Awards and Pool Tables
10. Organize filmmaker badges
11. Test our screenings at Dobbs Ferry Public Library
12. Pick out what to wear for August 19

Seems manageable right? It is…if you have the experience to back it up. This is our 3rd installment of movies4movies so we’ve learning a lot of lessons and continue to improve to make the fest bigger and better each time.

Here’s some background on each item on this list:

1. Finish downloading and testing official selections

We have 30 selections of varying lengths. Along with my technical director, we download each film. Test the film. Group the film with its block. Add trailers and promotions. Then we burn each block on to an individual DVD. Why DVD? Why not streaming? We don’t want any hiccups during each screening – we have a tight schedule and can’t wait for technical delays. DVDs are the most reliable.

2. Finish downloading and testing trailers from our finalists

For the first time, we’re offering a consolation prize for films who scored high but were not official selections. So, we’ll be screening the trailers of these films. The mission of movies4movies is to get your movie seen by audiences so showing the trailers of entries who didn’t make the cut helps us fulfill our mission.

3. Continue to work with our sponsors like Mix on Main to promote the festival along with partners like Oasis Day Spa 

As festival director, I pound the pavement, send emails, attend meetings of the Chamber of Commerce and make lots of phone calls to secure sponsors and promotional partners for the film festival. We want to show off the best Dobbs Ferry has to offer and highlight our event as something special and unique to Dobbs Ferry.

4. Pick up everything we need for our Filmmakers Lounge

For the first time, we will have a filmmaker’s lounge! Thanks to the generosity of Mix on Main, lunch will be catered for attendees in this lounge along with snacks and a place to chill between screenings. The lounge will be located at the entrance to the Library.

5. Update our RSVP list

We ask all of our filmmakers to RSVP with their attendance as well as that of their cast and crew – this is so we can provide them with badges. Badges are the hallmark of film festivals: not only do they identify to audience members that you’re someone who has a film in a festival, it helps with introductions and makes a nifty souvenir.

6. Announce our special guest emcee

While I know you all enjoy my introductions and Q&A guidance at each festival, I can’t do it alone. We have more screenings than ever so I have asked another local filmmaker and actress to assist me with emceeing the blocks. Watch out for an announcement about this guest emcee on our social media soon.

7. Thank our judges

Each judge watched about 2-3 hours of footage. For some that was just a feature and a short and for others it was upwards of a dozen shorts! Our judges are working professionals and they take care to watch and rate each film carefully. If you see them at the festival, SAY THANK YOU! Judges are not compensated for their time – they do it for their love of film!

8. Finalize our programs for printing

Almost done! We just need to add the logos from our sponsors and partners and have ourFestival Producer Corey Murray PROOFREAD for us! (Fun Fact: Corey is a published author! He writes biographies for encyclopedias!)

9. Pick up the awards from Loria Awards and Pool Tables

Our Festival Producer Corey Murray picked them up yesterday. I trust him when he says they’re correct and beautiful…only hiccup is that our signature red neck ribbons were missing and won’t be ready until Monday. And they forgot to give us our receipt. But that’s okay! Mini-roadtrip to Yonkers next week!

10. Organize filmmaker badges

We make our badges ourselves using a mini laminator and lanyards in our signature red. Gotta cross reference our RSVP list with the amount of badges we’ve made/have to make and add some extra just in case we have some surprise guests. (Note to self: Reach out to judges to see which ones are attending!)

11. Test our screenings at Dobbs Ferry Public Library

Tonight Festival Producer Corey Murray and Judge Wasan Syananondh will test the projector and sound in the Library. Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

12. Pick out what to wear for August 19

I’m toying with the idea of getting movies4movies t-shirts made. Tacky or awesome? If not, my usual uniform is a movie t-shirt, jeans and blazer.

OTHER THINGS I JUST THOUGHT OF THAT I HAVE TO DO:

  • Press release to local media
  • Check in with invites to VIPS
  • Buy more concessions
  • I’m sure I’ll think of more…if you think of anything I missed, email me at natalie@senastudiosny.com

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