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Posts Tagged ‘Withoutabox’

I Love FilmFreeway!

May 2, 2014 2 comments

filmfreewayAfter writing about it a few times (here and here), I finally started using FilmFreeway, the new film festival submission tool that’s aiming to compete with Withoutabox. And as much as Withoutabox is lousy, FilmFreeway is great.

The simplest explanation for how user-oriented FilmFreeway is: I set up my account, got two films ready to submit, and actually submitted one to a festival in less than 30 minutes, with no confusion. For those of you who’ve used Withoutabox – that’s pretty amazing, both in the short amount of time, and the lack of getting lost in byzantine menus designed for filmmakers with a marketing team and publicists.

There’s still room for improvement, two places in particular: First, the FF search tools are nice and simple, but could use a few more filters for genre or other specifics to help find the festivals that are good for your film. Second, if you have more than one film in FilmFreeway, it constantly defaults to the first one you put in. Yesterday, I submitted Sympathy Pains to about 15 festivals, but each time it would default to a short film that I had previously submitted to a different festival. If I forgot to change the default film, there was no way to change it once you hit “Save.” I had to delete the submission and re-submit the correct film.  It would be nice to be able to select the default film when you’re submitting to a number of festivals.

But those are small quips compared to the Soviet-era functionality that is Withoutabox. I also found a few festivals that had less expensive rates on FilmFreeway, which is nice.  And for Festivals, there’s no charge if you don’t charge filmmakers, which encourages free submission festivals, which are a lot of international ones.

Not every festival is on FilmFreeway, yet, so there’s still some use for Withoutabox, but the sooner they all get there, then the sooner Withoutabox will either have to improve their functionality or go away. And I’m happy either way.

Without Withoutabox, the Saga Continues

February 10, 2014 Comments off

An email showed up in my inbox this morning, “Invitation to FilmFreeway.” I don’t know why I even looked at it, I tend to ignore the many invites I get, but I glanced at it and realized that it’s the Withoutabox competitor that’s been promised for a while. Here’s my original post about the withoutaboxsucks website and their crusade to get you to know that they don’t like withoutabox. But FilmFreeway seems to be doing something about it. I haven’t dug that deeply yet, but they have 83 festivals signed up, and more than a few good ones. Their fees are cheaper (I assume for both the filmmaker and for the festival), and the website looks like it was designed more recently than 1997.

You might want to check them out. I’m not looking forward to having to look at two websites to find the festivals I’m looking for, but if competition can help spur withoutabox to have a reliable search engine and a more streamlined site, I’m all for it.

And it looks like there are a few festivals that are listed on both sites, so it might be worth switching over, eventually. I’m curious to see how this all ends up.

 

Without withoutabox

November 15, 2013 Comments off

To give everyone time to watch “Starring: Rachel Miller,” I thought I’d post this link I got emailed today.

The unfortunately-named website is Withoutaboxsucks, and they are what you think they are. I posted my own feelings about Withoutabox a while back, primarily that it’s a great service, but a terrible website.

It seems that WAB may have some less-than-fantastic business practices towards other startups who might try to de-throne them. They take a decent cut of the money festivals rake in (how ethical festival fees are is a subject for another day…), and provide an up-to-date website for 1998.

But I don’t care much for the language of withoutaboxsucks – anytime someone starts screaming about a business killing competition and stealing from artists, I tend to classify it in the 99% of the time when the people screaming are really complaining that they have a poor/non-existent business plan, and whoever they think is evil does have a business plan, one that works. That’s not evil, that’s smart.

That said, I believe I’ve also used the phrase “withoutabox sucks” once or twice. I just wish these guys were a little less extremist about it. WAB does need to greatly update their website so it doesn’t run… so… very… slow, and so that when I search for a festival, that festival actually comes up in the search results. Many is the time I’ve searched a festival by name, gotten no results (or other results), then went to the festival’s web page and clicked the WAB link and found them. By many times, I mean maybe 1/3rd of the time. How do you get a title search wrong? By not updating your website, seemingly ever.

That said, WAB is the home of 96% of film festivals world wide. Everyone goes there, and it’s a valuable service. I remember what it was like when you had to put your film’s info into 100 different forms and websites. This is better. Unfortunately.

Occupy Withoutabox

November 30, 2011 Comments off

I’m recovering from putting out about $200 worth of film festival fees last night. It’s tough with three films on the circuit. I gotta start spacing them out.

And for being basically the exclusive place for entering films into festivals, withoutabox sure feels stuck in the ’90s. On a side note – I had a nephew refer to the 19’s over Thanksgiving, and couldn’t figure out what he was talking about until I realized that it was my century.

But back to my whining – WAB is ridiculously slow and the search function feels ancient – it seems like it takes 10 times longer to do anything on there than it should. I seriously have to plan an evening around when I’m submitting. I understand having to plan for a night of researching festivals, but a night of submitting? Really? With online screeners, so I’m not even making DVDs and addressing envelopes. That’s just ridiculous.

What say we take them down – who’s with me?

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