Yesterday I discussed my short film, "Sweet Pea", with Kopelson's VP of development, Ryan. He gave me some good points on the film and overall he really liked it. He told me he couldn't tell if it was shot on 16 or 35 and had good production value. He also really liked the two lead performances and said I did a great job getting it out of them.
In regards to the festival circuit, he said my film is right up there with films he's seen submitted into festivals, so my only issue may be that it's a drama. He also made an interesting point that festivals are not as essential unless you want to be a director. He went to his first festival earlier this year and he really didn't gain that much contacts. He said you will make better contacts simply working and being in LA rather than traveling across the world unless it's one of the big festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, etc.)
He makes a good point since you can't expect to become huge after one short film. There is still a lot to learn and do much better. He told me I should go raise money and make another film with a simple story that is visually stunnning if I want to make some noise as a director. Of course, I don't really intend to direct, so if anything this film just a piece to showcase.
After talking to him, it made me think that he's probably right. Festivals tend to be overrated and considering he didn't even submit his short into festivals, I think that says something. The guy is 28 and a VP in development at a production company headed by one of the greatest producers of the last 30 years. Of course, I would still like to get into the Boston Film Festival (if they will ever notify people of their acceptance), but LA is where it's at, plain and simple.
Yes, I want "Sweet Pea" to screen at different festivals, but if it doesn't then so be it. I would much rather be an individual success in ten years than be a success now with a short film that no one will probably remember in five years. Yeah, it sucks, but when does this business not suck? It's a harsh reality of wanting to be in a business where only the strong survive.