misc FilmFreeway and Vimeo: who's watching your film?

Hey guys, I’d love some advice from some people who are more a bit more tech savvy than me. I’ve just finished my first feature film and have submitted to a bunch of festivals. I’d love to find out who is and isn’t actually watching the full film (getting cynical after much research).

I’ve found some helpful threads about how to track this, and have deleted the version uploaded directly to FilmFreeway, and have now uploaded a link to my Vimeo. I have Vimeo Plus and have worked out how you find the URL of the viewers, and how you can track that to the festival source URL. BUT, having seen that a FilmFreeway URL has watched an impressive 46% of my film (‘/projects/XXXXX’), I’d love to find which festival this is so I can check whether they watch the rest of it, before asking for my money back. However the source URL doesn’t seem to link to any festivals on my submission page. I think the Vimeo URL links straight to my video, so what am I doing wrong? Is it because the video is embedded? Is it okay if I don’t embed the video- will people still watch my film, even though FilmFreeway says you do have to embed it? As far as I gather the Vimeo URL should read '/submissions/XXXXX' in order to find the festival. Quite sad that it’s come to this kind of thing and how corrupt it all seems, but what can you do. Any advice would be really appreciated!
 
If you have your film embedded on FilmFreeway, all that Vimeo will be able to show you is that someone from FilmFreeway watched your film. Vimeo will not be able to distinguish which festival viewed it. The way I've set things up is to upload the same film to Vimeo multiple times and then use the different links for different festivals. That system only works if the festival allows a link submission. Any festival that requires submission through FilmFreeway, you will not be able to distinguish.

You need to review the rules for each festival. Most require you to accept their decisions as final when you submit. Some will allow you to withdraw a submission, but I haven't heard of refunds for that. I doubt you can request a refund because a programmer didn't watch all of your film.
 
If you have your film embedded on FilmFreeway, all that Vimeo will be able to show you is that someone from FilmFreeway watched your film. Vimeo will not be able to distinguish which festival viewed it. The way I've set things up is to upload the same film to Vimeo multiple times and then use the different links for different festivals. That system only works if the festival allows a link submission. Any festival that requires submission through FilmFreeway, you will not be able to distinguish.

You need to review the rules for each festival. Most require you to accept their decisions as final when you submit. Some will allow you to withdraw a submission, but I haven't heard of refunds for that. I doubt you can request a refund because a programmer didn't watch all of your film.
Hey, many thanks for your response! Really appreciate it.

Do you embed your videos on FF, and do you think it will be a problem if I don't? That would resolve it I think, but just thrown off by FF's requirements that you must embed it. I've read of many other filmmakers tracing the source URL to specific festivals with a Vimeo link, but I just can't work out what I'm doing wrong.

I would do the new upload per festival as you suggested, but sadly can't afford more than a Vimeo Plus membership so I wouldn't have the capacity. (spent all my money on festivals! :scared:)
 
Yes, I currently have a film embedded on FilmFreeway. Not all festivals accept submission through FF (SXSW as an example), some require FilmFreeway. Some will allow a link OR FF. In those cases, I'll send a link unique to that festival.
 
A festival programmer will often watch only 10 or 20 minutes of a feature film and decide to (A) Pass on the film, or (B) Pass it along to a selection committee to watch at a later date. You won't know whether or not they like it until the notification date. Don't expect to get a refund just because they only watched 46% of your film. A film festival is a contest...there are winners and there are losers.
 
A festival programmer will often watch only 10 or 20 minutes of a feature film and decide to (A) Pass on the film, or (B) Pass it along to a selection committee to watch at a later date. You won't know whether or not they like it until the notification date. Don't expect to get a refund just because they only watched 46% of your film. A film festival is a contest...there are winners and there are losers.
I guess also paying £70-£100 means I expect to be given the due respect of someone sitting through my work to give it proper consideration. A film isn't 46% of it. I have actually heard of people getting refunds after showing their Vimeo stats and proving the festival didn't give the film proper consideration. A fair and square 'contest' only works if everyone is given equal consideration. But thanks for your thoughts.
 
A programmer can see within a few minutes if a film has excessive swearing, sexual content, violence, gore, or anything else that would be offensive to a "general audience". (A "bad fit" for the festival) This doesn't even take into consideration amateur acting, bad audio, bad camera work, and other technical flaws.
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
Yeah just dont stop watching because the movie opens with an alarm clock by a bed!!
It might be cliche but Training Day was a great film :)
 
I expect to be given the due respect of someone sitting through my work to give it proper consideration

One of my early jobs working in the movie business was as an assistant to a low budget producer. I did all sorts of things for him (yes, including picking up his dry cleaning). One of my jobs was to read through the unsolicited screenplays we received. My boss told me, "read the first 10 pages and the last 10 pages and if they are any good, read the entire script." I just couldn't do that. I felt that 1) I owed the screenwriter a thorough reading because 2) I might miss out on a really good script giving such short shrift to their work. After about a dozen screenplays, I stopped reading the entire script. I could not afford the time (I was reading these scripts at home after work) and I began to see that you can get a very good idea of the quality of a screenplay by sampling a part of it. Many screenwriting teachers actually teach screenwriters to make sure their first 10 pages grab the reader just for this reason. Fair or not, this is how things work for people that are not known quantities yet.

I agree with the first part of your sentiment. Out of respect it would be nicer if every programmer watched your entire work. However, I disagree with the second part. It's possible that 46% may be all that is needed for proper consideration. My experience is that film festival programmers are people who absolutely love watching films. They watch hundreds and hundreds of films year after year. It's possible, but unlikely you were watched by an inconsiderate brute. Have you ever watched a film part of the way through only to turn it off? Is there something you might take away from this?

I would never try and talk you out of trying to get your money back based on Vimeo stats. Of course you should try if that's what you think is right. However, in addition to getting your money back I would ask you to consider what you might learn out of the experience -- if indeed that's what's happened here -- and take it into your next film.

I would really appreciate if you update us when you get to a resolution.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I guess also paying £70-£100 means I expect to be given the due respect of someone sitting through my work to give it proper consideration. A film isn't 46% of it. I have actually heard of people getting refunds after showing their Vimeo stats and proving the festival didn't give the film proper consideration. A fair and square 'contest' only works if everyone is given equal consideration. But thanks for your thoughts.
We all expect that the festival will show due respect and give each
submission equal consideration. But it doesn't work that way.

I, too, have worked as a reader covering scripts and I watched movies
for SlamDance and a couple of other film festivals. It's not fair at all but
we just don't have to time to give each film equal consideration.

I agree with IronV - every person on the various stages of the submission
process is there because they love movies. But there just isn't enough time
to really watch each one in its entirety. Too many submissions - not enough
people watching them.

Since you know of others who have gotten their money back after showing
their Vimeo stats then it's possible. I hope you figure it out.
 
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