The first time I had a produced DVD that I could take around to stores it was a pretty nerve wracking experience. It was always a goal of mine to be able to walk ino a record store and see my DVD on a shelf, but I wasn’t sure of the process. I didn’t realize just how simple it was since it was all so new. It was pretty exciting to have a piece of plastic that actually represented finished work and I’ll never forget how good I felt after coming out of the first store that said that they would put it on the shelf (Sonic Boom in Ballard). I’ll also never forget the old lady who almost hit me backing her t-bird out of a parking space while I was walking across the street. I probably had my head in the clouds and wasn’t watching. She pulled the Marlboro out of her mouth long enough to call me an “asshole”. It was a good experience followed up by a cruddy (although in retrospect, laughable) experience. Today, I had the same thing happen on a much grander scale.
First, the cruddy experience: We lost a sponsor. After working with Victory Studios for the past couple years, I was informed today that they wouldn’t be donating a prize for this year’s Weekend Film Challenge. He told me that it wasn’t anything that we had done. He had “Gone to the wall for me, but couldn’t get his boss to agree”. They were “reevaluating how they sponsored film festivals”. It reminded me of getting dumped in high-school. A very grown up, film festival sponsorship version of the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech. But, they are still giving a 15% discount on rental gear for contestants.
It was a bummer, but to be honest I just couldn’t get upset about it and I still can’t. Because about 30 minutes prior, I had gotten some INCREDIBLE news. A special celebrity judge had signed on and he was also providing a one-of a kind prize of his own. Maybe you’ve heard of him?
That’s right! You’re hearing it here first. Moby will be judging this year’s Weekend Film Challenge and each member of the winning team will get a STIFF 2008 poster signed by Moby. Oh yeah… He is also doing a concert as part of STIFF 2008 (Sunday, June 8th at Neumos). You might be asking yourself why Moby would be interested in STIFF.
Ever since college," says Moby, "I have had friends and acquaintances in the worlds of indie, experimental and non-profit film. Their biggest complaint has been that licensing music for low-budget films is almost always incredibly difficult. With that in mind I started MobyGratis. The goal is to provide free music for independent, experimental, and non-profit filmmakers. I hope that somehow this will enable filmmakers to spend their time making films and not calling up record companies trying to license music."
The third wrinkle in this year’s Weekend Film Festival will be that each team is going to use a track from Moby Gratis in their film. It is all incredibly exciting. Stay tuned for more details. The WFC kicks off on Monday. We still have room for a team or two. If you want to sign up, email filmchallenge (at) trueindependent.org with your roster.