HorrorQuest, "The 100% Free Film Festival".
Hello, my name is Joseph Hardin. Thanks for taking the time to learn about my project, “The HorrorQuest Film Festival”!
Some background on HorrorQuest: The idea for HorrorQuest started in 2009 as an idea for a, “Moive Night” that was going to be held at a local comic book store in the Atlanta area. The plan was to invite local filmmakers to come in and show their horror and genre films. While I was planning for the movie night I had a conversation with a friend, who is a local filmmaker, he was telling me about how much it was going to cost him to submit his new film to all the different festivals. The cost was almost as much as the film itself, plus you can never really be sure a film festival is even really watching your submitted film. I started to wonder why film festival charge a submission fee when many of them have sponsors and sell tickets and VIP passes.
I looked around the internet and only found a handful of festivals that had free submissions, but I could only find one that was free to the public. It was around this time the whole, "movie night" idea fell through, I figured, "Why not start a free film festival instead?". I figured I could get a few films together and have something ready within a few weeks, well, I was wrong. I spent the next year learning how to set up a festival, talking to lawyers and learning about fiscal sponsors.
Making much of it up as I went along and with no money, I put up a simple website in early 2011 and made a few posts on filmmaking forums that the festival was seeking films. I figured I would only get in a few submissions, if any at all. About a week after making the post I checked the festival mailbox for the first time. I was surprised to find it packed full with submissions from all over the world. Each week was the same, until it got to the point where the mailbox was overflowing, so much so that I was forced to upgrade to a much larger mailbox… In total I got in over 350 submissions.
Because this was the festivals first year, and not to many people knew about it, the job of watching all of them fell to me. I thankfully had a few friends who were kind enough to help out, but many of them I had to watch all by myself.
It was also around this time it hit me, “I’m getting in submissions, I have to find a place to show them”. After looking around and talking to a lot of local theaters I found a student ran theater called, "Cinefest". Thinking it would be a hole in the wall, I was surprised that it was just like every other movie theater I had been to. They loved the Idea of HorrorQuest and were willing to work with me.
Because it was our first year, sponsors were hard to get, so I paid for everything out of pocket. Because of this I could only afford to pay for the theater and didn’t have the funds to advertise the festival, except for a few posts around the internet… Opening night I was terrified that no one would show up, but they did! While we never, “Packed” the place, every screening had a decent attendance. My favorite was a little old couple, who looked like they were in their 70’s. They came out on a cold Sunday morning to watch horror movies together. After the screening I talked to the old lady and asked if she enjoyed the movie. What she said made all the hard work and stress worth it, “It was good, but there was not enough gore.”.
HorrorQuest is now looking forward to 2012… We just posted open submissions for this year and are looking for help keeping HorrorQuest going. I want to keep it FREE and keep it running for as long as I can. Supporting HorrorQuest doesn’t only fulfill my dream, but the dreams of the filmmakers who submit.
I get to see the impact HorrorQuest has made every day. We have gotten many emails from the filmmakers on how different we are from other festival. The biggest one being how we interact with the filmmakers. We try to keep all of the filmmakers informed about the status of their film, ask them for input, and apparently something other film festivals don’t do, answer their emails. Getting this project funded will help us do more and allow us to make it even better.
It also seems HorrorQuest has become a bit of a lucky charm for the filmmakers selected. Many of them have been picked up for distribution not long after being selected or screening at HorrorQuest. The most notable was the film, "Stained", which was picked up two weeks after being selected by HorrorQuest and got into the top 50 on ITunes with no marketing.
HorrorQuest also has a bi-weekly podcast which we do in order to give the filmmakers a chance to talk about their films. Many of them never really get a chance to talk about their art and we are happy to provide them with that opportunity. Past guests include Lloyd Kaufman from Troma Entertainment, Christoper Witherspoon, Director or Rage, Jason Christoper, Director of Down The Road and Karen Lam, Director of Stained".
If HorrorQuest is not funded there is a good chance we may have to pull the plug. Over the past year HorrorQuest has started to grow into a little community, I would hate to see it die.
Where The Funds Will Go...
We are hoping to raise 7-14,000… This money should be enough to ensure HorrorQuest continues for at least the next two years, maybe three and will go to pay for the following things.
Theater Space: While our host theater is great and works with us, it’s not free. If we meet our goal the first place the funds will go is to guaranteeing theater space. This ensures we can at least keep HorrorQuest going in some way.
Advertising: While HorrorQuest got a good turn out last year we can only imagine what it could have been if we would have been able to afford advertising. The funds you help us raise will go to getting radio ads, flyers, internet ads, banners, posters and t-shirts.
The Website: While the HorrorQuest site is ok for now, we would like to re-do it and make it look more professional. We already have a great web designer lined up and ready to go. This also includes just keeping the site up and running. We are also looking into online streaming of the festival so people can watch the movies in real time as they are played at the festival. This money will also go to help keep our Podcast up as well.
WithoutABox: Withoutabox, is an on line system used by filmmakers to submit their films to festivals digitally. It is also used by festivals to shift through submissions and process films. Because HorrorQuest is a free festival we cannot use Withoutabox without paying upfront and it is VERY expensive… But it will allow us to reach more filmmakers and make the submission process easier and more efficient.
Awards: HorrorQuest wants to make custom awards that we can give out to filmmakers. We also want to plan after party events.
Volunteers: While we do not plan on paying volunteers, we would like to do special things for them from time to time. This includes things like taking them out to eat, providing refreshments while they review submissions and helping pay for their parking and fuel costs when we can.
Other Festival Costs: This includes everything from paying for our mailbox to paper for the printer. Little things can add up quick and it would nice to have a cushion for when unexpected things happen.
If we exceed our goal all funds will go to help HorrorQuest grow. Things like office space and distribution are just some of the things we would like to look into.
Other Ways You Can Help...
Let others know about us… Follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter or listen and comment on our podcast. Little things like this are free and help us grow. Even if you don’t want to help fund us, maybe someone on your friends list does.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
seconds to go
Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Throw us a bone and help us reach our goal! In return you get our undying love :)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
We will list your name under a special tab on the HorrorQuest website. Your name will be linked to your Facebook, Twitter or Kickstarter page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $20 or moreYou selected
All of the above and a set of three HorrorQuest stickers featuring our lovable mascot, "Stabby". The set will include one oval sticker, one circle sticker and one bumper sticker.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
All of the above and a HorrorQuest shirt! These shirts are only available to HorrorQuest financial supporters and volunteers.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $70 or moreYou selected
All of the above and a listing as an, "Valued Contributor" on the HorrorQuest site and your name listed on the HorrorQuest ad reel which will run before and after every HorrorQuest screening! Like the 10$ contribution you name will be linked to your Facebook, Twitter or Kickstarter page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
All of the above and a HorrorQuest custom Dog-tag/bottle opener as well as a shout-out on The HorrorQuest Podcast!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
All of the above and your name and picture added as an, "Financal Supporter" on the HorrorQuest website and Ad reel. And a link to your business, project, blog or cause listed under the HorrorQuest Sponsors page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (20 left of 20)
All of the above and a chance to be a guest on The HorrorQuest Podcast. Come on to talk about your project, comic, cause or just come on to talk about movies. If you do not want to be a guest we will run a commercial at the start of a podcast advertising your project, business or cause plus an ad on the HorrorQuest ad reel.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)
All of the above and your very own custom HorrorQuest award inscribing you as an, "Festival Producer". You will also be listed as a "Festival Producer" on the HorrorQuest site, ad reel and in the HorrorQuest event booklet!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,000 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
All of the above and the chance to attend HorrorQuest as our guest. We will pay for your air fare and accommodations, however food is on you. You will be invited to the opening weekend of HorrorQuest and giving the opportunity to intro screenings plus attend the HorrorQuest after-party. Also the HorrorQuest staff will show you around Atlanta and take you to the famous bar and night club,"The Clairmont Lounge". You will also be giving all sorts of extra goodies like signed posters and DVDs.Estimated delivery:
- (37 days)