Seattle's first web series festival will be a free, 10 hour event at Northwest Film Forum on March 14th, 2015. From noon to 8pm, we'll be screening up to 12 minutes of each series in the larger of their theaters and panels and talkbacks in their smaller theater. From 8pm to 10pm, we'll be gathering in the lobby for drinks and networking. (And, if we hit our first stretch goal, the presentation of our awards!)
Who We Are
Matt Longmire, Liz Ellis & Darlene Sellers are three Seattle filmmakers with three very different web series and a shared desire to grow the world of independent television.
Matt Longmire is the Technical Director for Seattle Web Fest and the writer and director of the show The River which involves an ensemble cast struggling to survive in a deadly underground game of poker.
Communications Director Darlene Sellers is the co-creator of the beloved Kung-Fu spoof series, Chop Socky Boom. She is also the host of the Seattle Web Series Meetup and a regular and welcome face at web series events around the country.
Programming Director Liz Ellis is the creator of WRECKED, a very Seattle, very dirty web sitcom. She is a co-founder of the Bainbridge Island-based little-media-company-that-could, Honey Toad Studio.
Northwest Film Forum
Our screening venue is right in the heart of Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, the busiest arts neighborhood in the city. With two screens, a beautiful lobby, and a concession stand with wine and beer, NWFF was the perfect place to set up Seattle Web Fest.
Submitting A Series
Please read our Rules & Regulations regarding submissions PRIOR to backing us on Kickstarter.
Once you have contributed to the campaign and selected a reward, you can visit our website to submit your series. (There will be a line on the form where we ask for the email address you used to contribute.) The festival is Seattle-based, but we're excited to take submissions from anywhere in the world.
When the Kickstarter campaign ends on December 22nd, the regular submission period and fees will begin and we will start taking submissions through our website. Late submission prices start January 12th and the final submissions will be taken February 2nd. A panel of five judges will rate each show on a pre-determined rubric. The festival schedule will be announced to the public on February 16th, but showrunners will be notified at least a day in advance.
We've decided to use Kickstarter as a launch platform in stead of looking for sponsors or investors because it was important to us to keep the festival free to the public.
$2500: Due to the scale of the festival, the financial needs are minimal. If we hit our baseline goal, we'll be able to rent the space and with all the volunteer labor we've been offered, we'd be able to have a great festival.
$3500: We have a more fully realized vision of the festival that would include additional press present at the event, more marketing to bring in a larger audience and a presentation of juried awards at the after party.
$5000: If we're able to reach this goal, we'll create an organization to support this event annually, as well as some of the year-round programs for the local web series community at large.
Video Music Credit: "Unashamed Ballad" by Learning Music (http://www.learningmusicmonthly.com/)
Risks and challenges
There are two big risks associated with throwing a festival, as we see it.
The first is that you won't get enough submissions. We've talked about this extensively, and while we feel that the location of the festival, our connections to the community, and the low cost of submission will ensure us enough great material, we're committed to quality over quantity and are prepared to adjust the schedule if we don't have enough great stuff to fill up the day with twelve minute time slots.
The second possible hurdle would be low attendance. Here, we're relying again on our connections to the community, but also on the location of Northwest Film Forum. We'll also be doing as much press and marketing as we can afford between now and the time the festival takes place.
We think a free, interesting event in the heart of Capitol Hill, one of Seattle's most vibrant neighborhoods, will get us the audience we need to have a great festival. And, in the end, this year's fest is a test to see whether we think an event like this could be sustainable, which means we're going to learn a lot one way or the other.
As for the basic challenges presented to every event of this nature, (the technical and political, mostly,) we have made sure that we are ready to go forward with the festival prior to launch of this campaign. Northwest Film Forum is more than equipped to deal with our technical needs, and our Technical Director, Matt Longmire has worked in a support capacity on festivals before. When it comes to the nitty gritty, we're all set!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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