Contests and competitions help to provide a means for gaining valuable exposure in independent film. The winners of major festivals like Sundance often walk away with distribution for their films. The winners of the Nicholl Fellowship get money to keep writing and every executive in town calling them about their work. Even the Nicholl's semi-finalists garner enough exposure to get their work in front of agents, managers, and executives who can get the script considered. I have a friend whose script won an award at Slamdance and a year later he had a job writing on a major TV show.
It takes a lot of courage to work really hard on something and allow it to be examined and critiqued by people we don't know. It's this courage and how we handle rejection that is the key to our success. Look at rejection as a necessary means for fulfilling your goals and dreams. From each rejection, push yourself to learn a little bit more about how to be a better storyteller. Channel any angst toward improving yourself.
One of the readers of this blog emailed me about an excellent achievement he had. He filmed a commercial for the POM juice company. He took that leap to enter this contest and lo and behold he got in the top ten finalists.
Here is the link to the top ten finalists. His video is OPERATION POM.
Or check it out here at the original link.
He wrote: "I filmed the whole thing with an HVX200 in 720p 24fps. Took about an hour an a half to do make-up and costumes then another 3 to 4 hours to film. We started to run out of daylight haha so on the last scene we had to use a flashlight to illuminate the actors face."
I say Congratulations! And keep 'em coming.