How to Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning a Prize at the Brick Cave Film Festival

by Festival Director Johnny Skinner

Films need audiences, and for filmmakers that haven’t yet broken that threshold of seeing their films become distributed, film festivals tend to be the best way to find them. Sure, you could post your film to the internet and promote it like a scalp-thirsty lieutenant in a Tarantino flick, but typically this means you’ve given up the ability to create revenue for you, your crew, and your actors’ blood, sweat and tears. With the right material in the right place and time, a little exposure may be all you need. But to create a self sustaining method of art, there are not many ways out of the reality that at some point capitalism will present itself to you with choices that can make huge differences in the effectiveness of your product.

Most film festivals’ call for submissions are open, categorized by genre and length. While many festivals are challenges, calling for filmmakers to use certain props or dialogue, the Brick Cave Film Festival takes this a step further. Partnering with authors published by Brick Cave Media, the Brick Cave Film Festival seeks to unite audiences from both worlds, with the unique opportunity for filmmakers to participate in revenue sharing along the way. Brick Cave Media authors have a national fan base, and their readers will be excited to see your interpretations!

Where’s the beef? er, Money?

So what’s the best way to win a prize? There are multiple avenues for filmmakers to embark upon here, so first, let’s go over the prizes available.

First off, the Brick Cave Film Festival includes an open category for Sci-fi & Fantasy shorts. So if you have one that was completed after October 26th, 2018, submit now for a chance to win up to $300!

For the three story categories, filmmakers have the opportunity to win up to $1300 with a single film! But the #winning doesn’t stop there. Submitting a film in each of the story categories as well as the open Sci-fi & Fantasy category gives you the potential to win a combined total of $3000!

Cash prizes aside, all films selected as finalists will not only be screened at the event, but are also added to the Brick Cave Patreon for a period of six months. During this time, filmmakers participate in revenue sharing from the Brick Cave Patreon! See the the Brick Cave Film Festival FilmFreeway page for more details!

One Story. Infinite Possibilities.

Ok! So now that we know what we’re working for, how do we get there? There are many ways to approach creating a film out of the stories. The most obvious method would be to create a film that directly follows the characters and events of the story. But that’s only the beginning. You could, for example, pick up right where the stories end, using the cliffhangers as a launching pad from which to create a sequel in the direction you think the story should go. Conversely, you could create a prequel of sorts, creating events that lead up to the beginning of the stories, even adding in your own cliffhanger to be resolved with the written stories. Of course, you could always make a film that follows the events in the written stories. There are supporting characters in each story, and any of them could take on the part of the lead in the story you create, adding in new layers to the events. Another idea is to tell the events from these stories, through the eyes of completely new characters, giving a whole new perspective to the story.

If you want to get even more creative, maybe you decide, “I love the whole political landscape of ‘Titan Resolute’, but I want to explore this from the perspective of the intercepted drone. Or perhaps, for the story ‘Brittle’ you decide to create a complete backstory that outlines the complex universe in which the characters exist.

The Extra Mile.

If you want to get extremely creative, you could take things MUCH further. Let’s not forget too, there is a $100 prize for “Most Creative Interpretation” within the story categories! You could take characters from one of the stories, and tell a different story that involves them, but surrounding completely different events. Or perhaps you scrap all the characters from the written version, and tell a whole new story with new characters, that takes place in the same world.

It’s worth noting that The Brick Cave Film Festival categories are not genre exclusive. You could easily take the contents of any of these stories, and portray them as a documentary, comedy, horror, and pretty much any other genre you can think of. Please, no porn. We will however consider all films that would fit within a R rating or lower, provided there is no explicit sexual or erotic content. Films can be animated, live action, or whatever else you can think of, so long as we can play it digitally from a computer, onto a screen.

More Cash!

Don’t forget, the ‘Category Winner’ awards are worth $500 a piece, but there’s also a $200 audience award to consider! While the stories are made available to everyone, there may be festival guests who are not familiar with the stories. To maximize your chances at winning an audience award, be sure to maintain a “standalone” quality.

One last thing, the judging panel for each story category will include the author that wrote that story, and every other judge on the panel will have read, and be familiar with, the original story. Subtle nods are likely not to be missed, and come one, who doesn’t love a good easter egg?

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