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YouSendIt Case Study: Encounters Film Festival

YouSendIt Case Study: Encounters Film Festival

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Published by: Hightail on Sep 16, 2010
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© 2010 YouSendIt. All rights reserved.
Case Study
EncountersShort Film Festival
The Encounters Short Film Festival,in Bristol, U.K., is one o the world’s mostrespected celebrations o short lms andanimation. Annually, the estival solicitsentries rom lmmakers throughout theUnited Kingdom and the rest o the world,previews all the entries and selects about10 percent o them or screenings overve days at the November estival.
Time consuming conversion o lmssubmitted on DVDs to QuickTimeormats or pre-selecting and acomputer-based digital viewinglibrary at the estival.
Additional eight-week costs or a stamember and post-production studio tocarry out the conversion process.
 in the U.K.’s Royal Mail system.
 discarding some 1,200 DVDsater being converted.
Expense and potential intellectual-property security problemsor lmmakers creating andsending DVDs.
Entrants were encouraged to submitlms or the 2009 estival throughYouSendIt; hal o all entries werereceived this way. Being able to workdirectly with QuickTime les insteado DVDs, estival sta cut theirpre-selecting and processing time byour weeks, reduced costs and lessenedtheir environmental impact.
Situation and Challenges
The Encounters Short Film Festival, in Bristol, U.K., is one o the world’s most respectedcelebrations o short lms and animation. Annually, the estival solicits entries romlmmakers throughout the United Kingdom and the rest o the world, previews allthe entries and selects about 10 percent o them or screenings over ve days at theNovember estival. The lmmakers have the opportunity to win one o 19 awards andup to £12,500 in prizes.The submission and pre-selection process or the estival had been a tedious operation.
estival oce. Postal services in the U.K. were less than reliable, with repeated postal
their destinations.Once estival ocials received the submissions, the process became exceptionally laborintensive. The estival works with a very small sta compared to the other Europeanestivals with which it competes or entrants. In 2009, a total o 1,486 lms were enteredin the Encounters estival and each o them needed to be viewed in its entirety andevaluated. So that pre-selectors could judge the entries and visitors to the estival couldwatch all the submitted lms at the HP Digital Viewing Library, sta needed to digitizeevery DVD in real time, encode it and convert it to a QuickTime le. One sta memberwould spend eight weeks in a commercial post-production studio playing each lm andcapturing it in real time.Forty industry proessionals would then come to the estival oce and sit in ront oa fat-screen TV to watch the lms and pre-select the ones they would send on to thecreative director or nal programming. Hal o the roughly 1,486 entries were passedthrough in this pre-selection process, and the creative director narrowed them down to just 159 nalists.This process was not only time consuming, but expensive. Filmmakers had to buyDVDs and pay postage, while the estival needed to pay a sta person or two months just to digitize the entries, converting them to computer les. And urther, when judges came across a DVD that would not play, it was dicult to arrange or the lmto be resubmitted.The methodology also was not as environmentally sound as Encounters Short FilmFestival Managing Director Liz Harkman wanted it to be, because the rejected DVDswere just thrown away:“In the U.K., we have to pay to get DVDs recycled,” she explains. “We end up with a largenumber o DVDs at the end o the estival. It was a huge waste o materials, and wantedto encourage people to stop sending us their lms on DVD.” That is when she consideredYouSendIt as a way to receive lms as digital les instead o on physical DVDs.
Encounters Film Festival
International Festival
British Film Festival Cuts Screening Time in Hal, Slashes AdministrativeCosts and Helps the Environment with YouSendIt
© 2010 YouSendIt. All rights reserved.
Case Study
I’m totally overwhelmedby the positive responserom the lmmakers, andthis is a denite indicationthat we will need to continueto oer digital uploadsas part o our submissionprocess. I have also noticeda dramatic increase in theproportion o lmmakersusing YouSendIt to sendus les outside o thesubmission process.
Liz Harkman
Managing Director Encounters Short Film Festival
Harkman was introduced to YouSendIt when she had responsibility or working withdesigners o print materials who sent her proo copies via YouSendIt. She had notthought about using it or sending lm or video, however, until a meeting in March, 2009,with Nik Powell, director o Britain’s National Film and Television School in London.“He had just received an e-mail rom a lmmaker we were talking about,” she recalls.“He simply downloaded the drat o the short lm rom YouSendIt while we were in hisoce, and that made me think: Why can’t we do that with the estival?”She tried out YouSendIt with an eye toward oering it as an alternative method orsending in lm entries. “I had no idea we would be able to make it such an embeddedpart o our submission program,” she says. “It wasn’t a separate operation; it becamevery much a part o our submission process.”For the 2009 estival, Harkman’s marketing materials oered a £5 discount rom the£20 entry ee or all lms that were submitted as digital QuickTime les via YouSendIt,instead o using the traditional DVD method. Nearly hal o the entries, 712 lms weresent to the estival through YouSendIt by lmmakers, who ound the process much aster,more reliable and less costly than DVDs.With YouSendIt, the estival was able to bypass much o the eight-week pre-screeningtime because sta no longer had to transer DVDs to digital QuickTime les in real time.The lms were received as QuickTime les rom the start.
Encounters Film Festival
International Festival
British Film Festival Cuts Screening Time in Hal, Slashes AdministrativeCosts and Helps the Environment with YouSendIt

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