Short of the Week (SOTW) receives 5000+ submissions per year and platforms 200-250 to hundreds of thousands of subscribers. They know short film. In the midst of the lockdown, on 18 May 2020, we talked to co-founder Jason Sondhi from his home in New York about how the crisis is affecting short film filmmakers who want to get their work seen, given many festivals opting to shift online. We asked about submitting to SOTW, what works online, the “Be Everywhere All At Once” strategy, the festivals vs online debate and much more.
Jason offers great insight on approaching gatekeepers and twitter giants, telling filmmakers to "be succinct, demonstrate how you understand their audience and show how your offer aligns with that. Make the transaction frictionless, and give them everything they need to make stuff happen without needing to come back to you."
Jason sat down with Film London's Jordan McGarry for a wide-ranging conversation, and the the audio recording can be found below. Enjoy!
The recording is 60 minutes long, and the timecodes and subjects covered are outlined below.
00’00 SOTW and BFI NETWORK introduction.
04’04 Submitting to SOTW.
09’25 Jason discusses the ‘Festivals vs Online’ debate (see alsowww.shortoftheweek.com/news/list-of-festivals-and-online-eligibility).
16’18 With COVID, is it a good time to go online?
19’34 What kind of shorts work online?
24’00 Jason discusses the “Be Everywhere All At Once” strategy (see also www.shortoftheweek.com/news/be-everywhere-all-at-once).
30’00 Question: Is it necessary to maintain your social media brand between films?
36’00 Question: What is going to happen to festivals?
40’40 Question: What is the best way to approach a gatekeeper?
46’00 Question: Is it a good idea to hold off from putting your short online now? Should you wait for festivals to come back?
51’10 Jason further discusses what works for online and how SOTW picks its broad selection of work (see also www.shortoftheweek.com/news/15-things-wrong-short-film).