Festival Applications: Bare bones or souped up?
So there's this ongoing debate about whether or not you should include promotional packaging like fliers, postcards, slick dvd packaging with your festival application to improve your chances. Many festivals actually explicitly say that "your submission will be judged on the quality of your film, not your marketing materials," meaning don't try to butter them up with cool packaging!
But then there are some directors, whose films have done well at festivals, that swear by the exact opposite saying that including that marketing material helped their film do so well. Still others have gone so far as to claim that it actually will hurt your chances as screeners get annoyed. (Remember that Calvin and Hobbes cartoon where Calvin thought he'd get at least a B+ on his book report because he had a shiney plastic cover for his paper? OK- I'm old).
so i don't know which one is true but so far, my submissions have been plain DVDs bought from Office Depot with the film's name/info written neatly with a black Sharpie pen. The rest of the application content is whatever Withoutabox.com sends in for me electronically (they cover all the required content like film synopsis, actor/director bios, etc). I think the film's done well considering and the only thing I think I've done wrong (and have stopped doing) is submitting my film on or close to the deadline dates.
I thought I'd bring this up because people have been debating it a lot on the boards and people have strong, "proven" opinions about their application strategies. For me, it'll probably still be DVDs and a Sharpie mainly because I don't want to swallow the cost of a nicely burned and packaged DVD that only screeners will ever see...maybe a postcard tho ;)