The Festival Submission Process
And then along came Withoutabox.
It's a brilliant concept, really. One place on the web where you fill out ONE application, and you then submit that application to any fests you want (provided they are signed up on Withoutabox.com -- and a great many are). Wow, what a time saver. It has made the process so much easier. Side note: it has also caused a dramatic increase in submissions to even lesser known fests.
One of the interesting parts of the experience is the Submission Status page. Because you're entering all these festivals, you have to keep track of which ones you entered and whether or not they received your materials. When you enter and pay, Withoutabox creates a listing for the fest on your personalized Submission Status page, and it has a little red dot next to it to indicate that they have NOT YET received your film for consideration. Once they receive it, the festival goes into the Withoutabox system and indicates that, which turns your red dot into a little blue dot with a "check mark" in it. See the screenshot:
That's a clipping from my Submission Status page for Clean Freak. Being the clean freak that I am, I don't feel comfortable until all the red dots have changed to blue ones. And I derive an inordinate amount of satisfaction from seeing them change, especially given that it means nothing about your chances of getting into a fest. It simply indicates that they've received the film and will be reviewing it.
The nature of the process indicates that you'll get more rejections than selections, so I shouldn't enjoy the "red to blue" change. It means nothing. It means only that someone who you PAID to watch your film got it in the mail. That's it.
But for some reason, I still like watching those red dots turn blue.