Our First Festival Submission!!!!

Oh yeah - we did it...at the very last minute...but we did it. When I say last minute, I mean last minute. I mean 2:59am, the day after it was due - which happens to be 11:59pm the day it was due in the festival office time zone. That's a little too close for comfort, so I didn't really rest easy till we were informed of our submission status, which we now have. We've got the thumbs up from the festival that we've satisfied all submission requirements (the blue check for those of you who have submitted on Withoutabox). We are in the running now.

We knew we'd be cutting it close. We decided to submit in early August. We thought we were close enough and could get it to submission ready if we busted our asses, so we created a timeline to get it done, and really did pretty well (with the help of Nathaniel Blume on Temp Track duty) at getting there. We originally planned to be finished 6 days prior to the deadline so we could mail it and have it be in their offices when it was supposed to be, but then we learned we could upload our screener instead of sending a DVD. Now we decided we only had to be done 3 days ahead of time.

I mean we've dealt with the trials and tribulations of getting a movie finished (finished enough in this instance) and out to a watchable format. It is always problematic - in ways you could never imagine. This situation is where evil lives, and we were aware. We assumed it would take some finagling, and there would be some mistakes. It was much worse than we thought.

Here's how things needed to work. We had to first export the movie from our editing system in a particular format, then upload that onto IMDB/Withoutabox as a the secure online screener. It then needed to finalize. Then it would appear on our Withoutabox account and we could submit it. All our other submission stuff was done. We just needed to give them the stupid movie. Now, a full length movie is a big file, and we were looking at around 4 hours every time we exported or uploaded. That's cool once or even twice, but we had to try uploading this more than once or twice. It would go all the way to the end and then fail. In fact, Charlie watched our last failed upload hit "100%" and then fail.

At about 8pm the day of the deadline, it was in the process of uploading, Charlie had tried yet another format. At this point, he had been watching uploads all day, and I had been obsessing about it all day at work. By this time, he had become calmly accepting that we would not make it, and so we went out for Subway and cat food (we'd been needing to get that, since our new cat Tina eats like it's the end of days) while it slowly uploaded. We got home when it was at about 70%.

For my part, I tried to think the right things so that it would work. I struggled to decide how not to jinx us. I always have a feeling that if I'm too confident, then it surely won't work. But then sometimes, I think maybe being depressed about it will make it surely not work. It isn't easy to control your thoughts to obtain favorable outcomes people. I decided to come to peace with the failure, but continue to look at all possible options towards success. That was my superstitious time passing belief for this instance of life stress.

When it got to 98%, we stared at it, discussing how positive we were that it would fail just after 100% like last time, then.....it gave us the "successful upload" page. This was about 12:10am. We'd already decided that we'd go by the time in LA not here, so we still had almost 3 hours. There was high-fiving, and such, but then we realized that the finalization process might take a while, and by while I mean that it was at 96% when we checked it at 2:56am, and still at 96% at 2:57am. Charlie had got the webpage set up on the upstairs computer so that we could just push the button when the time came. However, it kinda seemed like we were gonna miss it just barely.  It hadn't moved by 2:58, so just for a last ditch, I headed upstairs to check if it had shown up on our page yet. It hadn't, so I pressed refresh again and it still hadn't, then I pressed refresh again, and there it was. It still boggles my mind how it that it actually worked out. I clearly had thought the correct combination of positive, negative and indifferent thoughts.

It would have been fine if we didn't submit. Who knows whether we'll get in or not, but I really would have felt bad if we missed this opportunity, especially since we busted our asses so hard to get it ready. Anyway, that's the story. I have a feeling our next submission will be much less tense.

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