- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (December 20, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240809556
- ISBN-13: 978-0240809557
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,113,995 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Swimming Upstream: A Lifesaving Guide to Short Film Distribution Paperback – February 28, 2008
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"Sharon Badal's information gathering uniquely appreciates the difficult balance between the art and business of filmmaking. Cinema without audience might as well be a great painting locked in a trunk in someone's basement. This book both helps locate the art and gives insight into how to set it free." - Jeffrey Abramson, Vice President of Film, Gen Art
"If you are a filmmaker with an interest in making short films you need to read Swimming Upstream. With refreshing candor, Sharon Badal has written a unique book that is a wealth of information and true-life inspiration."
-Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder, Tribeca Film Festival
Forget everything you thought you knew about short films--this book is the real deal!
Brimming over with the collective wit, wisdom, and insights of the most important players in the world of short films, Sharon Badal's Swimming Upstream tells you everything you need to know about the making and marketing of short films, from original concept to international sales. In equal measures entertaining and essential, It should be required reading for anyone engaged in the art and business of short films.
--Darryl Macdonald, Executive Director, Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films
About the Author
Sharon Badal is a Short Film Programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival, screening over 1,500 submissions annually without losing her mind. She has been with the festival since its inception, and has produced special projects for various Tribeca entities since 1999, including the 2005 Sloan Film Summit for the Tribeca Film Institute. Sharon is a faculty member at New York University's renowned Tisch School of the Arts in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, teaching undergraduate courses in what she refers to as "the beginning and the end of the filmmaking process - Producing Essentials and Film Distribution & Marketing. In addition, Sharon team-teaches The Business of Producing for NYU's prestigious Stern School of Business. As the self-proclaimed "empress of short film, Sharon has served on the regional jury for the 2005 Student Academy Awards, and on the juries for the 2006 Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films and the 2007 Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto. For the past four years, Sharon has dedicated much of her free time to working for The Leary Firefighters Foundation, founded by actor Denis Leary. In 2007, she worked primarily on the Foundation's New Orleans Firehouse Restoration Project as well as on its annual fundraiser, The Bash for New York's Bravest. From her humble beginnings at age fourteen as an usher in her father's movie theatre, Sharon went on to hold executive positions in distribution for United Artists/MGM, Warner Brothers and Orion Pictures, and has worked on many live events, including projects for Walt Disney Feature Animation, ShowEast, Cinema Expo International, and the Independent Feature Film Market. She received her B.F.A. in film and television production and her M.A. in cinema studies and business, both from New York University. She loves Coney Island, searching for alien life, and chocolate in any form. Sharon lives in New York City, and there's no place else she'd rather be.
Top customer reviews
Even though technology and the world of media seems to be in perpetual flux, Swimming Upstream remains relevant. The book's tone is informative, but informal. Supportive and encouraging, but pragmatic. Short filmmaking has only increased in the years since this book's publication, and the insights from the leaders of the industry are still spot on. This is hard-earned wisdom from the very people who shape the world of short films, people who have devoted their careers to short films, who have been the programmers and distributors of short films for the past several years and, no doubt, will be the decision makers watching your film. Before you apply to any festival, read this book first.
My copy has blue post-it notes on practically every chapter.
I have been referring to it, as I finally begin to navigate the waters of getting my own short film out there and seen. There are so many gold nuggets in each chapter, specifically the section on marketing, tag-lines & festival strategies. Sharon Badal keeps it personal by adding her own practical "helpful hints" in each category.
She also sheds a bright light into what is sometimes considered the hazy labyrinth of the film festival circuit, by including essays & conversations with the filmmakers, programmers and distributors themselves. These essays & interviews are incredibly insightful, and often very funny--and so make for a terrific read.
I can't wait to use the tools I found in this guide to start my festival strategies. Thank you, Sharon Badal for taking what is often presented as a dry topic, and making it fun and definitely user friendly. An incredible resource.
I love the first-person anecdotes that she has throughout the book--from award-winning filmmakers who have successfully traveled this journey from script to screen. The first-hand accounts really give the best information on how to best prepare yourself for distribution of your work, and how to reap the best exposure for you and the film. This book is also a terrific precursor to any research you do on feature-film distribution. Similar content, smaller package. In a nutshell, this book is chock full of terrific advice and presents filmmakers with so many strategies for maximizing the distribution opportunities for their films.
Sharon Badal has compiled an amazing group of people who are responsible for programming, discovering, and creating some of the best and most original shorts in the world. As a filmmaker, it is also very inspiring to read about the humble, passionate beginnings of filmmakers like Peter Sollett and Ryan Fleck/Anna Boden, and how their short films opened the doors for their feature films.
This book is a must-read for anyone trying to break in with their short film!