Wed. April 22, 2015 @ 7:30pm

Doc U: Making Your Trailer Stand Out

Having a killer trailer or work sample may not guarantee your film’s success in the funding lottery or land you that coveted distribution deal, but it does ensure that your film will cause funders, distributors and other decision makers to stand up and take notice. Putting out a less than stellar trailer, well, that can hurt you big-time; funders may question that you’ve got what it takes to earn their trust — and their dollars — and distributors are unlikely to give you a second thought. Working in a visual medium, it’s critically important to paint a picture of what your finished film will look and sound like with a polished visual/aural demonstration of your talents and your material that’s going to make your film pop and to gain traction in a world where the competition is fierce and everybody talks a good game.

For the last SF Doc U in our current series, we're focusing on trailers and work samples. We’ve assembled an impressive “Who’s Who” of Bay Area funders, distributors and other decision makers who’ve seen thousands of trailers/work samples and will share their insights into which ones have got “it” and which ones don’t. We’re also giving you, the filmmaker, the chance to show your own trailer/work sample and get live unfiltered and invaluable feedback. And, in our final segment, one trailer or work sample will earn the honor of “Most Likely to Standout from the Crowd.”

Part 1: Our panel of experts shows off examples of trailers/works samples that they think are exemplary models among the many that they’ve seen in the everyday course of their work.

Part 2: Filmmakers in the audience, who have submitted trailers/work samples in advance, show their clips and get feedback from the panel and audience. The evening will end with a vote for the clip that "stands out from the pack."

If you have a trailer/work sample that you would like to submit, please follow the specs below and upload a downloadable file to Vimeo and email the link to Ranell Shubert at: ranell.s@documentary.org. Deadline for submitting trailer/work sample is April 20th, 2015 by 5:00PM.

Spec for those submitting a trailer/work sample

  • 3-5 minute trailer or work sample
  • 1080HD
  • Upload to Vimeo with downloadable password protected link

The event will be moderated by Michele Turnure-Salleo, Director of Filmmaker360 at San Francisco Film Society. Confirmed panelists include Lisa Kleiner Chanoff co-founder of Catapult Film Fund; John Lightfoot, Program Officer, Cal Humanities; Sue Turley, Managing Director, Ro*co Films Productions; and Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer.

Ninth Street Independent Film Center
145 Ninth Street, Suite 250
San Francisco, CA
United States