Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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Four festival rejections in a 36-hour period can be a little tough on a writer/director. Luckily, the producer is generally the one who gets the email, and he doesn't share the bad ones with the rest of the cast and crew.

However, I'm also the producer.

It's hard to keep any kind of orientation and proportion when so many come in such a short period, so I went back and revised my festival spreadsheet so it would give me a clearer idea of where we are.

A 20% acceptance rate is a very nice festival run. We're currently at 24%. Before yesterday, we were at 31%. Tomorrow, who knows? Could dive to 11%, could leap to 40%. Regardless, we're actually doing very well--it's just that four of those random negative data points happened to hit at the same time, and human psychology isn't very perceptive in such cases.

I left two columns out of this graphic. On the left, we have a "priority" column that helps decide where to spend money. An A takes precedence over a B, a B over a C, a Q (Academy-qualifying) over no Q, an S (screened here before) over no S, and so on. It's more painful than you might think, assigning these letters, because I sometimes feel I'm reducing people to unfair and heartless codes, but there's no other good way to do it. I don't have unlimited money for submissions, duplication, and shipping.

On the right, there's a "result notes" column. I left that out because it's mostly just the date we got accepted or rejected, but there's also a bit of information in it that I'm not supposed to give out yet.

Excel has a feature called "Conditional formatting" that lets me tell the spreadsheet that whenever the word "Yes" is entered into the Results column, it should be bold and red with a yellow background. In addition to being a little ego-boost, it also makes understanding the overall results at a glance much easier.

But mostly it just makes me feel better.

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