So, I submitted my little short film, “Accident” to this website called “The Audience Awards” in the “Dramatic Short Video” category. They run various contests and this category seemed to be a good fit for my film. The contest ran for 10 days beginning 2/20 and ending 2/29 at 7 PM. I shared the contest on Facebook and surprisingly, I noticed a lot of people were sharing my post and helping me ask for votes. I wasn’t sure if my film would get close to the top but I had hopes that it would warrant at least a few votes from my friends.
By the 2nd day of the contest, we had been thrusted to 1st place somehow! That was incredible! Of course we eventually got knocked out of 1st place throughout different moments in the contest so I spent a lot of time spamming my own Facebook feed and eventually even annoying myself. By the middle of the contest, I started to think that it was a possibility that I might actually win, but how? I needed a strategy. I started looking at my competitors because if I wanted to win, I needed to know what I was up against. There were 29 films in the competition and while only 8 of them were made by women, only 1 was made by an Asian: me. That was it. That was going to be my hook. Wouldn’t it be great that out of all 29 films, it was an Asian American who won? If I was going to go hard, I knew this meant war. So I rounded up a team of players who were willing to go to battle with me and started developing my strategy.
These were my targets:
1) Share the credit of the film with my comedy troupe
2) Hook – The only Asian in the competition
3) Take advantage of the date/time of the end of the contest
4) Make my community care about us winning
5) Create a pool of reserves for the last day of the contest
As I started going down each of my targets, I started garnering more and more votes. It was at the point where people I don’t even talk to on Facebook were sharing my post and getting excited about the possibility of our filming winning. I was absolutely floored by the strength of my community and the depths they were going to help me. It was getting so exciting. By the 8th day of the contest, I had discovered a page on the website that allowed me to see who the voters were and it really took me by surprise. I discovered a lot of people that had not responded to my contest posts had voted for me, cheering me on in silence. And being in this contest also allowed me to receive a lot of feedback from friends, extended friends, acquaintances and strangers telling me how much they enjoyed my film and loved my story. It was that feedback that inspired me to continue telling stories.
After the disappointment of only 3 acceptances in the festival run I gave my film, this was really a turnaround point for me. I realized that regardless of whether or not I wrote a good story, it still felt really good to have created this. I love every single moment in my film and I enjoyed almost every aspect in creating it (ok, color correction is a bitch and I still can’t get that right but I’ve accepted that.) Plus, after asking Jason Marsden about this stuff, he more or less told me that this was actually completely normal so I decided to forge on.
By the last day of the contest, I hit target number 5. I created my pool of reserves and we all waited until the last 5 minutes to send in our votes. I felt like a cheetah hiding in the bushes, preying on my victim to surface so that I could POUNCE! When it was down to the last 10 minutes of the contest, I noticed a lot of people starting sharing my post and rallying others to vote and at this point, I hadn’t even sent out the green light to my reserves yet! So 4 minutes before the end of the contest, we all sent in our votes so when the last second hit, we won! It was so exciting! I was on pins & needles! The prize was $500 which I have decided I would put towards the next project of my comedy troupe. It was such an incredible feeling! There were internet hi-fives going all around, I’m sure. I was so excited that I made 3 donations to 3 different parties, including one homeless man. Gotta spread the love. I can’t wait to create my next project. Whatever it is, I hope it will be as awesome of an experience as “Accident” was for my heart & soul.
You can watch “Accident” here: