There was a silent red shirt that kept showing up on the stage on the evening of the awards at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. The red shirt never said anything and received no recognition. Not one of the winners actually thanked it or introduced it.
But that red shirt was really important. It was worn by my friend Nathan Ashton. I am glad he didn’t wear a suit coat to the awards ceremony and I’m glad he chose to wear a red shirt. Because now I get to tell you why the red shirt was important.
Three years ago Nathan Ashton gave my wife and I one of the greatest gifts any independent filmmaker could desire. A gift that made our humble project take on new life, a gift that made it go from a project we worked hard on, to a project that keeps selling. And selling.
At a time when we didn’t even know exactly what we needed, Nathan Ashton helped us achieve professional audio for our movie Indescribable. For that I am eternally grateful.
What can we learn from the silent red shirt? If you are an aspiring film maker, you can learn a lot. First, many of the winning films had audio work done by Nathan Ashton, hence the reason for the red shirt being on stage so much. Meditate on that. Films with professional post production audio engineers win awards.
What does that mean for your film? If the audio is excellent you can easily get an additional three technical points above average from each of the five judges, that is an extra fifteen points. If the audio is bad your score can easily drop five to six technical points below average per judge. Bad audio can put your film twenty five to forty technical points behind a winning film. That’s the difference between an award or not even being mentioned.
But it gets worse. If your audio is rough and changes (even every so slightly) from one cut to the next in a scene it can give the impression that your film is edited poorly. If one or more judge gets the impression that your film was edited poorly you will lose even more technical points in the editing department.
This stuff is important. Scoring low on the technical side can affect far more than your ranking at a film festival. It can cause people to want to forget about your project instead of telling all their friends about it.
There are others like him out there, but you can learn more about Nathan Ashton at his website.
May you learn well the lesson of the silent red shirt.