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So you wanna be in pictures: 'Official Rejection', Directed by Arvada's Paul Osbourne

Paul Osbourne, grew up in Arvada, premiered 'Official Rejection' at the 32nd Starz Film Festiva
Paul Osbourne, grew up in Arvada, premiered 'Official Rejection' at the 32nd Starz Film Festiva
John Ambrosino

You see and feel in this documentary the fun and frustrations filmmakers experience. And viewers get an eye full for the immense energy and strong character it takes to make a film out of pocket. The more than feature length docu-film doesn't candy coat the frustrations even after the camera has shut down. In this close to the heart documentary made by fearless, ambitious, young tenacious filmmakers the viewer wonders - why bother? Because once a film wraps what is left, plain & simple, is a red velvet cake that is delicious but who wants to buy it? Filmmakers must be salespeople as well.

The next round is film festivals and mountains of postage, meticulously following specific procedure for the best, not so great or, oh hell, any film festival that will accept your film. Getting the film accepted to a good festival is what this film is about. It’s brutally competitive in film land. Yet it looks so easy to the audience munching on popcorn and espresso. Today there is a check list to producing a movie. Get a script, get a 8 millimeter camera, install an editing program on your laptop, patience for maximum light on a tight two day schedule; obtain a zero balance credit card and friends who can actually sleep five to a room in a cheap hotel in Phoenix or the suburbs of Chicago or Denver or Scarsdale.

Arriving at a film festival is like WWIII on the streets. Every film crew is up most of the night and on the street by dawn tacking flyers to any available light pole, kiosk or wall. What happens to the little film guys, the big corporations such as Sony and Disney plow right over the little guy. If a film can get into a major film festival like Sundance, Telluride, Tribeca, Los Angeles, that’s paper entry. The trials of promoting your film at the festival locale turns into a battlefield. Here's the scenario. Filmmakers start stapling flyers at dawn. By 7 a.m. Sony has covered every small film’s flyers with their flyers. And so it goes. What used to be called independent films (small, under budget, independent directors & actors), today it's just a key word.  Studios today call their films an Indie - even Sony and Disney. This presents an enormous leverage to the big guys but is painfully unfair to the true indie makers. Just managing airfare and lodging for the festival costs them every penny any of them ever had.

Official Rejection was too long but delivered a thorough insight into what it takes to give an indie legs. It has less to do with the script and actors, more do with money and favors, remember payola in the 1950's rock n' roll radio era?  The viewer is given a direct connect on intense competition, annoying unorganized film festivals, and, the thrill of winning any award at any festival.

Paul Osbourne, from Arvada, Colorado, the director, [also director of ‘Ten to Twelve’] found his film festival adventures so amusing, frustrating and competitive he made a film about it.