Today's kind of a big deal at indieWIRE: We've combined our editorial and our audience to create direct connections that can help filmmakers.
The vehicle is our Project of the Day, in which we feature one film project each day — short, doc or feature; any stage from fundraising to post — and at the end of the week, we ask readers to vote for the project they'd most like to see. (If you're unfamiliar with POTD, see examples here.)
The winner is dubbed Project of the Week. That earns the filmmaker a digital distribution consultation from SnagFilms (our parent company). And those weekly winners are put to another reader vote.
That winner is the Project of the Month; the filmmaker gets a consultation from the most relevant branch of the Sundance Institute.
Project of the Day came out of our long-running In The Works column, which profiled a handful of projects each week. We decided to change it up and instead feature one project daily, with readers weighing in at the end of the week to say which one they'd most like to see. And we'd throw in a prize to make it interesting.
The first Project of the Day was June 13; the first Project of the Week vote was June 17. And it briefly went to hell on July 18, when it became clear that the opportunity of being named indieWIRE's project of the week made some people lose their damn minds and start gaming the system even before we announced the prizes. However, it also showed a big fat flaw on our voting system before anything was at stake.
Now our voting system is considerably more airtight. It's FacebookPoll, an app that's not developed by Facebook but connects to your Facebook profile. You must allow it to access your profile (and of course, you must have a Facebook profile in order to vote). The poll is sharable throughout Facebook, which should be handy for filmmakers in getting out the vote.
And on that note: We've got some catching up to do. Starting today, we'll roll out a Project of the Week poll each day; each poll will be live for 24 hours. (We'll alert the filmmakers so they know when their projects are up for vote.) Once our weekly catch-up is complete, monthly catch-up will begin. After that, our standard schedule will be Project of the Day, Mon-Thurs; voting on Friday.
Finally, to be clear: While indieWIRE editors choose Projects of the Day from user submissions, we have no say over what's selected as Project of the Week or Project of the Month. That's left entirely up to you, the readers.
Like I said, we're really excited about this feature and would love to know what you think. Let us know in the comments. Or email me direct: dana AT indiewire DOT com.