So you made a fantastic film this year, and really feel strongly about it. You just know you can travel the festival circuit with it, but are in need of some advice as to what ones would be best for you, and how to go about it. What do you do?

That’s where Kevin Harman, our new Festival and Industry Relations Specialist, comes in!

Harman has an extremely interesting and diverse background that many of you will appreciate, and his know-how will definitely help your film succeed where it needs to.

In order to introduce him to all of you, and so you know exactly what he can do to help you, we had a Q&A session to learn more about him.

kevin harman head shot

DODGE COLLEGE: What was your back ground before joining the Dodge College team?

Well, I have kind of a strange background in that my working career is split into two categories – film festivals…and stop motion animation. I did my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara in Film and Media Studies and then went through the grad animation program at UCLA, interning and working on some Adult Swim shows along the way. Stop motion is still a great passion of mine and I work on freelance animation or my own projects when time permits.

DODGE COLLEGE: What sort of film festival experience did you have before you wound up here?

My primary work in the last five years has been film festival coordination – from production, to programming and print traffic, I’ve served a mouthful of positions. I’ve worked many of the top film festivals including Telluride, Sundance, Los Angeles Film Festival, Chicago, Seattle, Philadelphia, Outfest, and some smaller ones. I know more behind-the-scenes stuff than most filmmakers want to know. My absolute favorite festival to work for has been Palm Springs International Film Festival – if you get your feature into there, you can be assured it will be presented in all its glory.

DODGE COLLEGE: What are some of your favorite movies? How about hobbies?

I suppose, like all of us, I just love watching movies so it’s hard to pick any in particular. But I’m definitely a sucker for great science-fiction movies –
Blade Runner
The Road
District 9
. Really anything with a dystopian future will get my attention. I’ll also watch any animated movies –
Song of the Sea
Shaun the Sheep
are recent favorites. When I’m not watching movies or animating (which takes up most of the time), I’m into retro-gaming and watching baseball. Unfortunately, I’m a Padres fan but maybe the Angels can step up on the field and into my heart. And, of course, stop motion.

DODGE COLLEGE: We want to see some of the stop motion!

If you’re interested in stop motion at all,
check out this music video I animated on with jelly beans a while back

jelly bean background with girl in foreground

DODGE COLLEGE: Tell us a bit about what you’ll be doing at Dodge College.

I’m the Festival and Industry Relations Specialist – sounds fancy, right? Basically, I’m here when you’re done with your film and you want to get it out there and working for you. I work with film festivals to get discounts for submissions for Chapman students, put together interesting and relevant panels, vet any competitions or contests that approach the school, and I give feedback and strategy to students for their thesis films.

DODGE COLLEGE: What are some of the things you want to help students accomplish?

This is an interesting question – I’m here to help the students achieve the goals
want to accomplish. If that means winning festival awards, I can push them towards good festivals with competitions. If they’re looking for cash prizes, I can push them towards festivals that offer those. If they want to become a game designer, I won’t necessarily push their work into film festivals, but look into other options for them that will meet their career goals. At the end of the day, you should have an idea of what you aim to accomplish through festivals or distribution. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? I can tailor your festival strategy to reflect those goals.

DODGE COLLEGE:  With so many students attending Dodge, who should come talk to you?

Graduating students who have finished their thesis films. I’ll take a look at other films, but the priority will be theses. E-mail me and make an appointment and we can chat about your goals for the film, festival and distribution-wise, and we can cull together a strategy for your movie. You’ll have to send a secured online screener and password over to me, along with a completed information sheet so we can start the process. Once we’ve met, be sure to keep me notified of all submissions and acceptances so I can keep track and keep everyone informed of your success.

DODGE COLLEGE: What are some things you are planning to help students get ready for the next step in their careers?

Currently, we’re putting together a new panel series for students called Industry Dialogues. The purpose and focus of this series is what to do once you’ve finished your film. We’ll have professionals from all parts of the film industry come and speak once a month on four different topics: Film Festival Programming (shorts programmers from big festivals on what they’re looking for), Publicity and the Importance of the Press Kit, The How & Why of Submitting to Film Festivals (with the business director of Film Freeway!), and Life After Dodge – an alumni career panel illuminating how to get from college to career. To learn more about the series,
check out this announcement

Thanks so much to Kevin for sharing! Be sure to say hello to him…especially if your film is ready for festivals!