Horrible Imaginings Film Festival Survey Results
It is five days since the doors creaked closed on Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, and the question remains–how did it go? Well, I offered an online survey to audience members and after three days I have collected 38 responses. I have decided that 38 is a pretty good sample size. I really want to thank those of you who took a minute to fill out the survey and let me know what you thought. I know surveys can be a bit annoying, but your feedback means a lot to mean and really will help me to organize and improve next year’s event.
First of all, I am really happy to report that 0% of those surveyed indicated that Horrible Imaginings was worse than they were expecting. For 22.7% of those surveyed, the film festival met expectations. The remaining 77.3% indicated that the festival was better than expected, and 45.5% of those said that it was much better than expected. That really makes all the work, money, and emotional anguish worth it!
One of the hardest things about programming Horrible Imaginings Film Festival in San Diego is deciding how many feature-length films to show versus how many short films. After months of consideration, I programmed two blocks of short films and two feature lengths each day, including my two revival series films. A landslide 86.4% of those surveyed thought that was an appropriate ratio. 4.5% said they’d like more shorts and 9.1% indicated they would like more features. Thank you for your feedback on this one–it’s definitely going to influence next year’s programming.
I also asked for the favorite films of the weekend. I want to mention here that the whole idea of competition has been something I’ve wanted to stay away from. I intend to use Horrible Imaginings as a spotlight for upcoming filmmakers, not as a venue for pitting them against one another. That said, I still wanted to know which films left the biggest impression. In addition one of the survey suggestions did mention having an audience vote, so who knows? Maybe next year I’ll include an audience award. Now without any further ado:
For the Friday night shorts program on Friday, the clear favorite was Craig Macneill’s clever Lovecraftian comedy Late Bloomer. Twelve people named that film as a favorite. Mando Franco’s Edgewood Drive took second place with eight people naming it as a favorite. Tied for third place was Kody Zimmermann’s The Familiar and Ainhoa Menendez’s Fabrica de Munecas with 3 mentions each. Others mentioned include Zach Bellissimo’s Blenderstein, The Fies Sisters’ Scrutinize, and Barbara Stepansky’s Road Rage.
For the Saturday night shorts program, Michael Maney’s METH got the most mentions with eleven people saying it was their favorite. A very close second place goes to Joshua Long’s AXED, with nine mentions. Third place was the Portuguese film Survivalismo from José Pedro Lopes, which got six mentions. Also mentioned more than thrice were Dave Reda’s My Undeadly, Marichelle Daywalt’s The Many Doors of Albert Whale, and Gijs van Kooten’s animated Mac N Cheese.
Of course, almost everybody mentioned the coolness of seeing Gojira and Les yeus sans visage on the big screen. For the feature length films, Drew Bolduc and Dan Nelson’s insane The Taint got a lot of great feedback. Seven people mentioned it on the survey. One person said, “The Taint was amazing! It was the only movie that could have kept me awake that late. Never seen anything like it!” Chris Power and Nathan Hymes’s mocumentary Long Pigs was a huge hit. Thirteen people mentioned it on the survey, and I’ve gotten many emails claiming that it was a new favorite film. I really enjoy Long Pigs, and was nervous to see how it would screen to a San Diego audience since it is a more serious film than The Taint. I’m thrilled that so many people realized its merits. HUGE congratulations to these filmmakers–and really all the filmmakers who were screened at Horrible Imaginings deserve my congratulations and my thanks for all they hard work they put into their films. You all deserve our applause!
Finally, I do want to thank all of you for your honesty and candor in making suggestions for next year’s art gallery and next year’s film festival overall. I really liked a lot of your incredibly imaginative and fun ideas. I do think they would make for a great festival. I want to do my best to make a lot of it a reality. Of course, financing the film festival continues to be a huge challenge, and that greatly impacts what I’m able to pull off. I just want to finish here by saying that Horrible Imaginings Film Festival, the first film festival in San Diego dedicated to macabre cinema and art, will continue to grow and get better over the years so long as the audience is there to keep it alive. This is for all of you, horror fans! Stay scared!