A Trip To The HD Therapist OR The Frustrations of Getting Your HD Content Seen
article written by Stephanie Batailler published in May 2008

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A Trip To The HD Therapist OR The Fustrations of Getting Your HD Content Seen

by Stephanie Batailler

HD Mag Digital Edition

Since February when I completed my short film 'Trip to the Planetarium' (combines live action HD with traditional 2D Animation and took two years to make) I have encountered so many difficulties.

First, it took me almost 6 weeks to be able to find the right room for this first screening (private). I live in New York city so you would think it should have been easy but NO! In NYC there are still so few screening rooms that can screen HD and that independent filmmakers can afford. I had to compromised and get a room with a Digibeta deck (even that Digibeta deck was a struggle, it’s another story!). Screening rooms rates increase with the format chosen for the screening. For a room with a capacity of 70 seats, prices ranges from $275/hour if your screen analogue Beta SP to $350/hour if you want Digibeta to 450/hour if you want HDCam !! I was looking for a room slightly bigger and every week I had to increase the level of my budget’s limit.

Everybody wants filmmakers to shoot films in a HD format. Everybody is speaking about HD anyway, even my step-dad who still doesn’t know how to use a computer but wants to buy an HD Camera !! While I cannot afford to have my own ! Very soon, in supermarkets they will try to sell us HD candies !! But you known what? Nobody knows what HD means, it’s just sound cool !

Well it doesn’t sound cool to me or even my wallet ! My excitement and joy of having finally finished the film after more than two years of intense work got darkened quickly. I know now that the real work is starting only now with trying to promote and distribute my HD film.

I should add that combining HD with traditional 2D Animation makes it even more difficult. However, since last week I’ve learned that the film is going to be at the Short Film Corner, the short film market at the Cannes Film Festival (see at,go to Films and enter the title ‘Trip to the Planetarium”). This is not a competition but at least it will be an amazing opportunity to meet distributors and investors from all around the world (and not spending weeks on making just phone calls). They will be at the film market in Cannes so I will be able to give them a copy in person! Well at least that is what I think but I don’t know yet if it will be that easy, I will let you know when I’m there ?) .

To celebrate the event, I decided not just to organize a Private screening but also to do a panel on "How to combine HD live action with 2D animation° at the Tribeca Grand Hotel in NYC, May 15th 2008 from 7 to 9 pm (limited seating). Apart from the technical aspects we will also discuss about the marketing and distribution. I got a special guest Corey Boddie, a Security/Entertainment Attorney in the area of film, television, music, fashion and a hedge fund consultant specializing in entertainment investing who will speak on °Is investing in films profitable for the investor?". One of Corey°s clients is Josh Raskin (oscar nominated director 2007 for his short film).

I had proposed a similar panel to Cannes for the Short film market. They were very much interested two weeks ago when I sent my proposal (even Corey would have come to Cannes) but they told me that they thought about it but then decided that subject of my panel was °not general enough°, °too specific°. So, I replied °But it is about HD, it is not specific, HD is everywhere !°, they said °But in the coming years, we will organize panels like that but it is too soon now°.

Let me also tell you what happened on April 3rd, it was something unbelievable. That day I had called HDNet and asked if they would be interested to join and become panelist. HDNet is the biggest HD programmer here in the US. The person I talked to first, Ben (don't know his last name?) was very enthusiast and he told me to contact the Director of Media and Public relations. So I did and sent her a proposal for HDNet to become a panelist at my conference in NYC and in Cannes if they had a representative. But she replied °Thanks for the invitation but the technical/production realm is not my forte so I'm am going to pass°!! I could not believe it. I sent her back an email and said °Thank you for your reply. But you don't have to be a high technical person, the Cinematographer, animators or myself will answer such questions. However, you represent HD tv and HD which is one of the core (subjects) of my conference°. She replied again °Thank you but I am still going to pass.° So, I googled for the president and found Mark Cuban's email, I forwarded the emails exchange with Colette and asked if someone who knows HD in his company would be interested in joining us at the Panel. I never got a response.

Voila !! I am having so much fun !

See a short trailer below or at

A Trip To The Planetarium was shot with a Panasonic VariCam AJ-HDC27 (1280x720), edited with Final Cut Pro.


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