Frequently Asked Questions (and things of that nature)
Q: Is there really animation interest out there in South freakin’ Dakota?
A: Yes. Yes, there is. People come out of the prairie holes to see it and they love it.
Q: Who are you?
A: SoDak Animation and the SoDak Animation Festival is the result of animators, artists, and faculty, staff and students coming together to celebrate that ultimate art form that is animation.
Q: I’m not from South Dakota. Can I enter my work?
A: Yes. The festival is just held in South Dakota. Entries come from all over the world.
Q: What do you do with the submission fees you charge?
A: In 2012, 100 percent of submission fees (which are very reasonable anyway) went toward the visiting animator fund. 90 percent in 2011. If your film is selected for screening, a certain amount of money is made available to help those filmmakers that want to come to make the trip out here and visit with us during the fest. In 2012, several animators flew, drove, and crawled into Brookings. The funds generated from submission fees helped reimburse airfare or hotel stays. Without the filmmakers here, it’s just a bunch of movies.
Q: When is that Visiting Animator Fund available? I want to come to there!
A: Around late August/early September, right after finalists are announced and jurors make decisions.
Q: Do you have electricity and running water out there?
A: Pretty much. If not, the outhouses usually are well-stocked with fresh corncobs.
Q: What should I send in?
A: Mailing in DVDs and paper adds up in time, money, and space. We STRONGLY encourage using the online submission system. Yes, it’s a buck or two more, but generally cheaper than postage and it’s quicker and cleaner. Don’t worry, we watch it on a big monitor!
Q: How do I do it?
A: As of 2013, we’re using Withoutabox.com as the sole method of submission. It’s a streamlined way of submitting work. Follow the links and enjoy the ride!
Q: I’m afraid of putting my stuff online. Can I mail in a DVD?
A: Yes. But embrace modern technology and think about it next time!
Q: I made a film, and it has some animation in it, but I’m not sure if it’d be considered animation. Should I send it in?
A: We find, that if you have to ask that, then your film isn’t all about animation. Send it in anyway if you like and the screeners will ultimately decide.
Q: My film is not in English, can I still submit it?
A: To answer a question with a question, How will the audience understand what you’re trying to say? Subtitles may work for some, others may need to be dubbed if it’s for a younger audience, like a kids’ screening. But animation is a visual medium, right?
Q: How do you decide if my film gets in?
A: A group of people (animators, students, and festival staff) will watch each entry and evaluate it on various criteria to decide if it’s a good fit to the festival and it’s audience.
Q: What’s that Golden Cowbell Award all about?
A: Awarded in each category, The Golden Cowbell is a unique trophy created each year by a local artist. It is not real gold, but it is a handsome piece on any mantle and can be used in self-defense if needed.
Q: What’s there to do there at this festival?
A: Watch movies. Attend presentations by some great guest speakers. See the sights. Hang out with like-minded individuals. Eat buffalo. There might even be animator trips planned to sights, sounds and smells in the surrounding towns and in nearby Minnesota. We’ve got a real nice ice-cream lab on campus. They make it right here. It’s good.
Q: I’ve never been to Mount Rushmore. How far is it to there? And the Badlands?
A: The big stone faces are 6 hours to the west. The badlands are just before them. You could go, but, it’s a haul. Better plan on staying a few extra days!
Q: What else should I know?
A: He who asks does not know. He who does not know, does not ask.