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Cross referencing Filmfreeway, or Madmimi, Streak, Mailchimp…, reports with AutoDCP.

The problem.

Filmmaking is a team sport (which is good).  However, this can create a bit of a challenge in knowing who’s who and what “which who” might be submitting to your festival.   Classic example is Director asks PA to use AutoDCP to create their film “My Great Film” for your festival.  But your festival does not know who this PA is, and to complicate things, theater naming conventions for naming of the film are based on automation needs of hardware in the theater, vrs what the Director wants it to say on the marquee.

Thanks to engineering cooperation between Filmfreeway and AutoDCP we have both now made this a little bit easier.

The solution, use the Filmfreeway, submission [Tracking Number], to allow you to cross reference the original submission, to the who submitted things in AutoDCP and what its theater DCP name will be.   This solution also works for other systems in which you assign a ‘tracking number’ to each submission to your festival.    For example you can use Madmimi, to do the same, ie add a column to your list of filmmakers labeled as you design, and make sure it contains a unique value for your each submission.

Overview:

AutoDCP will provide a festival specific ‘link’  which the festival sends to its filmmakers.   The link ties all your filmmaker to your festival.  The link might look like this:

https://tinyurl.autodcp.com/XYZ123

Normally you would simply send the above link to all your filmmakers.  Your filmmakers would use this to activate AutoDCP, and upon doing so, you could see them in the AutoDCP festival dashboard.   But if you modify this link for each filmmaker, and you do so by using the Filmfreeway [Tracking Number] to do so, you can then cross reference the AutoDCP data with FilmFreeway data.   All you need to do is modify the above link as follows:

https://tinyurl.autodcp.com/XYZ123?ffid=[Tracking Number]

Step by step instructions

  1. Locate your USE-THIS-LINK-TO-ACTIVATE-AUTODCP from the AutoDCP boilerplate welcome letter to be sent to filmakers.
  2. Copy the URL from that link (it will look similar to https://tinyurl.autodcp.com/XXX123)
  3. Log into your Filmfreeway account
  4. Go to your ‘Submissions’
  5. Select the ones you wish to send your notice to, choose ‘Bulk | Email’
  6. Construct your Filmmaker welcome letter per your own needs, and incorporating the AutoDCP boilerplate, however, when you insert the AutoDCP USE-THIS-LINK, change the link to:  https://tinyurl.autodcp.com/XXX123?ffid=[Tracking Number]   Filmfreeway will do the rest, ie each sent email will contain a unique URL for the filmmaker, and this code will propagate through to the AutoDCP reports, which you can use to cross reference both reports.

[image filmfreeway welcome letter ]  Note, please include the [Tracking Number} as information in each filmmaker welcome letter so they also know their Filmfreeway [Tracking Number], this helps a filmmaker who’s submitting multiple projects to a festival to clearly identify each project when speaking to the festival or AutoDCP support.

 

Rules:

There is a rule in using this feature.   URL’s must be what is known as ‘urlencoded’, as long as your [Tracking Code] is just characters or numbers and no spaces or special characters, this process will work just fine.   Filmfreeway simply enumerates the [Tracking Code] based on each submission with a ‘prefix’, you define in your Festival preferences.   Make sure that prefix, is just a regular non-spaced string.  If it contains spaces, or non alphanumeric values change it.   Alphanumeric values are A to Z, a to z, and 0 through 9.

Questions:

Can I use my own mailer, ie Madmimi, Streak, Mailchip, Constant contact or even my own spreadsheet?

Yes!  Just come up with your own numbering of each submission.  If a filmmaker is submitting multiple projects, they get multiple submission numbers.  Just make sure the numbering is unique for each submission and that the schema either is properly urlencoded or to be simple does not contain any spaces or non alphanumeric values.

Advanced note:  Spreadsheets do have functions in them (google sheets) such as ‘encodeurl’, which will take a cell and convert it to a urlencoded safe value.   For example you can use a film title if processed through such a function as a value in ?ffid=.   For example, if you wish to use your own mailer to send emails to your filmmakers (like madmimi or streak), so you can track if they have opened your emails, you could adopt the following process:

  1. log into your filmfreeway account (or skip to step XX if not using filmfreeway)
  2. import/update your master spreadsheet with your filmmakers
  3. add a column to the spreadsheet (call it ‘Tracking Number” for consistency)
  4. put a function in this cell =encodeurl(‘Project Title’) where ‘Project Title’ is the column cell which might contain the title of a filmmaker submission
  5. save the spreadsheet
  6. log into your mailer
  7. import the spreadsheet  into your mailer
  8. construct an email to your filmmakers, add a link https://tinyurl.autodcp.com/XXX123?ffid=[Tracking Number], where ‘Tracking Number’ is from your imported spreadsheet
  9. Send your filmmakers.

 

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