Submit a Reel Life Story


“Reel Life” stories afford filmmakers the opportunity to share their experiences and lessons learned, as well as raise awareness about their project. In articles that are exclusive to Indie Slate, producers, directors and others closely associated with a project can highlight the challenges faced and barriers overcome in getting the project completed and/or distributed. It is important to cover the facts — the who, what, when, where, how and why associated with the project, and state them clearly and in an order that’s easy for readers to follow. (Feel free to use humor!) Article lengths generally vary from approximately 750-1800 words, depending on the subject; 1000-1200 words tend to sufficiently cover most. (One printed page in the magazine equals approximately 800 words of text with a photo or two, or 950 without).


Some content suggestions for an interesting article:

  • Tell about the origin of / inspiration for the project, i.e., why the particular story was chosen.
  • Explain the following choices in terms of ‘why’ and ‘how’: image capture format (e.g., film or electronic), equipment, locations, actors, crew, shooting style, etc.
  • What prepared the producer/director to make the project? e.g., formal education, work experience, self-read/self-taught.
  • What were the pitfalls and ‘aha experiences?’ What was learned from doing the project?
  • Recognize the individuals, companies, community organizations/institutions who contributed to the realization of the project. (Keep it professional; please refrain from gushing too much!).
  • Send 5-7 high-resolution photographs (color preferred) — project stills plus some behind-the-scenes snaps of producer, director, DP, other crew in action. Include identities of those pictured and recommended captions. See photo specs below. NOTE: web resolution pics are never acceptable for print publications, so we won’t download from your web site unless high res images are hosted (minimum 200-300 dpi).
  • What’s happened or happening with the finished project? In particular, what distribution streams have been secured, or what distribution opportunities have been/are being explored? Why, and how?
  • Include a list of key cast and crew at the end, along with an author’s credit (less than 50 words) and technical specs (see below).

Maximize the impact of your Reel Life story in the magazine

  • Take advantage of the opportunities to upload links to video clips, trailers, still pics, post announcements, and blog about your project at the “Indie Film” Community. (Do not upload the Reel Life article itself!)
  • Producer/directors wanting to make the “Reel Life” piece stand out, should consider running an ad of “congratulations” or one featuring the project’s promo poster. This is a marketing technique used frequently in the industry, and Indie Slate has special rates for these types of ads (up to 50% off, email for a quote). Messages typically include “Congratulations on the completion of,” “Congrats on being selected for ___ film fest,” “Thanks to the cast and crew,” or “Coming Soon.” Hint: If accepted into a major film fest, or winning an award, your suppliers may be willing to pay for a “congratulations” ad, to promote their association with your project and themselves.

All material submitted will be professionally edited for content and style

Write and submit your story materials using the following specs:

  • Italicize the titles for movies, books, projects, rather than using “quotes.”
  • Use of the noun and verb “film” and their derivative terms is generally reserved for reference to projects actually captured on or transferred to the medium of film. Use the terms “movie” or “motion picture,” along with the format name to refer to projects in all other formats, i.e., video, DV, HD, 2K, 4K.
  • Author’s credit and contact: provide a one to three sentence background “blurb” which includes contact information, as you prefer it to appear in the publication.
  • Tech Specs: Include the type of camera(s) used, film stocks and lab and/or capture media, edit software, the DI (digital intermediate) and/or film print service provider(s), if any, and any other special gear, services or processes you deem appropriate.
  • Include contact information for key individuals mentioned in the article (telephone, address and/or email). The editors may need to contact them with follow-up questions. In addition, assuming you have obtained permission from those mentioned, the contact info may be included with the article for others interested in communicating with them.
  • Submit your work by e-mailing the story (not photos, see below) to as an attachment, preferably in rich text format (.RTF file). Do not send as a PDF file. To ensure that we don’t overlook your submission, the subject line of your transmittal message should read “Reel Life +  the Project Name.”
  • Photo Specs: Email image files sized approx. 3″x5″ to 4″x6″ at 225-300 dpi) as (a) uncompressed Jpeg (JPG) files (high quality setting of 8-10 in Photoshop or jpg “fine”) or (b) Tiff (TIF) format compressed with Zip or Stuffit. DO NOT send an image captured with a digital camera that does not yield this minimum level of resolution.
    NOTE: Images should be captured or pictures scanned so that the COLORSPACE of your camera/scanner (a.k.a. ColorMode or ColorMatrix) is set for “ADOBE RGB (1998)”, at 200-300 dpi. That’s approx. 1280×1240 to 1600×1200 pixels. DO NOT send images set for CMYK and DO NOT send web quality images which have been “up-rezed” in software from 72 dpi.
  • TO EMAIL IMAGE FILES to the graphics desk: due to standard email size restrictions, send files no larger than 18-20 mb each to You may send more than one picture in an email, providing total email size doesn’t exceed 18-20 mb. To ensure we don’t miss your materials, use “Photo(s) + the Project Name” in the subject line. Use “Photo2 + Project Name”, etc. for subsequent transmittals.
    NOTE: DO NOT email photos to the editor or copy her! These will overwhelm the email boxes at, and cause us to think you didn’t read these guidelines.
  • Photo Captions: The photo description should either be saved with the pic in the “File Info-description” area within Photoshop (preferred), sent in the body of the email, or as a separate text file. Include the names of folks in the photo, unless it’s a group shot of more than five or six … in that case, just a general “the crew” or some such. Include any photographer credit(s), if needed.
    Note: Actual photographic prints or slides of any size may also be submitted via mail. Prints or slides will be returned when accompanied by a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. DO NOT send a photo generated by any computer printer or offset printing process (photos reproduced this way are made of dots and do not reproduce well).
  • Send a press screener to Editor, Attn: Reel Life, PO Box 218516, Houston TX 77218.


Submission of material which is published in the “Reel Life” section of Indie Slate Magazine indicates your agreement with the 60-day exclusivity provision and the conditions listed below. Please read them carefully, and if you have questions, contact editor Maureen Herzog at (832)593-0405.

  • The material has been created by the individual submitting the work, or the material has been created as a work for hire at the behest of Indie Slate by the individual(s) providing it.
  • The material has not been previously published in any other form (print or electronic) and is subject to exclusive publication right by Indie Slate for a minimum of 60 days from the date of publication of the issue in which it appears. [This means you also agree to wait a min. of 60 days before putting this up on any website] Date of publication is defined as the date on which the magazine is released by publishers for distribution to subscribers and wholesale distributors. Exceptions may be made at publishers discretion.
  • If the material is published elsewhere in any form (print or electronic) subsequent to the 60-day exclusive period, then it must contain the following attribution: This article originally appeared in Indie Slate Magazine (, Issue No. _____.
  • If the article is posted on a website, it should also have a link to
  • Republication rights to the material are reserved by the publishers for use in subsequent editions and other published matter formats print or electronic (e.g., Indie Slate web site).
  • All submissions are subject to editing for style and content.


  • Reel-Life-Writers-Guideline