Top 8 Excuses on Missing Deadlines

After nine years of running a festival, we have heard almost every excuse in the book as to why a film missed a deadline to submit to the festival.  Each year, the submission window is open for at least five full months and yet, there are still those few who wait until the very last day to try to make a deadline.  In the military we are trained to arrive at least 10 minutes early to a meeting or else be considered late.  We are also trained in the phrase “no excuse” – which means to get the project done by all reasonable, legal and safe means.  Yet, every year we here the gambit of excuses as to why a filmmaker missed the submission deadline.

Here are a few of our favorite excuses from filmmakers who were never trained by the military or who had forgotten their training as to why they couldn’t get their film into us on time.

 1. A bear broke into my mountain cabin and flooded the place.


It’s pretty cool that you have a mountain cabin. I wan’t aware that bears had opposable thumbs and could turn on water faucets.

2.  My car blew a tire and couldn’t make it to the post office in time.


While I sympathize with your car situation, I find it hard to believe you couldn’t get to a post office in time after 5 full months.

3. My spouse’s relatives were having a party and I had to be there.

dance party

A five month-long party?  I want to join your family.  Will you adopt me?

4. Someone squatted in my vacation home and had to travel out of town to fix the problem.


How do all these independent filmmakers have second homes? And why don’t I have one…

5. I just couldn’t finish film in time for deadline but still want to submit it.


We know that artists like to achieve perfection in their creative work – so please do take your time and then submit for next year.

6. Our lead actor/ director/producer dropped out of project and we had to re-shoot.

i quit

I empathize with your struggles.  Chaos happens to us all.  But again, submit next year.

7. I couldn’t figure out how to get the film out of the video camera and onto my computer.


It sounds like you have more problems than just missing a deadline.

8. I just found out about your festival yesterday, but I still want to submit.


I completely understand it – love at first sight.  The GI Film Festival is awesome.  But, we’ve been around for nine years now and you are going to have to wait until next year.

There is no limit to list of crazy excuses we receive.  What’s the best excuse you ever heard for missing a deadline? Share with us in the comments below.