Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Just a bit more on the Filmmaker Forum

Without the gratis pass from the benefit of being in the Producer's Lab I would not have attended this event. Mostly because I just don't have that kind of liquidity to shell out a few hundred dollars on things like this. This year I am exceptionally blessed because I also get to attend the AFM in November as a guest as well. So I am most grateful for FIND and all the nice perks they give us.

Here's a good article on the rest of the weekend that was in my IndieWire feed this morning that sums up the event rather well.

Last night we began the Producer's Lab. They served us Indian food which along with Greek is probably my favourite. There was wine, another plus, and that seemed to make it slightly less awkward. The group all have varied levels of experience, some come from directing, some from development, some are writers. Myself and one other person seem to be the most experienced at physical production & the overall nuts and bolts of being on set. I was really inspired by some of my colleagues levels of passion for their material. I would certainly see each of their films because they all seem to embody universal themes of human existence: love, tragedy, missed opportunities. Some are already cast with ATL crew attached, some are just scripts (mine), others even have music. We are mostly women, with the exception of our "token male" whose project won the Alfred P Sloan grant of $25,000K. It's an unusual story and I hope it finds an audience. I do wish we were split a bit more between the genders, it's more of a reflection of our audience.

We are reading 2 scripts a week. Mine is up for discussion on October 13 along with one of the most developed projects.

Still no work. I'm getting the feeling that between the incredible upheaval in the global economy and the lingering labour unrest with SAG that this will be a very skinny and tough few months for many of us. What if there is another "Great Depression"? Well, last time we had one of those, people wanted escapist entertainment and someone's got to help make it. Or we can all stay home and eat Depression Cake!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Filmmaker Forum at the DGA

This weekend as a member of the Producer's Lab I was able to attend the Filmmaker Forum put on by FIND at the DGA. It began with a screening of the film The Brothers Bloom on Friday evening which was nicely shot by Steve Yedin, had great production design by Jim Clay but it just didn't grab me. I couldn't decide if it were a caper film or a romance -- but both Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz are gorgeous to look at. It's worth seeing, just not sure if I would have paid to see it in a theatre. On Saturday morning we had Ted Hope's keynote speech and in my opinion this sort of set the tone for the weekend.

We heard from the producers of Bottle Shock and Humboldt County about the ways they had chosen to self-distribute or at least be more involved in the distribution of their films.

Probably the most exciting panel I attended however was the one entitled: New Tools for Audience Building moderated by Lance Weiler of the Workbook Project and presented by Micki Krimmel and Alex Johnson all 3 very enthusiastic folks with whom I just wanted to hang out and spend more time with. It was in the DGA 3 screening room which wasn't wired for internet and also didn't have enough seats so we were in the aisles and relegated to watching only some static powerpoint pages on the screen. Micki told me later at lunch the next time she does one of these she will specifically ask for a wireless connection. Good idea. I kept trying to look stuff up on my Iphone but the DGA is somewhat of a black hole for a net connection over a mobile phone.

I have to run off to a meeting, so I have to cut this short. More later.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Producer's Lab -- begins September 26th!

I just got the email this morning announcing the line-up for the 2008 Producer's Lab to which I was accepted (along with 9 other producers) with a script written by my dear friend and colleague M. I'm thrilled to be able to participate in FIND's Talent Development program. Our lab will be taught by Anne Clements who produced the feature film QuinceaƱera, which went on to win numerous awards including the Sundance Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize, Humanitas Prize and the John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards. The film was released by Sony Pictures Classics.

I'm eager to meet the other participants and spend the next 7 weeks immersed in thinking about, watching and discussing independent film as well as readying our script for production in 2009.

It kicks off with the Filmmaker Forum at the DGA next weekend and they're even hosting a reception for us on Sunday night. A few of my colleagues are attending the Forum so I'll get to see some familiar faces as well as meeting my fellow Lab mates and making loads of new contacts. A networking heaven!

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