In celebration of Arin Crumley & Keiran Masterton's success using Kickstarter to fund development of OpenIndie.com, I thought I would launch my annual grants. Or rather my annual promise of grants. Money! $ For Films! Free!*
I never did get to my 38 Reasons but I did get one good answer in. Peter Guber got my questions (but man, is he GOOD! He answered the challenges questions better than I could of) and Marina kept getting my other questions. I did get to give props to Lance Hammer but he was only the first of at least ten people I wanted to mention! I have to admit though it was a lot of fun. Many thanks to Reed Martin for getting me on the show (read/buy his book now!).
My post on "Is There A "Too Many" When It Comes To Playing Film Festivals" generated some good questions and points in the comments. I hope to get to them all in the days and weeks ahead.
39. Producers are being recognized for doing more than just sourcing or providing the financing and administrative structure to a production. A good producer makes a better film and not just by making it run smoothly. Sundance – who has been recognizing producers’ contributions for years -- just held its first Creative Producing Initiative. There still remains a lack of clarity in the public’s mind as to what a producer does, but when leading organizations like Sundance take the effort not only to clarify that producing is a creative act, but also help producers to build their creative skills, change will come. This clarity and the restoration of the integrity of the producer credit won’t just restore producers own recognition of self-worth, but will lead to stronger films.
40. Senior film organizations, like the IFP, Film Independent, and IFTVA/AFM are working together, along with advocacy organizations like Public Knowledge to try to maintain key policies crucial to indie’s survival like Net Neutrality and Media Consolidation. If everyone with common interests learned to work together…. Wow.
41. There appears to be real growth beyond navel gazing in terms of subject matter among the new filmmakers. Filmmakers aren’t just interested in whether the boy gets the girl or the boy gets the boy. We seem to be moving beyond strict interpersonal relations in terms of content and looking at a much bigger picture. Chris Smith’s THE POOL, Sean Baker’s PRINCE OF BROADWAY and TAKEOUT, Lance Hammer’s BALAST, and Lee Isaac Chung’s MUNYURANGABO to name a few, point to a much more exciting universe of content to come.
42. New technology makes it all a whole lot better. Whether it is new digital cameras or formats, digital projection, or editing systems, it just keeps getting better, faster, lighter, cheaper. Reduced footprints, sharper images, and quicker turnaround: who amongs us does not believe all these things lead to better films?
Scott Macauley of Fimmaker Mag Blog moderated a discussion between the The Gotham Awards Breakthrough Director nominees. They are a great group of directors and a great group of films. Many of them also made the Hammer To Nail list too. They all had different approaches to their filmmaking.
A whole bunch of us got together for food, drink, and lots of blab about the way this world of film is changing -- and now you can join us!
I had the opportunity to see Lance Hammer's Ballast on Sunday night at the Laemmle Sunset 5. It is a wonderful film and as you probably know - Lance eschewed the standard distribution deals he was offered and decided to self distribute. I had a chance to talk with him after the screening to compare war stories and we both agreed that there needs to be a paradigm shift on the definition of ''theatrical".
"Theatrical" is the industry term for the first "window" of a release normally in movie theaters where they are screened for at least a week starting on a Friday night. This is a very limiting notion of what a theatrical experience should be and has the potential to constrain our own imagination of what constitutes a theatrical experience.
Lance and I both agreed that some of our best screenings were in non-theatrical venues. Usually the film is screened for one or two nights and is promoted as a special event - which helps to pack the house.
We also agreed that we as filmmakers need to create a database of such venues similar to the Workbook Projects Theatrical Mapping Project. Eventually we should combine theatrical and non theatrical lists - but currently they need to be approached in slightly different ways - so I feel it is best to keep the lists separate for a little while.
Lance and I have agreed to cull our own information but we could use your help.
If you know of any non traditional venue that has screened films on a regular basis - such as museum, film society, college student or screening association, please send them to me at:
We will post the list here at TFF for a start within the next couple of months.