About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Friday, April 15, 2011
Blog posting written by Lindsay Harrop, Cinema & Photography '13, FLEFF Intern, McMinnville, Oregon
The second part of my live blogging from the How to Get Your Break Panel in Williams 225:
SG: How do you get agents? How do you get someone to read your script?
TM: I'm still trying to figure that out. As a writer, what I do to get people to read my stuff is I've gone ahead and done a lot of free-lance jobs for directors and now I'm starting to turn toward television and trying to get some pilots picked up. You have to be patient and find your own way. This is waiting game too. And from the writer's perspective, I do my best to get my work out to a small group of people. I want honest feedback, even though we're really shy introverted people. I want to tell a good story.
RBr: I think it's important to remember to find your own voice and that there are a ton of production companies out there and hundreds of models of people who have fantastic, rewarding companies without the kind of adulation that people get stuck in reflecting on. It can also be about integrity, loyalty to your artistic vision and the people you work with. That's something you have to learn now because if you don't have it here you won't have it in twenty years. Some of the best people we talk about weren't trying to copy anyone - they followed their own path. It's important to de-clutter the images of success.
RBe: That's absolutely true. The film industry, Hollywood and the agencies, they work because they want to keep their jobs. Period. I don't know a single filmmaker who works with an agency who has gotten work through their agency. Literally. I don't have an agent either. I don't need one. I meet interesting people who actually want to make films instead of being worried about keeping their jobs.
SG: What do you think of the internet and how to use it as access to media and for projects?
KC: Kickstarter is a new platform that's been an incredible tool for media artists. There are films that have raised $1 million on there. It's called crowd funding. What it is is really a platform. It's up to you to drive people there and get word of mouth. It's been transformative. Indiegogo has also been successful in a different way. In terms of the other side - distribution - we've all been waiting for the internet to save distribution, and it hasn't happened. We're waiting for it to monetize. Netflix is starting to help, but only in the last year. We're still waiting for it to happen.
RBr: Netflix is really the only player and they've been leveraging their... monopoly. Or strength. My experience has been the same; Netflix is the only company bringing real sales. The DVD has been dropping and we're still scrambling to figure that out.
KC: The internet has yet to revolutionize distribution.
A: If there's anything you feel should be introduced to a Cinema-Photography curriculum, what should it be?
TM: Film business. USC taught me how to make a hell of a film, but nothing about business.
RBr: I also think these things are constantly changing and there are many things that are constantly changing. You really need a dialogue with the industry. You're not going to learn everything here [at school]. It's also important to come to the industry with other skills. Film history for example. A distribution class would be great. Or maybe workshops. Even if you just got to SXSW and go to the lectures there.
RBe: I think an industry class would help, but it wouldn't provide all the knowledge. I need to emphasize the importance of knowing the industry.
KC: I talk about distribution a lot because it's the single biggest problem for the independent industry. When I teach producing, I teach distribution and financing together.
RBr: Something else we need are more culture in real independent cinema. We need to stop talking about Hollywood and talk about the unknowns, creating a following for them on twitter and stuff. Tell your friends about smaller films.
SG: Last comments: What's the best advice you can give? One line.
KC: Know what you want.
TM: You gotta get used to rejection. it's not about the number of "No"s you get, it's that one "Yes."
RBr: Find the people you can trust.
RBe: Make yourself and your projects inevitable.