Archive for asian task force

Lessons Learned in L.A.

Posted in Greenspoke, screenwriting, Shriekfest with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2008 by Tom McIntire

My recent trip to Shriekfest was supposed to be about networking with other filmmakers, producers and potential investors. While I did do some networking (and gnoshing) with fellow filmmakers Paul Yoo, William Lu and David Shin, I felt like a fish out of water at the two Shriekfest screenings I attended. After some reflection, I’ve come to these conclusions to make my next outing more productive:

  1. Plan ahead – what are you trying to accomplish on this trip? Have you done your research and legwork to make sure you connect with the people who can help you?
  2. Be prepared – a variation on #1. Do you have your pitch ready? If you have 2 minutes of a producer’s time, will your glorious script grab their attention or will they wish you luck and move on?
  3. Choose the right festivals – if a festival is focused on a specific genre – do you work in that genre? Are you enthusiastic about it? When you watch the films at a particular festival, how would you feel about your work in juxtaposition to the other films you are seeing?
  4. Be open to speaking to people who may not be in a position to help now. I’ve learned so much from other people who are also starting out. We’re dealing with the same issues – commiserate, encourage and stay in touch. When you have a time when you are feeling a little overwhelmed or discouraged, these are the people who can help you understand that it is not you it is just the way this highly competitive business works.
  5. Be honest with yourself about your work – if you are having trouble explaining a script to someone else, is there a problem with the script? We get close to the work we do and can turn a blind eye to glaring problems in the concept or execution. A great story should be easy for you to pitch enthusiastically.
  6. Have fun – you don’t do this for the money – at least not yet anyway. Enjoy the cast of characters you meet from writers to actors to producers to directors to film lovers.
  7. Celebrate your own victories – finishing a script is a major accomplishment. So many people out there are talking about being a writer or a filmmaker. Sitting down and DOING the work to get there is something to be proud of.
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two julias has been launched

Posted in Toronto with tags , , , , , , on June 19, 2008 by Tom McIntire

Met with Nathan (the projectionist) about the sound and aspect ratio a few minutes before start time. Shannon Kelly held the start time until she could get there to kick things off properly. Brian did a lovely song and dance and kept us amused while we waited. I talked about writing the script two years ago in response to the privacy abuses of the Patriot Act.

Opening film in the group was a beautiful, poetic piece called Ismeriatwo julias was next. I didn’t notice how overly bright it was until the movie was actually running. It looked blown out on the large screen TV. 25 or so enthusiastic viewers seemed to enjoy it – laughed in most of the right places. I had great support from filmmakers David Shin (Soul 37), Will Lu (Asian Task Force) and Cosmos Kiindarius (The Quickie). I’ll be bugging them for feedback tomorrow.

Kurt and I wound up leaving during Susan For Now. It was making me physically ill (literally) – too much actual blood (it was a documentary about S/M sex clubs in Seattle). I had to leave when they started lighting alcohol on a woman’s back. It’s too bad because the rest of the program sounded interesting but I needed to keep that yummy dinner down.

Now we can relax a bit and enjoy the rest of the fest.