Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Only experienced filmmakers need apply...

We all watch Youtube to enjoy spontaneous laughter, and even to be blown away by people's talents -- and yet, when we sit down to watch a feature film, we expect a much more robust entertainment experience. For any of us production-industry veterans who anticipates breaking through as an auteur in the world of feature entertainment, the challenges seem as daunting as ever. For example, on the cover of a recent issue of MovieMaker Magazine, the words of five-time Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola beam out like an ambition-blinding death ray: "The movie business is not a good business to be in," he says. "You can have the money to finance your own movie, the actors can all love you, and if you don't control the distribution, you're dead." Ouch!

So, what's an aspiring legit filmmaker to do? Essentially, get going... one foot in front of the other. The aforementioned MovieMaker Magazine's Issue No. 14 features an extensive feature by Henry Jaglom on "The Future of Filmmaking," and each issue brims over with practical information. The Summer 2007 issue points us to filmmaker Peter Hyoguchi's ambitious site InterviewingHollywood.com, which is the equivalent of at least one full semester in a top film school. Also, attending and participating in film festivals are excellent career moves. For example, this year's Times BFI London Film Festival, running from Oct. 17 to Nov. 1 in London will offer interactive sessions on the topics of film financing, development, legal and IP, scriptwriting, pitching, cinematography, sales agents, storyboarding, production design, line producing, editing, distribution and exhibition. And for the fourth year in a row, supported by Skillset and Film London, this festival is seeking 25 "talented and experienced" filmmakers seeking to develop their feature film career, to take part in an immersive, hands-on program called Think-Shoot-Distribute (via Digital Arts Magazine). If you have a project that's been exhibited to the public during the past three years, apply here by 5pm on Friday, Sept. 21 for your chance to join 24 others in getting a real leg-up on your aspirations. And for everyone else, consider doing whatever you have to this year to be ready to apply next year; as you know, it may very well take a lot of hard work, persistence and determination to bring your Hollywood dream to life.... Break a leg!