Friday, February 09, 2007

SF IndieFest 2007 - Day One

I began the first REAL day of the SF IndieFest fairly slowly. (I planned on going to Sacramento for "The Animation Show, Vol. 3", however...) I attended the first program of the day, "Filmmaking in the Nude", a conversation with Chris Gore, creator of "Film Threat", the magazine, which is now the website. He arrived a few minutes late, coming in directly from the airport, which might explain his slow start. However, once he got warmed up and running, it became a fascinating hour and a half of information, but more importantly, a character study of what kind of drive and 'salesmanship' it takes to get anything done in the film business. He is a veteran of innumerable film festival selection committees and produced his own screenplay, "My Big Fat Independent Movie".

His 'lecture' really relies on questions from the audience. Apparently, he has quite a young-and-independent filmmaker following, some who were there with questions regarding how to get producers, how to pitch, how to get into festivals (which he has written a book and seemed a bit put off that readers ask questions the book addresses), and he spoke fairly animatedly, if not a bit cynically, about the future of film distribution. He feels that as drive-ins have nearly disappeared from the landscape, so will cinemas, as view-on-demand and digital downloading of product become more common place. He does see this as a good thing. He uses the iTunes model and how mp3 downloading may have hurt the recording industry, but it has helped the music business in allowing independent and non-corporate-subsidized groups find an audience. He feels the same can happen for independent film once it is released into cyberspace, to be shared by a wider audience base than a typical limited independent release now finds.

A sample of his humor, if you are not prone to go visit Film Threat or his personal website at, can be encapsulated by his retelling of witnessing the birth of his first child. He said the first thought that ran through his mind was, "This is more gnarly and bloody than the birth scene from "Alien"!" He laughs at himself that on the single most important day of his life, he compared it to a movie.

It turned out to be a pleasant enough start to an ever increasingly busy week!

Maxxxxx snickers, insiduously...

Tomorrow: 4, perhaps 5 programs.

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