Friday, June 3, 2011

Tips From The Fest

I'm tucked away in a corner of the filmmaker's lounge where a 2-Minute 2-Step film is being edited, posters are being printed, and crew members are solving the problems of the world. The shooting is happening one room over. All of this is to say, this might not be the best-written article I've ever done.

The president of the Screen Actors Guild, Ken Howard, stopped by our opening night party yesterday and it got me to thinking. Film festivals all claim to be "about the films" or "about the filmmakers." Good, great, no problem. The principle creative person on a film lives with it years before it is shot and years after it's finished, and to the general public, they are largely unknown. They deserve their time in the spotlight, and what's good for the film is good for everyone involved.

But Dances With Films is a discovery festival in the entertainment capital of the world. A screening here is a business opportunity for more than just the filmmaker or the film. The cast especially have a chance to take advantage of the screening, but how? Old-school LA actors have tons of experience drumming up attention for their 99-seat Equity-Waiver productions, but that's because they know how it feels to stand in front of a bunch of empty seats. I'm not sure the younger actors have that same experience. Some are great at it, some think "if you screen it, they will come."

The question I'm wrestling with is how can SAG, SAGIndie, and the festivals help get the casting industry off their butts and into the theatre to see new talent? That's an open question – please discuss in the comments below.

For the techie folks, here's the big discovery we've all made. TASCAM DR100 or DR680 digital audio recorders instead of the Zooms – which everyone seems to use. They are cheaper, have some sweet functions the Zoom don't, and can take advantage of the 5-D manual audio settings to patch directly into the camera. That's your filmmaking tip of the day.

Thanks for reading. Comments welcome.

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