Tuesday, June 23, 2009

20 Minutes

We went through an interesting process during the lab, where we only saw 20 minutes of each other's films. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get a grasp on the flavor of each. What I discovered was two fold. Not only can you really get a handle on the artistry and story telling from these clips, but you have to. In most cases, that's what people are going to get. It's similar to the first 10 pages of a script. If you don't grab them then, you're a goner. So, what did I see in these nine other films? I saw in The Mythe of Time: Innovation, Au Pair, Kansas: Wit, Phasma Ex Machina: Curiousity, Perfection: Pain, The Imperialists Are Still Alive!: Aesthetic, Stranger Things: Intimacy, City on a Hill: Vision, Postales: Culture, Wanderlost: Richness.

What emerged from this exercise was a clarity of how different we all were from each other and how clear that was in only 20 mintues.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

IFP Lab - DAY 5

Today's workshops were held at the American Can Company, somewhere in Brooklyn. Got lost on the way, If someone asked us to find it again - not sure that we could. Were again exposed to some great speakers ranging from Galt Niederhoffer of Plum Pictures, to Todd Sklar of Range Life Entertainment.

We then came back to good 'ole Manhattan to meet with Jonathan Gray of Gray Krauss who basically told us our sh-t better be buttoned up if we expect to deliver our film to a distributor.

The IFP Lab is a scared straight, tell it like it is, reality check... INSPIRATION! We left feeling exhilaratingly exhausted but completely supported. We now feel like there's a group of people out there looking out for us who have our best interest in mind.

The Tested is coming at you so stay tuned for the next chapter.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

IFP Lab - DAY 4

Gears shifted a bit today. Seems like we're all starting to think about the next phase and how we'll be able to apply this whole experience to our films. We've now got our eyes towards Independent Week. Day went by quick though. Maybe cause we covered so much: music rights & composition, color correction, sound design, & drinks.

The highlight of the day was hearing that our film made one of the lab leaders cry!

Bring on the tears I say!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

IFP Lab - DAY 3

The interesting thing about this experience is the more time we spend with all the other filmmakers, the more we feel the mutual experience. For some reason we keep thinking about rushing a fraternity. It's that intense and we've found ourselves "protecting the shield". There's something that has happened between day one and day three. Where at once we were sizing each other up and trying to find our pecking order - we have started to let our guard down and genuinely support each other and truly want good things to happen to each other's films.

Somehow this psychological aspect has been very much as part of this lab as the actual invaluable information and case studies.

Today we talked about deliverables and heard from a film that went through the lab last year. We were scared straight but in a good way if that's possible.

I suspect we may all burst into tears on day 5, again, but in a good way.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

IFP Lab - DAY 2

Editing sessions today. Unbelievable mentors, still a bit in awe. Editors from some of the best films in the last 10 years, "The Savages", "Boys Don't Cry, "Maria Full of Grace", "Requiem for a Dream", and "Frozen River". After awaiting our turn to take the stage and hit the hot seat (we were the last to go so it was an anxious wait!) we were SO excited to get to talk to our mentor Sam Pollard. The Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning, frequent Spike Lee collaborator passionately discussed our film, telling the room it's a must-see! His feedback was specific and insightful. And when he said "The Tested is real" it blew our heads off! So happy he dug it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

IFP Lab - DAY 1

Much meeting and greeting today and getting a chance to meet the fabulous programmers at ifp and particularly enjoyed the "tell it like it is" attitude of deputy director Amy Dotson and lab leader Gretchen McGowan for her genuine spirit. I have to say, we've had about a half dozen screenings of "The Tested" so far, and they've all been nerve-wrackingly exhaustive (in a good way!) but there's nothing quite like playing in front of a group of fellow filmmakers and IFPers. Luckily we screened early in the day so we were able to relax and digest our lunch properly. Our stuff played well, nice compliments on the film, the writing and the acting. And then we sat in the hot seat while we fielded questions about our goals for the film. We discussed running time, publicity, and music. And the all important festival circuit. But it was particularly nice to have Scott Macaulay tell us he really liked the film. Been reading Filmmaker Magazine for years, and am a daily reader of his blog so that was pretty cool. We ended with a summer camp group photo and are gearing up for Day 2 - the Editing Sessions!