Just back from Slamdance, and Sundance, where I participated in a great event called the Filmmaker Summit. My particular panel was about the future of film festivals, and I hope to put forth some thoughts on that soon. In fact, the whole day made me think a lot about the future, but that's for a later post. What impressed me the most about the event was that the organizers tried hard to include the audience and other filmmakers in the design for the event, in the event discussion and hope to do so going forward. They started a discussion page in advance for input. Each panel met in advance for a great talk about their subject - mine lasted an hour and a half (of prep, mind you, for a 30 minute panel) - to be sure we could jump right into discussion. They're gathering further comments online now, and I hope the discussion continues.
What most impressed me, however, was that they decided to get two filmmakers - Sabi Pictures (Zak Forsman and Kevin Shah) - to post a series of videos related to the festival, exploring the questions and themes a bit more. The videos are executive produced and sponsored by Workbook Project and Filmmaker Magazine, and the entire event was sponsored by IndieFlix, the Open Video Alliance and Slamdance (amongst others). Sabi didn't just tape the talks, edit a piece and throw it up for viewing. Instead they are exploring the questions from their position as filmmakers in the middle of making and then distributing a film. They went beyond the Slamdance Filmmaker Summit and interviewed other people, including (gasp) Sundance filmmakers to try and work towards some new answers. They aren't done yet, but the first few videos are online. They feature yours truly in the first few so far, so yes, I am self-promoting, but I think the best stuff comes from the filmmakers they speak with and their personal voice in the films. Check them out online, and give me your thoughts. I'll have more on the Summit and the entire week soon.
Videos after the fold:
Video 1 -
NEW BREED PARK CITY – AN OPEN DISCUSSION from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo.
Here's part two:
NEW BREED PARK CITY – Discovering the Questions from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo.
And part three:
NEW BREED PARK CITY – Seeking the Answers, Part 1 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo.
NEW BREED PARK CITY – Seeking the Answers, Part 2 from Sabi Pictures on Vimeo.
More should be soon on Workbook Project and Filmmaker Magazine.