Wednesday, March 01, 2006

LOLlercoaster Ride

Now that my trip to Austin for the SXSW Film Festival is only a week away, I'm sitting here reflecting on the year, and how I managed to end up in the exact same position I was a year ago, with so much happening in between.

The main recurring thought is that Dan Brown and Matt Dentler must be my film guardian angels, sent down to watch over me and make sure my stuff gets seen by people. Dan is responsible for the very cool "Rollergirls" show that's on A&E right now, but before that, he was just another dude who I used to talk with on a message board. He was curious to check out KISSING ON THE MOUTH, and before I knew it, I got an email from Matt inviting the film to SXSW. Weird how the world works. Amazing. A filmmaker with nothing to gain by helping me out went ahead and helped anyway, and a Festival Producer with nothing to gain by showing my film, went ahead and programmed it anyway. I will forever be indebted.

SXSW was the launching pad for KOTM, and I'm hoping the same will be true for LOL. I met so many great people in Austin who I can't wait to see again, and I'm just as excited to meet new people, people who I don't know exist right now, but who will be dear friends in about 2 weeks. There's something about that Festival that's magic. Great weather, great parties, great films, it's just the best week I could ever imagine.

There's also work to be done. I want to do a better job getting LOL into the world than I did with KOTM. I was naive last year. I thought I could sit around and things would just happen for the film. I learned the hard way, through six long months of Festival rejections and passes from distributors, that the real indie film world runs exclusively on the sweat of real indie filmmakers. I feel better knowing that. I expect no handouts. I expect no special treatment. I expect to work for everything I get. I know that handing a DVD to Eugene Hernandez does not mean the film will ever be watched or mentioned on IndieWire. I know that a glowing e-mail from a Festival programmer does not mean the film will be shown in the Festival. I know that an acquisitions person telling me they will definitely make it to the Monday screening does not mean they will make it to the Monday screening. I know that running into that same person 6 months later and giving them another DVD copy of the movie does not mean they will watch it then either. I know that the only way films like mine will ever find an audience is if I work my ass off to make it happen. I know the only way I will ever make money as a filmmaker is if I sell my own work directly to people who want it. I know all of these things now, and I feel better for it.

One year has taught me a lot.

Here we go. Round 2. I'm coming out swinging.

1 comment:

Sujewa [Blog Admin] said...

Excellent post Joe, lot's of good advice for kids like me who are about to enter round 1. Good luck @ SXSW.