The Spirit of Indie Filmmaking Past, Present and Future

Last weekend I attended the Film Independent Forum 2012 at the Director’s Guild of America on Sunset. It’s the second time I’ve gone there for work, and both times I’ve left feeling incredibly inspired and encouraged.

I think it’s the combination of an intimate environment where people are open to networking, as well as a series of amazing panels by people who come from an origin of independent filmmaking, and have real lessons to share with an audience of aspiring filmmakers.

This year there was a lot of focus on independent filmmaking and the new marketing/distribution models. This included talks about new ways to reach audiences through social networking and filmmaker tools like PUMIT , as well as the changing face of VOD (Video On Demand) and self-distribution. For more information on the forum, check out their website here.

It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to attend something like this on your own. Networking as an individual in a crowd always feels a bit like the first day of school when you don’t know anyone, but this year I think it was somehow so much easier than even last year was. I didn’t find any hesitation when approaching people and chatting about whatever came up. I think, all things considered, this feeling was a part of the ‘live without fear’ perspective I’ve been feeling as a characteristic of this year. Also I’ve developed a series of small techniques when it comes to attending events solo – which I’m sure I’ll share for fun in a later post!

The opening night film this year was Silver Linings Playbook starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. I loved this film; performances were great and the characters and story were just fresh and unexpected.

Silver Linings Playbook at the Film Independent Forum 2012

In that way it made me think of Strangely in Love,  and how excited I am with Amin and the team to share our film with audiences, who we hope will enjoy it the same way.

For now I’ll say I recommend this event to any aspiring filmmaker, most of all for the great panels and fantastic DGA setting. Director John Singleton was a decidedly relaxed and inspiring keynote speaker this year, and I really enjoyed his talk. I’ll sign off with a quote from his keynote address, which went a little something like this:

“Nobody cares about your little movie. YOU have to care about your little movie. You have to get up in the morning every day and look in the mirror and think, I care about my little movie. And then go out there and keep on fighting to make it happen”. Damn straight.

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