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Today’s guest post is once again from filmmaker Zak Forsman. Yesterday we ran part one of this post.
Now, it should be pointed out that we are not alone in trying to aid the floundering LA indie scene. There are two other LA based screening series that we have partnered and networked with. Cinema Speakeasy by Saskia Wilson Brown has had great success hosting short film workshops where the audience is invited to offer creative feedback on films in post. Film Courage Interactive, hosted by Karen Worden & David Branin, bookends their screenings with a indie film quiz show with sponsor-donated prizes and a filmmaker therapy session of sorts where filmmakers discuss the more pressing issues of the day. All of us are building a network that we hope will grow into an alternative to film festivals, where the filmmaker can make a little dough showing their movies.
Experience has taught us that many filmmakers we invite to participate often need guidance and motivation. For that reason we have adopted a tiered revenue-share model where the first 40 seats go to the venue, the next 40 go to the filmmaker and the last 20 go to CINEFIST. Anything over 100 ticket sales are split evenly. In addition to having to first satisfy the venue’s cut, the filmmakers need to meet promotional commitments in order to participate in the box office sales. It’s not automatic. Having the filmmaker push and promote can often be the difference between 15 people or 150 people attending the event. [...]
Today’s guest post if from filmmaker Zak Forsman.
If you haven’t heard of CINEFIST yet, let me explain what it is: myself, Kevin Shah, Jamie Cobb, Neha Shah and Erik Reese — all members of the Sabi Pictures family — needed a new company to separate the production of our films from the distribution and exhibition of them. CINEFIST was born out of that need. When people ask, I say “it handles all things distribution and exhibition.”
If you were to visit the web site you’d see that in addition to an online store (selling DVDs, soundtracks and posters), there is a section for our Quarterly Los Angeles Screening Series and some tools and services on the horizon like our own VOD portal, a private invitation-only community forum, and a digital cinema census. For the purposes of this article I’m going to focus on the screening series, why we started it and what we’ve learned about live events.
In September 2009, I was reading this blog, Ted’s blog, and an new article entitled “18 Actions Towards A Sustainable Truly Free Film Community”. In that article he listed a number of areas where a member of our community could deepen their involvement through mentoring, collaborating, learning, evolving and more. As I went through the list, I was happy to note that we were doing each of these in one form or another with one exception — curating. We weren’t involved in supporting other filmmakers’ work or elevating our local community’s awareness of the works we admired. [...]
Sabi Pictures – Zak Forsman and Kevin Shah – have done a three part series (so far) on this year’s Park City and filmmakers’ efforts to get their work seen and appreciated. They do very nice work. Check out all the episodes on Vimeo.