Monday, November 20, 2006

Loosing never felt so good

To get the two penitent questions out of the way first. yes, I got my bag eventually and no I didn't win in the feature documentary category. The good news is that after seeing some of the other work in my category I'm very happy I was even accepted. There were a couple other projects that were very, very good. Even getting my foot in the door and attending got me connected with some amazing people and for that I'm very excited. Over the last few days I've gotten to know a few people very well and re-connected with some friends in the industry.

Here's an example, it's me sitting at lunch with my friend Sven who's been a production designer for features and television for over forty years. He's worked on Oscar winning movies like Babbette's feast ( he's the guy that made that table and kitchen look so good. ) He's the guy who I've got my arm resting on, next to him is Bart Gavigan who's also worked on many award winning features and television. The person in the foreground is Malcolm whom I've seen and met briefly at other festivals and conferences in Germany and the US but have never gotten more then 10 minutes to chit chat with. He's been producing for twenty five years and has done many project that ended up on the BBC and othr networks around the world that we wouldn't recognize. Finally on the right is Dave who's had beers with Dustin Hoffman, a date with Geena Davis and worked on more high profile projects than you can shake a stick at. How can I be anything but ecstatic? Loosing to people like this has proven to me that this crazy basement Scrapped project has won me admission into spending the afternoon with these guys. The best part is they had a good chuckle when I told them the night before my project was about scrapbooking - a FEATURE about scrapbooking. Sven admitted he made one years ago but everyone else wasn't really even up to speed on what they were. Curiosity got the best of them and they all attended the showing.

I was honestly pretty surprised at how well received Scrapped was. This was my first showing with an audience of people where pretty much NOBODY had any clue about scrapbooking and zero emotional connection to it. It was marvelous! There weren't any comments about their style of scrapbooking being underrepresented, no comments about manufacturers or products, no agenda that can sometimes arise from women who get territorial about the passion of their life. I don't mind that but I didn't realize how refreshing it would be to have the absence of it. There was just laughter and learning. I was amazed at how much people laughed and had the hushed sounds of thought when different segments came on about hard times, challenges, etc. I had an amazing amount of feedback from industry people about the compelling story. I was focusing on the production quality and they completely got sucked into the story and ended up being truly fascinated with the whole concept of the project and scrapbooking to the point where the guys at this table ( this picture was shot immediately after my screening ) had at one time or another in the afternoon told me about how they should try it, start documenting their families, etc. Dave pulled me aside in the middle of the movie after mine and wanted to grab a coffee to talk all about Scrapped. How cool is that? It looked like they were literally entertained AND engaged in the subject matter and these are people that have seen an awful lot of movies roll past their eyeballs, even in the last few days. So I guess all this to say I am very, very pleased and am feeling a great sense of accomplishment to be able to talk shop and learn from people like this. I'm learning a ton and in the end, 4 out of the five people at this table entered projects ( and then became finalists ) and 3 of them actually won their category. I was thrilled to be able to hang out with these guys for lunch and then ended up going to the awards night gala with them. It hit me how fortunate I was when I was sitting in an auditorium with thousands of people and ended up in a cluster of so many people holding statues. I felt like I became part of the cool kids group in the lunch room. I guess the icing on the cake was that I've actually won an award at this festival two years ago for another project I did in a screwball category which wasn't even around this year so I squeaked in by the skin of my teeth.

Afterward the festival planners wanted pictures with the winners and we became friends since I attended two years ago so they wanted me in pictures as well. I'm glad I shaved and wore a suit. I then got to go party with all the winners in downtown Milan until three in the morning. I kind of felt less like a bush league bozo and more like a legitimate movie guy, not based on Scrapped necessarily but because I have gone through the tough process of taking on an amazing amount of responsibility, debt, work, strain and criticism to attempt and complete a movie. I felt like I found a niche. The place I'm moving towards instead of looking at the place I've been walking away from.


At 2:39 AM, Anonymous Sarah in OZ said...

That is just amazing - what a story you now have to tell!! You just sound so pleased with it all - and so you should. I'm glad you had an audience which I truly believe your movie is aimed at - those who know nothing about scrapbooking. So indeed, if you've made these people think about it - your movie is a success. You are a winner in our eyes.....WELL DONE!!

At 9:23 AM, Blogger your girl chelsea morning said...

I'm all hot and bothered about men sitting around talking about scrapbooking in Italy you know Wes.
Glad you had a good time!

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Well done - and see ..... your journalling is all done


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