Sunday, May 2, 2010

Florida Film Festival - Filmmakers Forum

Independent filmmakers were gathered for a panel discussion on the challenges and triumphs behind the films they made. Chris Gore the author of "The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide" acted as moderator. I was intrigued my Paul Cotter's comments on how he got financing for his film. He actually came to Orlando to meet someone who had plenty of expendable income. The investor said that there was no problem offering a huge sum of cash to finance the film, but he wanted to make changes to the premise of the film. Although it was hard to do Paul refused the financing. He joked that most people who are rich are rather cheap whereas smaller investors are more generous.
Andrew and Joshua both worked on the film "Cleanflix" about how the Mormons started bootlegging films and cutting anything out that they found objectionable and then reselling the films for profit. This highly unmoral practice was eventually shutdown.
Amber Benson was a co-director for the film "Drones". I saw this film and it was one of my favorites from the festival. It takes place in an office and Brian has the strange feeling there is something wrong with the people he works with. His best friend, Clark convinces him to date a co-worker, Amy. Brian discovers that both Clark and Amy are aliens who are sent to earth as scouts to judge when the earth is ready for conquest. When Brian breaks up with Amy she become furious and decides that the planet must be destroyed. The actors, Jonathan Woodward and Angela Bettis both had amazing performances. Amber explained that the film came about because the office space became available for a week and so the screenplay was quickly written and the film shot at a breakneck pace. This charming endearing film proves you don't need tons of special effects to tell and amazing story.
Camilla pointed out that it is impotent to have one very strong image to market the film even before it is finished. For her film,"The Tiger Next Door", they had great photos of the subject, Dennis Hill, with his big cat "Pets."
Much of the panel discussion centers around financing the films and all the challenges that entails. Everyone agreed that investing your own money is never a good idea. They said that once you are fully committed to the project then people become interested and want to help finance the project. Listening to this animated discussion I couldn't help but feel that anyone with a story to tell can find a way to make a film.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


Sam said...

Hi, I liked your sketches (and writings, too). They reflect what you see and the colors are vivid.


Hannah said...

I'm noticing that your face sketches, while still impressionistic, are seeming to become more and more representative of the subject... I really recognize these panelists' faces! Too cool.