Archive for the ‘panels’ Category

Brian Newman builds your audience

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

The fabulous Brian Newman will be presenting a panel on audience building at DCTV on Monday, February 22 at 7:30PM. As this falls just a couple weeks before my own audience engagement panel at SXSW, I will totally be mining Brian’s mind for great ideas- and it’s sure to be a fun event.

Free Culture, Free

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

You can watch the Free Culture X conference here live. The Twitter tag for the event is #fcx.

Festivals! Conferences!

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

Just flagging some upcoming events I’ll be attending at which I hope to see you and give you one of my new cards.

Making Your Media Matter- DC, February 11-12 “Cutting-edge practices for making your media matter”

Free Culture X- DC, February 13-14 “Free software and open standards, open access scholarship, open educational resources, network neutrality, and university patent policy”

South By Southwest- Austin, March 12-18 (Presenting a panel about event screenings and attracting audiences)

The Conversation NY- March 27 “New business and creative opportunities” in film and media

Copyright, docs, Lessig, licenses

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Recently in The National Republic, Lawrence Lessig addressed the issue of copyright in documentaries and how it is keeping classic films like Eyes on the Prize out of commercial circulation. The problem is that filmmakers must clear copyright for archival elements in their work such as television clips and music, and generally the licenses for these clips is for a limited time period like 10 or 20 years. After that time, the filmmaker would need to clear (i.e. re-license) all of the archivals again in order to sell the work.

For most docs, this can be extremely onerous since the opportunity for revenue is small whereas the cost of the licenses is often significant.

I’m on the committee for the Women’s Film Preservation Committee through NY Women in Film and we worry about preserving the negatives of films that are decaying, fading, or otherwise in danger of being lost. But Lessig’s point is well-taken that without adjusting the issues around copyright, many of these films are effectively vanishing regardless of the quality of available prints.

Digital distribution has changed the meaning of copyright, and in some ways it’s made the original copyright holders more avaricious. They feel like they need to get all they can from television clips and music placed in films, as it’s one of the few reliable revenue sources left for content.

But Lessig’s essay prompts an interesting solution. What if, for example, there were some kind of limitation placed on the initial license period, after which all usage reverted to a straight royalty system based on percentage of the work? For example, if you used a clip of the Kennedy assassination in your film, you would have to pay whatever the market rate was for a 20-year license.

But after that time, you would have to pay a royalty to the rightsholder based on how long the clip was versus how long your film was against whatever revenue you received from the film, unless you got a deferral or consideration from the rightsholder. This could be used for music rights for fiction films as well, in theory.

Disadvantaged? Or alternatively abled? Panel to decide.

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

On Tuesday (January 19), I’ll be joining a panel for New York Women in Film and Television to talk about gender, race and disability issues in the film industry. In particular, I’m tasked with commenting on women’s roles in distribution. Most people are familiar with the rather brutal situation for female directors in Hollywood as reported recently in the New York Times- last year just 3% of studio films were helmed by women. Cinematography is similarly imbalanced. In independent film the opportunities increase if not exactly balance. There are positions like editing and producing where women have long been numerous.

However, distribution is more complicated. Being more purely a business, it seems to reflect business culture, with more women working in lower-paid positions and fewer in top jobs. Being the film industry, this disparity may be exacerbated. But as far as I know, any evidence one way or another is anecdotal.

Does being a woman affect one’s experience in being a distributor? Any more so than being a woman affects daily life in general in any profession? Is there in fact more discrimination in the film industry than in other industries? How does that play out in the various spheres in which a distributor engages, i.e. film festivals, exhibitors, broadcasters, DVD wholesalers, etc.? And how many women really do “succeed”?

To engage further in this discussion, join me at Imagining Gender, Race & Disability In Film and TV: Part II–Above The Line & Below The Line, Marymount Manhattan College 221 East 71st Street Peruggi Room, 2nd Floor. Registration Required, free for students.

Independent Film Week starts tomorrow- network!

Friday, September 18th, 2009

IFP’s Independent Film Week starts tomorrow and there are reams of panels, albeit many with the same basic topics and even the same panelists. I moderated a panel there last year and it was quite fun. If you purchase your pass/tickets Saturday 9/19, you will still get the early bird rate:

- Full Week $220 30 Panels
- Narrative Panels Only $200 24 Panels
- Doc Panels Only $60 6 Panels
- Day Pass (any Day) $60 6 panels
- Single Panel $20 (any panel)

Toronto bound? New distribution at TIFF

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

The Toronto International Film Festival is more about watching movie (and schmoozing at parties) than attending panels but there are a couple of things geared towards documentary filmmakers that would be worth checking out during all the glam.

The Doc Conference
Sunday, September 13, 2009
University of Toronto’s Victoria College (93 Charles Street West, behind the Isabel Bader Theatre), Room 323
An all-day meeting, with this panel a highlight for filmmakers interested in new directions in funding/sales:
1:30pm – Financing in Tough Times
Franny Armstrong, Director, The Age of Stupid
Dan Cogan, Impact Partners
Lois Vossen, ITVS

*Doc Conference is open to all Guest Relations, Sales & Industry and Press pass holders.

Doc Roundtables

“Now in its fourth year, Doc Roundtables create a rare chance for filmmakers to meet with industry leaders for an informal networking session. This year, industry participants include representatives from Sony Pictures Classics, HBO, Films Transit, Submarine Entertainment, SnagFilms, Zeitgeist Films, IFC Films, Emerging Pictures, Oscilloscope Laboratories, Lorber Media, and more.”

Date: Monday, September 14, 2009 through to Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Time: Twice daily sessions from 2:00pm to 3:00pm and 3:30pm to 4:30pm
Location: Match Club (5th Elementt Restaurant, 1033 Bay Street)

Pick a Panel for SXSW

Monday, August 17th, 2009

The SXSW Panel Picker went live today and there are many intriguing options. One I hope you’ll give the thumbs up to is mine, “The Main Event: Finding an Audience for Your Film.” The idea of the panel is to learn from awesome experts how to create event screenings, i.e. screenings with more excitement, interactivity and singularity than just your typical 7PM showing. Just as rock bands have used live shows to pick up the slack financially now that CD sales are slumping, independent filmmakers can create event screenings to bring more people in to see their movies. Vote here!