As creative beings, with something to share with the world, we come to Los Angeles for many reasons. Whether screenwriting, acting, producing, directing, etc. — getting connected and understanding the film industry is vital and, at the same time, a lot of fun.
Over the next few articles, we are going to focus our attention on the many ways to make these connections and gain the knowledge needed to further our dreams.
One of the most exciting and stimulating activities every year is to attend, or even contribute, to a local film festival. As you might imagine, in Southern California there are many opportunities available.
Film festivals are an important part of the entertainment and movie industry. People from all over the country, even the world, are curious to see what’s new and interesting on the screen. Some festivals are exclusive, but most are open and easy to attend. Researching local film festivals online will help you decide what genre you’d like to explore, keeping in mind what you wish to learn. Here is a wonderful website to help:
If you have time on your hands and want to get on the inside of an event, volunteering to work at a film festival can be both rewarding, educational and effective when added to your resume and scope of experience. Be sure to sign-up early as these volunteer opportunities go very fast.
Another way to get involved is to enter your work as part of the line-up of films presented. If you’ve completed a film you are proud of and want to quickly get noticed, this could be the vehicle to make that happen. With a little research into the specific event and detailed preparation, the process should be successful. Every film festival has their own entry requirements which are usually posted on their website.
Be sure your film project lies within the parameters of the festival’s entry guidelines. These guidelines can be detailed and quite specific, including the film format(s) they accept. Be prepared for entry fees as most film festivals have them. And, don’t be surprised, or discouraged, if you are asked to edit your material to a shorter length. Look on the bright side this can actually make your film better by forcing you to eliminate portions that might drag your message.
The upside potential of entering your film into the festival is that it might be seen by someone who recognizes your talent. Connecting to the right people is one of the first steps, and film festivals are the perfect way to hopefully make that happen.
• Enter only festivals that support the genre of your project.
• Create your own website where you can post trailers, articles, photos and other information about yourself, what you do and what you’ve created. wordpress.com/
• Enter multiple festivals if possible.
• Enter independent contests not associated with the film festival.
• Take advantage of any marketing or publicity the film festival produces and develop a rapport with the contact person.
• Create a business card.
• Use social media to broadcast yourself and maintain it every day.
The exciting part is that you are in Los Angeles, “the land of opportunity.” Nothing is stopping you from going the distance and changing your life. With the Internet and the ability to create your own online personality, compile your own online presentation of work you’ve achieved and take advantage of the activities in your neighborhood you can tie it all together so the right people may notice. We live in amazing times, yet even hard times, but the opportunities are there for those with tenacity and perseverance.
16th Annual Sonoma International Film Festival will take place April 10 – 14, 2013 in Sonoma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eCt_-NAJRk
Project West Coast Hip Hop: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGAOOq4u7UE
Free Speech Film Festival 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Tp79N4Fgwo
Music for the Movie Industry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91Oz5G_d5JQ
Youth Filmmaker’s Day: Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Oxnard College go to http://studentdigifilmfest.org for more info free workshops for anyone sign up online part of the Oxnard Student Digital Film Festival: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZMd4Fqtz6Y
COMING SOON! “Dream Catchers” on LA Film Industry Examiner. Interviews with writers, directors, actors who came to Hollywood with a dream, and how they made it real.
Jane L. Fitzpatrick,