Project Involve, Los Angeles (September 2008)

Project Involve kicked off on September 26, with the Film Forum, where many of Hollywood’s movers and shakers come and talk to aspiring film makers. We were also given the opportunity to talk face to face to agencies and production companies’ representatives in order to introduce ourselves and pitch our projects.

The following week, we had our first Orientation meeting at the Film Independent Offices. There, I had the chance to meet my other 39 fellows. There were 12 directors, 10 producers, 1 writer and the rest are documentarians, Directors of Photography and Editors. They are mostly graduates of USC and UCLA film school. This is a highly accomplished and ambitious group of people. Some of them have already made their first feature. Evidently, they are the cream of the young film makers in this city. I felt thrilled and privileged to be in their company.

After brief speeches from the organisers, we got into the nitty gritty of the program. It’s gonna be intense and will last until October, 2009.

The program will include weekly and sometime daily workshops with experts and veteran filmmakers. We will also be taken for tours of Hollywood studios and meeting with their executives.

Each one of us will be attached to a mentor from the industry. So we are asked to submit a list of our favourite directors that we want to be attached to.

We are also required to write and direct a 3 minute short, which will be funded and supported by Banana Republic, Vanity Fair, NBC/Universal and Canon. The shorts will go through an extensive development stage with experts from Hollywood, and each production stage will be under the scrutiny of Executive producers. In other words, we are shooting these short over a period of 5 months, as if we were shooting a blockbuster for a Hollywood studio. Later in the Summer, the films will be screened at a glitzy Hollywood party to be organized by “Vanity Fair”.

Myself and another fellow volunteered to run the SOCIAL. Every first Friday of the month, we meet in a fellow’s house, watch a movie and socialize. It’s a cool way to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

Our next meeting will be a Hollywood-style reception hosted by Kodak Hollywood.

This is a filmmaker’s Heaven, and I am looking forward for the action.

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