Project Involve, Los Angeles (October 2009)

Unfortunately, the head of Project Involve, the Great Francisco, fell ill and things slowed down on some fronts. The action, however, continued.

I spent some time forming a list of my favourite 10 directors, with whom I want to work or be mentored by. In the letter, I also stated the reasons behind each selection and the benefits I was expecting. We were warned that the bigger the name the lesser the chance of getting them, and if you get them then you might risk not getting the due attention, because they are too busy. So it was a delicate task. Here is my list: Henry Bean, Thomas McCarthy, Oliver Stone, David Fincher, Alan Ball, David Gordon, Rian Johnson, Danny Boyle, David Mamet, David O’Russel.

We were also told that our sponsors want us to make short with Film Noir themes. So I sat down and wrote a couple of Film Noir scripts and submitted them.

We were also told that our sponsors want us to make short with Film Noir themes. So I sat down and wrote a couple of Film Noir scripts and submitted them.

In the mean time, SCOTT PRENDERGAST was flown in to chat to us about his debut feature “Kabluey”, which was premiered in 2007 at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Scott is a graduate of the Film Independent labs. He made five shorts before he jumped into features. His shorts were a big success in film festivals and one was acquired by the Sundance Channel.

Scott’s life and struggles epitomise the lives of most independent film makers. He lives on credit cards and stayed in his mother’s house, while he was making Kabluey. “I am an expert on moving debts between different credit cards” he quipped.

He talked about how he was mocked when he told executives that he wanted to direct and act in his movie. Even his agent was against him and tried to persuade him to give it up. He risked losing his agent and even his movie, but his persistence eventually paid off, and he ended up making the movie the way he wanted it.

Of course, the film would’ve not got financed without having Lisa Kudrow on board. “Once you’ve a name on board, things flow quickly” he said. Kudrow was supportive all the way.

Scot, however, didn’t enjoy making his movie. “It was hell” he exclaimed. His DP gave him a hard time, arguing about every shot and sometime refusing to follow Scot’s directions. Consequently, Scot was not pleased by the end results on the screen. The DP did not give him the look he envisioned.

In spite of the difficulties that Scot had with his Agent, he wholeheartedly urged us to get an agent. “A good agent is instrumental to move your projects forward” he insisted.

On October 28th, we had a workshop with Ovation TV about Distribution. They talked about Video on Demand and how? it has? changed distribution for Independent Film makers.

More workshops were held about how to write a selling? Resume and how to distribute your films.

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