Festibution

Screenwriter Panel DiscussionBy Keith Mitchell, NuHo Executive Director

Well, here you go.   This is my first blog post about how we are doing as a festival.    And let me tell you it is like drinking water from a fire hydrant at times.   This is by far the most challenging project I have ever worked on.   And believe me, I have worked for some pretty challenging producers and studios.   We have a great team working around the clock to pull off our inaugural festival and I really can’t say enough how much I appreciate them.

The biggest challenge thus far has be reeducating the film community about how our online festival will help them and not harm them.   There is a psychological element that if a film plays online for the world to see then somehow it will harm the value of the title.    Now think about that for a minute.   Exposure worldwide will hurt a film?   That’s like saying I just want to be a little pregnant.

But it’s not their fault, they don’t know what they don’t know.   And trust me I don’t know a lot.  But if you are brave enough and have the guts to go out and make a feature film shouldn’t you have the guts to try a new platform for exposure? This online festival was born out of all the negative comments I heard from other filmmakers about their festival experiences.   I am not a festival hater at all.  In fact, I love attending many of them.   It’s a great way to meet people and share war stories.   But we live in an age of entreprenurial filmmaking.   It isn’t just about making a film.  It’s about making a living.   And if you want to survive you better damn well learn how to think outside the box.

Technology has created a subculture of wanna be filmmakers who think just because they like watching films they can make them.  I can literally make a feature film from my iPAD now. Becasuse of this tech boom, the market is flooded with content.   So if you want to get noticed, do something original.

By the way, that just doesn’t apply to filmmakers.   As a distribution company, we realized that we had to try something different to survive. As a screenwriter I remember marinating on ideas and not really motivated to flesh anything out until a title, a set peice, a character really jumped out at me.   In the case of our festival, it began with a word.   The word was FESTIBUTION.   I remember sitting in a coffee shop reading about how my Detroit Lions sucked and it just came to me.

If “selfie” can make it in the dictionary then my one goal with our festival is to get “festibution” in the dictionary.   I guess that isn’t my only goal.   I want filmmakers to embrace our vision and look at what we are offering as a real opportunity to get discovered. Well that does it for my first blog.  Stay tuned for my next blog post about our wonderful panel we shot with some major Hollywood screenwriters. (See Photo)  Boy was that fun.

In closing I will leave you with these great words of wisdom from the great Frank Capra,   “There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”