As an European filmmaker I don’t, surprisingly, know anybody from the states. Coming to a festival in Austin, Texas is pretty much like moving to a totally new city, where you don’t know anybody, and trying to find interesting people is really a shot in the dark, total random. So I was a bit afraid that I’d waste all my time in Austin just by walking around and trying to find people.
But what I did eventually was that I went and checked out the profiles of interesting panelists, and dropped an email where I asked to meet them. First person to answer was Brian Chirls, a filmmaker and a distribution/sales manager for a film called Four Eyed Monsters, that was a huge Internet hit in 2005 as well.
So after few mails he asked to meet me at a party called From Here to Awesome, where I ended up. And there was *everyone* I wanted to meet – all the independent Internet-minded filmmakers, people from Opensourcecinema, TubeMogul and IndieGoGo, plus a lot more. And Brian, being the great guy he is, took as his personal responsibility to introduce me and my films to everybody – and suddenly I was no stranger to SXSW anymore. So I really owe him a lot! Thanks, Brian, if you happen to read this!
For the last two days I’ve been mainly meeting different interesting people, going to panels and in the evening to different parties, and I’ve also managed to see some films. The most interesting panel was absolutely about communities and filmmaking, and speaking there were a lot of people with an open mind to Internet and a great understanding on Internet communities. What I’ve found out is that we’re totally not the only soldiers with Wreck A Movie who are trying to make the collaborative, open-source based filmmaking, funding and distribution as a de facto for indie films.
A problem I see is that everybody is doing their own stuff in their own way. It’s a bit problematic when trying to introduce the idea of Internet-minded filmmaking to independent filmmakers struggling to get their films made – there are tons of services where you can do smalls parts of it, and everybody is focusing on different areas. What I would love to see is to find some sort of a way to work together with these great services and people, and build a really strong pipeline for independent filmmakers to really take the best out of the Internet – and not see all these services ending up competing with each other.
One of the interesting people I’ve met was M Dot Strange, a filmmakers who did a feature called We Are The Strange. I’ve been having a lot of great talks with him about Nazi UFOs, a subject he’s more or less passionate about. Obviously he loved the idea of Iron Sky, and gave some good tips on that! I also had a great chat with the people who made a documentary called Nerdcore Rising, and I’m looking forward going to see the film on Friday.
Tonight there’s a very interesting-sounding party in the woods close to this place called Enchanted Forest or something like that. I understand it’s an outside party and an art exhibit, and it sounds pretty interesting. Karl, a friend of Brians told that just by visiting that event for five minutes is gonna be worth my flight tickets back and forth from Finland. That’s a big promise, but then again, who knows!
Timo signing off, I’ll write more tomorrow! And try really hard to get some pictures.