On this subject- do you guys have any concrete production support once a person is ready to shoot? Do you help produce or location scout or crowdfund or anything? Or just develop and provide moral support?
Ah, one day! Now, I am fortunate that I have a side gig (not directly related to filmmaking) that pays the bills and doesn’t take up too much mental bandwidth (something I recommend). That allows me to focus on writing and making my own work. I have worked on short form content up to this point, and I am in development on a feature.
Hi Jaime. Yes, membership is by application. We strive to keep our chapters both intimate (around 20 members per chapter) and diverse. We feel a vetting process helps ensure that we bring together a strong group of filmmakers with diverse skills and vantage points.
Can you expand on what you guys look for in an applicant? Also, how long are you guaranteed a spot if you’re accepted, especially if there are only 20 members per chapter? Do you have “term limits” or do you just add a chapter when you run out of those first 20 slots, or what?
Is it possible to start a chapter somewhere other than the two cities you mentioned? How do you guys determine where to expand to/if to expand?
Hey, Albert! Love what you wrote about Filmshop- seems like a really cool idea! How do you think the web series/indie film community as a whole can do better at amplifying voices that are shut out of traditional Hollywood opportunities, to show traditional media that people want more than a rotating cast of the same 10 rich, hetero white guys starring in every show and movie remake deemed profitable?
One piece of advice is to cultivate relationships with your potential audience. Build an email list (of family, friends, people you meet at events, people in groups that might be interested in your work) and keep them updated. If time is limited, it doesn’t have to be a full-time endeavor; you could send a quarterly newsletter update, for example.
Good question. For now unfortunately there is not. The power of face-to-face meetings is hard to replicate.
What kinds of things do you think are smart to update people on? I feel like “we finished color correcting today” is more of a tweet than an email, you know? And what about after the thing is up and online? And there’s nothing new to report?
Hey Sam. We do have partnership discounts for members, and it’s members themselves who often make those happen for the greater good of all our membership. We also organize an industry showcase, what we call the Breakthrough Series. It’s a curated showcase highlighting some of our members’ strongest work (both works-in-progress and completed projects) for producers, festival programmers, and distributors. Filmshop as an organization has developed meaningful relationships with a lot of great folks in the industry that have been helpful for our members.
@mintypineapple so how could we replicate the important things about a Filmshop collective in our own areas? Or should we wait for you guys to expand to us?
Start small. Try to make something with a scope you feel comfortable with. You will learn things that you can apply to your next project, which might be a little bigger in scope.
which distributors? any advice on getting in the door to people like that if we aren’t in an area with filmshop or a similar breakthrough event?
Thank you! I also have another question- do you think starting with found footage or traditional filmmaking is easier for new directors? Any opinions?
We strive for a heterogeneous mix within each chapter, taking into account the type of filmmaker, gender, ethnicity, skill set. It makes for a rich stew and meaningful insights. Each meeting is moderated to help ensure the presenter’s goals are being met and to make sure the conversation stays on track.
In addition to some of the things I’ve mentioned, when evaluating applicants, the selection committee looks at past experience, skill set, and the quality of their work. The make-up of the existing group is also a factor; they might want someone with skill set that’s not as represented, for example.
And there are no term limits. If you’re a member in good standing (which includes attendance) you can return. Members also often take a season off when they’re deep in production, then come back. Folks sometimes move to a different chapter too.
And yes, our expansion is often a function of demand.
Very cool! So what’s next for Filmshop, aside from the expansion to New Orleans? What big stuff are you guys hoping to do/provide/offer?
It is indeed possible, but we’re taking it slow. New Orleans is going to be a real learning experience for us, and we are planning to take stock of the experience and lessons learned to apply that to other potential opportunities down the line.
Why New Orleans?