Albert Beniada - Executive Director of Filmshop


(Albert Beniada) #21

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.


(Albert Beniada) #22

Good question. For now unfortunately there is not. The power of face-to-face meetings is hard to replicate.


(Anna Bateman) #23

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?


(Albert Beniada) #24

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.


(Anna Bateman) #25

@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?


(Albert Beniada) #26

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.


(sam lockie-waring) #27

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?


(Hailey Harper) #28

Thank you! I also have another question- do you think starting with found footage or traditional filmmaking is easier for new directors? Any opinions?


(Albert Beniada) #29

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.


(Albert Beniada) #30

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.


(Albert Beniada) #31

And yes, our expansion is often a function of demand. :slight_smile:


(Bri Castellini) #32

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?


(Albert Beniada) #33

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.


(Meg Carroway) #34

Why New Orleans?


(Albert Beniada) #35

I hear ya. I think it can be helpful to map out in advance the things you anticipate will be exciting and “newsworthy.” Once your piece is up and online, there might be something timely (perhaps thematically) that you can connect to your work.


(Albert Beniada) #36

Haha. Where do you live Anna?


(Anna Bateman) #37

I’m a college student in the midwest :slight_smile: Would love to start something here, even if it’s not affiliated (yet!) but I don’t really know how one even organizes this kind of thing!


(Albert Beniada) #38

I think that your work is in some ways the ultimate calling card. Sharing it with folks who are in your space (e.g., in terms of genre) and getting their advice can be part of your outreach strategy.


(Albert Beniada) #39

Why NOLA? Another good question. Well, there a lot of great filmmakers there. Plus, one of our board members moved there, and is leading the charge.


(Albert Beniada) #40

I’d say start small, with a group of people you might like to work, and think about the kinds of things you might want to focus on.