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on Sep 17, 2010

So I’m writing in 3 parts about my experiences at IFP’s Independent Film Week.  Of course I’m writing this first dispatch before I get there, if only to shed some light on my general mental state as I prepare for this event and on what the hell I think I’ll be doing during the week.

Officially, I’m attending as part of the IFP’s Filmmaker Labs, where back in June, my feature film directorial debut, Melvin, was 1 of 10 works-in-progress selected to be workshopped and taken under the IFP’s loving wing for 12 months.  That experience, in June, was STELLAR and I can honestly say that IFP stepped in and helped out at the very moment our film needed it most.

Unofficially, I am attending because I love making films. I love presenting films (most of the time) and I love being a part of the film culture.  I signed up for this way of life quite awhile ago, and dammit if I’m not going to throw myself into this Film Week shindig with all I can.   I’ll also be enthusiastically plugging The Happy Poet—a film I exec produced and which happens to be playing simultaneously during Film Week for a one-week limited engagement at the reRun Theatre in Brooklyn.  I will also be pimpin’ myself out for my next couple of projects, among them a film I’m producing in the spring called Thank You A Lot from writer/director Matt Muir, and the next project I hope to direct called The Cloaca.

But back to the matter at hand—that I’m ecstatic about taking the next step in the life and evolution of Melvin.  He’s a tricky film to talk about and I’m hoping our elevator pitch and logline get a thorough workout this week.  Put simply, Melvin is a simmering portrait of a desperate young man who is beginning to unravel.   It’s about the disorienting frustration of failing to connect with the world.

It’s a film I love. Most of the time. (I’ve watched it near to death, as you can imagine)  This week, we’ll meet all sorts of folks and talk about the film from a lot of different angles.   I’ll be there with Melvin co-writer, Mr. Gregory Collins.  He goes by many names, but Gregory is the correct one if you wish to get his attention.

We’ve got some meetings set up by IFP throughout the week with programmers and distributors, and on Tuesday Night, we’re screening a clip from Melvin at the IFP Labs Showcase Screening presented by the good folks at Rooftop Films. (and yes, please join us—it’s free).  Wednesday, we have a lengthy marketing workshop, where we, along with our IFP mentors, Jon Reiss and Todd Sklar, will talk about how to talk about Melvin… better.  It’s a fantastic opportunity to bounce ideas around and get real-world marketing and distribution feedback in a proper setting.

Someone asked me on the phone yesterday, “So what good thing is supposed to come out of this for you?”  Good question.  And I can only say, we shall see. But I am thrilled to be a part of Independent Film Week.  Hopefully after this week and a few more dispatches to you, I’ll have a solid answer to that question of what good has come about out of all of this.  But if you’re in attendance in NYC, please do say hello to me and Gregory and let’s talk about Melvin or one of the other great films in the program.

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