STEVE COLLINS DECLARES IFP EXPERIENCE EXCELLENT EXCEPT FOR A $13 GIN AND TONIC THAT HE’S STILL MAD ABOUT
I came here with my script The Garden, a comedy about a failed plan to turn a strip mall yoga center into a Utopian commune. I came with an open heart and a desire for a gin and tonic to ease social anxiety at an industry mixer. But like the idealistic plans of my open-hearted Yogi, things went horribly awry.
I can’t get over the look in that bartender’s eyes — he seemed so trustworthy, like he knew the real me, the me inside of jaded filmmaker me. Then he said “$13” and I looked at him and said, “I don’t have a butt for a face. Why are you charging me butt for a face prices?” (Some of this conversation may have been imaginary).
Technically, the bartender worked for the ACE Hotel, so that would be zero complaints for the actual IFP crew. This was a great communal experience for myself and everyone I’ve talked to. The Rooftop Films screening of the Narrative and Docs in Progress felt like the soul of the conference. Filmmakers drank free beer and cheered on their peers’ films, as the screen filled with trailer after trailer of quality undistributed movies. Under a moonlit East River, I briefly considered taking a swim. Now that’s a good screening. Then I saw a family of rats. They took me by the ankles and forced me to watch Mrs. Doubtfire, ruining all the hard work IFP and Rooftop Films had done to expand my mind with the potential of cinema.
The last day of the conference gave us all a chance to meet the festival programmers. We were to line up at 8AM to sign up for their limited availability. A late start brought out the antsy pants in filmmakers. Deputy Director Amy Dotson ran the chaos like a fashion-forward traffic cop. I used my time with these titans of programming to talk about my newly finished film you hurt my feelings. It’s a love story about a troubled man who becomes a nanny to prove to his girlfriend that he’s ready to have children. I started scratching a bug bite during a meeting with an important festival programmer. Unnoticed to me, I began to spread blood all over my forearm. I left her with a horrifying sense memory she can draw on in future acting workshops. Festival success here I come!
To sum up: IFP good. The exact metrics of what I got out of it won’t be in for a while. I’ve got lots of scripts out, and that’s what I wanted: quicker more efficient access to people who make movies. I declare it a success! I am writing this on Metro North on the way home to the tumbleweeds of Connecticut. There’s a shocking lack of industry on this train. I’m making no contacts and it smells like wee-wee. I seem to be lost without the IFP scheduling my life for me.
I wrote some more irreverent comments that I didn’t want to stain the pages of this site. Sample: Emerging Filmmaker accidentally networks with FIT student, secures three-picture deal on skinny jeans, scarf. More like this over at Rooftop’s site. Thanks, back to my day job. If you liked this stuff, check out Gretchen and look out for you hurt my feelings on the festival circuit this year.