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in Filmmaking
on Jul 31, 2006

Last year I ran a new program from the IFP called the Rough Cut Lab. Over a three-day seminar held during the IFP Market, I lectured along with a group of industry consultants on the process of finishing a feature film and bringing it to market or a festival. The lab covered everything from locking picture with a solid cut of a film, negotiating affordable music rights, festival strategy, creating publicity and marketing materials, selling a movie, and delivering a film to a distributor. Folks like music supervisor Tracy McKnight, composer George S. Clinton, BMI’s Doreeen Ringer-Ross, editor Alan Oxman, publicist Reid Roosevelt, post-production supervisor Rob Lyons and the Film Sales Company’s Andrew Herwitz all spoke to our small group which comprised of directors, their producers, and in some cases their editors.

In addition to the three day series of meetings and lectures we also tried to keep up with the filmmakers as the year went on, offering advice on festival and sales and even making introductions for the films to different programmers and buyers. And after just one year, I felt the program had several real successes. For example, Eunhee Cho’s Inner Circle Line premiered in Rotterdam and won an award at SXSW in addition to finding its finishing money at the Lab when Cho hooked up with an attending producer. Todd Rohal’s The Guatamalan Handshake was another film in the lab, and it went on to win a prize at Slamdance. Kat Candler and her producers from Jumping off Bridges travelled from Texas for the lab and went on to finish their film and premiere at SXSW.

Anyway, I’m gearing up to do the program again, and the IFP has told me that applications will be accepted for another week or so. So, if you are a first-time filmmaker with a wholly independent production that has finished principal photography and has made it to a rough cut stage and you think this kind of program would be helpful, click on the Rough Cut link above. The Lab runs September 14 – 16 in New York, and I hope some of you take advantage of it.

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