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Sharks, Angels and Breastmilk – The Life of an Indie Producer

This is a picture of LA-based producer Jodi Redmond breast-feeding her three-month old daughter, Collette, while she waits for her next meeting at No Borders. Colette has been to three markets around the world already. When I saw Jodi, it really brought into sharp focus how committed indie producers need to be to their projects to get them made. It’s also a perfect metaphor for what’s going on at Independent Film Week.

Arriving in New York after a very gentle and lovely time in Halifax felt like a very frontal attack on my senses. It was a classic case of culture shock that I was not prepared for, despite me being a regular visitor here over the past few years.

My first meeting was a sharp reminder that this was the big city and an old aphorism got shaken loose.

“When a person with money meets a person with experience, the one with money gains some experience and the one with experience gains some money”

TAP has been a very safe and nurturing space and the group has built deep bonds of trust and connection – I am sure for most in the group, this experience is going to be a key moment that shapes everything that comes afterwards. In contrast, my first meeting in New York was with someone who was really a consultant that had no value to offer and was fairly blatantly prowling for naive and desperate filmmakers to prey on – SHARKS! I tested this harsh judgment with some of my fellow TAP’ers and others had the same experience with this person – again, the group value shines through.

There was a certain air of urgency in the meeting space in Lincoln Center. Hundred of meetings going down, people in, out, needing to reschedule, arriving late, hustling better meetings, all of this created a kind of wild energy that I wanted to capture, and I think I got it in this picture of some of the IFP staff in action – working hard to keep everything going. The rest of my meeting schedule was great. The usual hustle of trying to do what I came here for – raise equity, create sales momentum.

I also got stretched literally – at YogaWorks around the corner when my body could not take the pace any more – and metaphorically. I had a few meetings with people who really did have something to offer and were genuinely being helpful – ANGELS. They offered me insights to another way of thinking about what I was doing, how and why. And I have some ideas bubbling up that are going to be interesting to track as I consolidate everything that was said and done over the last few weeks into an actual plan for moving forward.

Circling back to the breast milk, Amy Dotson of IFP had her baby yesterday, on the last day of No Borders – a fitting end to the event and a wonderful new beginning. Congratulations Amy and welcome baby Dotson!

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