Our 14th webcast where we discuss the upcoming Seattle Film Summit.

 

 

Discussing the upcoming 2020 Seattle Film Summit with, Ben Andrews, the founder of the event. The Seattle Film Summit combines the art and business of filmmaking to advance the funding, creation, and distribution of stories that reflect the thriving, socially aware film culture around the world and in the Pacific Northwest. Plus this year is the 1st time the Seattle Film Summit goes digital so virtually anyone can attend!!

 

 

Sarah Marince:
Hello, everyone. Happy Wednesday. Welcome to crew talk brought to you by shoots.Video. I’m Sarah Marince. And today we are going to talk about the Seattle film summit, and we have Ben the founder here with us, and we also have Marissa and hello to the both of you. Thank you so much for being here with us. And so we are going to dive right into it with some questions for the both of you, and as always with the questions, either of you can answer, feel free to expand upon the questions and your answers. And for anyone who’s watching, if you have questions during this, you can throw them into our chat box. We will be getting to them towards the end. And we have some giveaways like we did last week, a very fun giveaway. We have a couple giveaways at the end of this webcast, so you will want to stay tuned, but thank you guys again for being here and let’s just jump in. So how are you doing the virtual process?

Ben Andrews:
Oh, I see. So we’re starting out with a simple question.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah, yeah, I can. So the we’ll start with the 50,000 foot view and then we’ll come back to 2020 please. Favorite year. So I got into the film industry here in the Northwest probably about 12 years ago. And I came out of like the private sector. I was a project manager and I had just gotten married and it was, I was about 30 and I’m like, I turned to my wife and I’m like, I think I want to be an actor. And she laughed at me as she should. But, but at that point in time, I didn’t really have this idea of going to LA and jumping into that huge pond. I just wanted to kind of understand what the film industry was about and kind of live in our little satellite industry here. Well, about three years into that I had started out as acting and then I got pulled into some producing and I started navigating the local industries being on the advisory board for Washington film works and having films and SIF and working with Northwest screenwriters Guild.

Ben Andrews:
And it’s a smaller community here in Washington. So it’s easy to kind of get a hold of that landscape pretty quickly. But I would say about three to five years into it, I just felt like we were overly siloed. So I, I tried to, I worked with a couple of partners and I’m like, what can we come? What can we do that can maybe bring all the organizations locally together? And that’s what we came up with that the Seattle film summit. So, yeah, so that started in 2013. And if you can imagine, the first year was like a hundred people in a small room and just some speakers producers and directors and writers, and just talking about how we move the industry forward here in the Northwest. And so fast forward to 2019. So this is our seventh year, but last year meeting in person was our, was our breakthrough year.

Ben Andrews:
And we’d always wanted it to kind of not just be a networking session, but we wanted to turn it into like a micro film market. We wanted to bring opportunity from LA to here to the Northwest so that the filmmakers don’t always have to go to the bigger hubs to pitch their product or find opportunities. So last year was our big year. We had five film offices flying in. We had Canadian producers coming in to teach American filmmakers how to utilize Canadian incentives. And we had about 800 attendees. And it was it was our biggest year. I think I missed anything in that 40,000 foot view. Marissa, you go. So we were all excited. We had we had show runners from big shows and we had that show runner and show runner basically as the executive producer of a TV series more often than not that person will be the lead of the writing team, but they also, they had like the Bible of the world within that TV series. And so
they just guide.

Justin McAleece:
Keep it consistent. Yes. Yeah. Cause directors and writers and all those people are coming in and out of the game all the time. Yeah. But the showrunner sort of understands the overall view of it.

Ben Andrews:
Absolutely. And if you ever get time to have a beer with a show runner, that’s been on a major network show like that, trust me, it’s worth paying their for the price of their beer, because you will learn all kinds of stories about what happens behind the scenes, on all those shows.

Justin McAleece:
I’m friends with all the show runners from, from the Simpsons that’s sort of what three or four of them. They don’t know who I am. They have no idea who I am, but I know who they are. So yes. So I sort of follow their exploits, her and them. Yeah.

Ben Andrews:
That’s an interesting world as a show runner. Well, film’s an interesting world in general, but but yeah, nonetheless, we, we had Oh, the other thing that was really exciting for us is there’s kind of a disconnect in Washington state between her state leadership and what the film industry can do for the economy. And so we’ve been working a little bit to kind of bring those threads together. So last year was real successful for us. As far as I think we had about 25 state leaders. We had a couple senators there. We had the we had one of our key notes from our King County executive and King County are our biggest County in the state of Washington. So we were all pumped and jazzed. We went over. That happened 20, 20.

Justin McAleece:
Yeah. That’s cool. It sounds like you guys were really running a multi-faceted thing up there that brought a lot to the table for, you know, just filmmakers that might never be able to meet any of those people and understand the sort of large ramifications of what they could be doing, what they could be bringing to the place. That’s pretty cool.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah. The goal was really not to just jump into one lane to, right. We have an actor’s showcase. We have pitch panel playoffs. We have filmmakers show cases. We had screenings and educational panels on pretty much every film topic you could find. So the goal was not to just, you know please one lane of the constituents deep, but to really provide something for everybody in that whole production life cycle.

Sarah Marince:
Very cool. Marissa, can you give us a little history on how you got to where you are today?

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah, so let’s see. I grew up, so I stayed, I’m born and raised in Seattle, Washington. I’ve lived here my whole life and I didn’t want to leave. So I went to art school here. I went to Stanford Brown graduated in 2014 and actually Ben was one of my portfolio reviewers. So we had like three professionals come in and they, we showed our work, presented it. And ever since then, I’ve just been his sidekick, I guess I’m doing a lot of content creation for him. Then like, you know, him getting me into the film industry cause I went to school for digital media. So, you know, I do a lot of graphic design, motion graphics, you know, editing and like videography as well. And I have my own production company now as like a food creative media. We’re on our third year. And ever since Ben started the film summit, I’ve been helping him with all the marketing content like all the social media graphics programming. And then now we’re doing it all virtually, which is more, more graphics needed. So that’s kind of how I started with with Ben or met Ben. And then we’ve just been kind of on this ride together, doing a lot of short films, producing a lot of content and now we’re here.

Justin McAleece:
What have you, what way have you found is the best way to reach out and get new people to go to the, the summit?

Marissa Fujimoto:
Well, this year I’ve kind of been doing a lot of promotion on our social media. I’ve been more interactive. That’s kind of been my role as like the marketing director for the film summit and cause last year, the last couple of years I’ve, you know, I’ve worked on the website and kind of been more behind the scenes, not so much being a director then this year was kind of my step forward and been outreaching and then having a bunch of awesome volunteers, helping us create content and managing that. So it’s been, it’s been awesome. Very cool. So how has the virtual process been? I mean, I imagine it’s been very different this 20, 20 as a whole has been very different, but it has, how has it been? It’s been a very good learning process that’s for sure. Cause we all had to, you know, learn and innovate and do something different and make sure that we stand out compared to everyone else. And I think that was kind of like our biggest challenge was like, do we move forward or do we cancel? Like a lot of these big events were canceling, so, but Ben kept going and we just, you know, we’re riding this altogether and we made it so far.

Justin McAleece:
Why didn’t you cancel? Like, what was the main thing that maybe Ben was like, ah, I’d love to, this is hard. This is not fun. I don’t want to do this, but I really need to do this because of this reason.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Well, I think if we had just a lot of momentum for like filling the void, so we started this kind of live stream podcasts, you know panels, inviting a bunch of people from all around the world and around the nation. And just interviewing people and we’ve just been getting a lot of great reviews and people have been following us and wanting more. So we just wanted to keep that momentum going. I don’t know. Ben, do you want to speak more on that?

Ben Andrews:
No, I don’t want to speak to it at all. In the answer to that question is have you ever bashed your head against the wall and survived?

Justin McAleece:
Yeah. I’ve made multiple feature films, so yes, absolutely.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah. I think it’s a little bit of just stubbornness and the, the refusal to retreat.

Justin McAleece:
Okay. That’s good. And it puts you guys in a position next year, two years from now, whatever it happens to be, it’s where you have this sort of platform to go virtual, to be able to spread it out to all the other people that can’t be there. And in addition to getting all the people that are there because you already have that platform built. So that seems like you guys are actually in a very advantageous position going forward. Yeah.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah. And speed versus point. We didn’t plan this, but what’s interesting is that in the state of Washington, mercy, didn’t even know if I had told you this, but we’ve been meeting with a lot of, of government officials. Like again, a lot of this we’re trying to tie into like we’ve got the director of Washington state arts commission being a part of it. And the Washington arts Alliance, all these kinds of civic entities are now jumping on, but we are probably one of three major events in the state of Washington based around entertainment that have continued all the rest of them have canceled for 20. So that’s pretty cool. So the block, the stupid stubbornness part what’s, what’s rewarding us right now is the fact that we’re, you know, the beacon right now in the state of the only arts organization. That’s really trying, I shouldn’t say the only, but one of the events event based organizations, that’s just moving it forward and really trying to still give content and encouragement to our community.

Sarah Marince:
I think you need that people are craving that right now. They want that content. I mean, absolutely.

Ben Andrews: Amen.

Sarah Marince:
What lessons have you learned along the way that could maybe help our audience that like if they’re involved in similar ventures, moving forward.

Ben Andrews:
Take that one first. Marissa?

Sarah Marince:
I’m sure there have been a lot of bumps in the road that you’ve been able to learn from.

Ben Andrews:
Well, my approach to the, as somebody who came into the industry kind of late in the game anyway my approach has always just been, don’t stop at the first obstacle right away around it. Right. And then when you get to the second obstacle, get better about going around obstacles. So my approach to the whole entertainment industry has always been, you know, that’s, that’s what I am as a producer. I, I, there’s a reason I’m a good producer is because the big obstacle comes and like I don’t see the obstacle. I see the five solutions that we have around the, the obstacle. So if, if people who are running these events and I think inevitably a lot of people that run these type of events are also, you know, directors or producers are in the film industry in some aspect, but man, just be stubborn, learn to innovate. And you will always, always find that little pot of gold that you weren’t even looking for around those obstacles. And more often than not what happens by going around the obstacle that you, I was going to stop you is a blessing or it’s, it’s something you didn’t even imagine could happen for your event.

Sarah Marince:
Even better, let’s do it in a better way. Oh yeah.

Ben Andrews:
That’s great. That’d be my number one.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah. I think as being like producers, we really had to innovate and be creative. And I think like that’s what we’re really good at is just coming up with like creative solutions. So like being able to do this and really push forward has really brought everyone together during this crazy time.

Ben Andrews:
I’ll tell you our number one obstacle, especially early on in the process was thinking and hoping that we still might be able to meet in person. Right? So back in March, you got till November and I don’t even need to dive into the swimming pool of all the misinformation and how we all just felt lost. Right. We had no answers. So I think the biggest thing that has hurt us this year was those two or three months of holding onto the hope that maybe we can still do this in person and still do it in the model that we’re familiar with. And so that’s, that was a, that was our number one problem this year. I think that that took time from us.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah. Because I don’t think we really decided this until July. No, no. Later than that August.

Sarah Marince:
So you kind of, so you things July, August, and somebody actually just asked me when, and where is the summit? Because I know it’ll be online, but when exactly is it,

Ben Andrews:
Well, it’s November 1st through 22nd

Sarah Marince:
Short amount of time that you had to kind of yeah,

Ben Andrews:
Well, and that, and so we have 21 days of content, right. And it’s not every day. So we have like other Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. And the reason we decided to do that was because we didn’t want to, we all know about this zoom fatigue, right. And we didn’t want to have like these two days of, you know, 10 hours in a row where people are just in front of their PC. So what we decided to do is do the 22 days and make it spread out the education, but also really infused the networking views showcases. So, so it’s more interactive and then people can get bite sized chunks tune in to and out. And then our other big thing is that even if you miss something within those 22 days, you will get if you purchase your ticket, you’ll get access to all the content 60 days, post summit also.

Ben Andrews:
So our platform in the, in the rawest fashion is basically, it’s a private streaming provider. So it’s like video on demand. It’s like going to Netflix and picking which one to watch and, and then watching it as is, and it all started out as a V as a zero library. And then as every day goes on, the library will expand, cause everything will be recorded and put up there on the platform. That’s really cool. What are some of the ones that you’re most excited about firstly the, the panels? Well, you know what, I will tell you, everybody talks about this. So you know, white guy in the room, but talking about equity and all that, but I am honestly so proud of our lineup because we have, you know, we have Nate native voices panel and we have so many women in film and women in film variations, not just a token, here’s our woman in film panel. We have writing believable female characters, and then we have another panel that’s about building and strengthening the female filmmaker community and then just panels on building or supporting underserved communities. So we have, we have a lot of opportunity and equity that’s built into this summit that I’m, I’m really proud of.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah, same. I mean, if you actually go to our website and look at our guests and panelists, you’ll see, there are more women than men. That’s exciting. Yeah. Yes. I was trying to go like, you know, just to see how many people we would actually have, and we definitely have more women

Ben Andrews:
We’re up, we’re up to 130 panelists right now. Wow. Which is crazy. Yeah. And it’s exhausting, but it’s also fun. That’s that’s really cool. I didn’t even know that we had that’s awesome. And Sarah, to answer that question fully Seattle film, summit.com is, is where you can go to find out more about what we’re doing. Yeah.

Sarah Marince:
Perfect. And Blake actually just dropped that in the chat box so everybody can find the link right there. And he put November 1st, the 22nd. So that is in the chat box, which is perfect. Everyone can go visit that after this webinar. And so, yeah. And so a question kind of about this is for both of you to get answer, I guess, individually, but why is filmmaking important to you at its core?

Ben Andrews:
I went first, last time or so

Marissa Fujimoto:
I guess it’s first I mean, filmmaking is so important to me cause I mean, I grew up with film and I didn’t, I didn’t really realize how much I loved film until I graduated high or graduated college. Like, because I went into it more in like the design aspect because my mom is a graphic designer. She’s been for 30, 40 plus years. So I kind of was just following her footsteps, but then realizing that, you know, video is going to be bigger in the long run and then just creating content in graphic design. So I took this film route and realizing like I love film. I grew up with Disney watching movies. Now I think my obsession is series. That’s what I’ve written really into. But I think it’s like really important to keep this creativity and to be able to storytell whether it’s in a documentary and nonfiction fiction either, or I still am pretty passionate about this type of storytelling for myself. What about you, Ben?

Ben Andrews:
Yeah, actually it’s it’s very personal for me. I, I was born and raised in a very small town in Southern Idaho. It did not have a lot of culture. And in all honesty, I was part of a very inclusive religion. It wasn’t really about the world, right. It was about our faith and keeping the bubble really small. And so I w I was raised without art. We didn’t have any music in the house. And I remember I didn’t get to see star Wars and I snuck out and watched star Trek, and I got to sneak out and see a couple of these things. And I remember I was like, Whoa, what is this stuff? And then I, I think I snuck and watched a couple of Academy or award show, and I couldn’t get through any ward without crying for the person that received the award, because I just, I could see how much it meant to them.

Ben Andrews:
And so it wasn’t until 30. I think I already told you guys this that I, I decided to just like, I need some art, I need art. And then, and I’m about creativity. I love film because it encompasses so many creative silos, right? There’s 30 different art forms that goes into a film. And I just think that that’s magical. But for me, and this sounds stupid in my head, but I didn’t know the human that I could have been or can be without getting that creative aspect into my art, into my life. I was empty and it affected me in ways that like my memory, I remember growing up, I had like a little, I had some learning disabilities and I kid you not. When I started learning line and I started producing and putting things together and having art and expanding my mind, a lot of that shit went away. It was really interesting. So for me, healthcare is creativity.

Justin McAleece:
That’s awesome. Yeah. That’s good to hear. It really does bring out something different in everyone. If they’re going to like, be able to give themselves over to really being artistic and really tapping into what is different about them as a unique person, and really put that out there to the world, which is like makes you makes you subject to all the other things that come along without, with releasing yourself, which is really neat. Doug Morris, one of our our good friends here at BLARE Media, he says, he’s from Lewiston originally in Idaho. Yeah. There you go. Born in Jerome

Ben Andrews:
Robot, Idaho raised in wind. No baby, no insult to the culture. And Wendell Wendell was a beautiful little town.

Justin McAleece:
You got to blossom later. That’s part of the whole process, right.

Ben Andrews:
Different journey for everyone,

Justin McAleece: Right? Yeah, totally.

Ben Andrews:
Where do we go from there?

Sarah Marince:
All right. So, well, I was reading cause we had a question in our chat box. So I guess I’ll go ahead and ask this from Mary. Hi Mary, thank you for joining us tonight. So was there any kind of process that you were forced to streamline because of COVID that has actually been helpful, maybe that you will incorporate into your future projects?

Ben Andrews:
I don’t know about, there’s always process improvement that goes on with an internal team that can get better. Right. And, and I think obviously being in a digital world has improved our access to each other. Like, Hey, let’s jump on a zoom. Let’s do. But if I’m just going to speak personally the thing that has changed for me is knowing that every other creative organization in the world right now is being forced to evolve and innovate. And so taking advantage of, of that opportunity and reaching out to all these film festivals and going, Hey, why don’t we collaborate or what’s going on with you? I can tell you what’s going on with us. We can learn from each other. And so I think we’ve always been good at growing our partnerships as the Seattle film summit, you know, from 2013, as a grassroots to 2019, we’ve we’ve grown fairly well. The 2020 was just like, I don’t even know what to do with all the partnerships we’ve got, like and, and learning from these other organizations. So I would say, I don’t know about streamlining, but learning our access to the entire world will be rolled over into every year moving forward.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah. I don’t really have anything to add to that. I just think that it’s just open more doors, just because we are able to communicate, you know, through zoom and go out, jump on calls instantly and be able to build our community virtually, which I thought was like really cool and what we had to do, but like, yeah, I agree with everything that Ben said.

Sarah Marince:
So educational panels are important, but what do you want people to ultimately walk away with?

Ben Andrews:
Well, that’s, that’s probably a little bit different answer for everybody. I don’t, did you want to go first again for a sec?

Marissa Fujimoto:
No, you can go. You can speak on that.

Ben Andrews:
Well, okay. Again, this is it’s, it’s funny how, you know, when in art we’re told, write what you know, you know, and you actors can often be better at acting if they’re in a role they’re very comfortable with because it’s closer to what, what they are for me. I was a filmmaker who wanted to get access to opportunity without having to go to LA. Right. So for me, I’ve tried to infuse peeling, peeling through a lot of the gatekeepers that you might experience in LA. And I’m going to use this word and I’m gonna regret using it, but there’s a little bit of elite. TISM also like, you know, you can’t get through certain doors unless you have a certain amount of credits or, and, and those gatekeepers at those doors. Because they’re those gatekeepers, whether they do it purposely or not, or maybe they were treated that way when they were trying to go through those Gates you know, it’s, it’s their, their kingdom and it gives them a little bit of power. So I think what I love about the Seattle film summit or what I’ve always wanted to be is easier access and peeling away a little bit, those that elite in them and just giving people like, you know, you’re, you’re one, one meeting or one chat session away from talking with somebody that can really help your career. And that’s my goal for this personally.

Justin McAleece:
Yeah. Ben, and that sort of dovetails into another question. You’ve obviously reached out to a lot of people you don’t know and have never met to ask them for something. What do you reflect a little bit on that process? Cause I know it was like a 22 year old or something and you’re just getting into filmmaking. You don’t even know where to start. Like it’s hard to talk to someone about shooting about doing a production at their restaurant. It’s hard to even know where to get actors sometimes. Like all that stuff seems daunting, like reflect a little bit on that, on your process and how you go to talk to people like state senators or whatever

Ben Andrews:
That one’s, that one’s easy for me. And I think that we as artists have a problem with it, but it’s really simple provide value or offer to provide value before you ask for value. And that can be really simple, right? Don’t just meet somebody and, and stuff, your resume or your project at them and go, Hey, I gotta look at my stuff, man. It’s great. Like, you know, get to know them, find out about their life, find out about who they are, what, who they are as the human being, like find a human connection before you start going down the lane of what can you do for me? But, and I think for me, I can’t, I’m just, can’t echo how much value that has provided for me. And I often, sometimes I will go years. I will meet a contact and I’ll go, man, God, that person could really help this project, but I will go years without asking them for value just for building up that relationship. And so the, when the time comes, they’ll go, Oh yeah, Ben knew me for seven years and he’s never asked me for anything. And now he’s asking me for something. So maybe I should pay attention, offer value before you ask for value.

Sarah Marince:
I love that so much. I love that quote so much. And like, just to hear it and then like reflect on it. Like, you know, that is just so good. I mean, I’m going to write it down because I love that. That is great. It’s great advice. Not just for, you know, your specific career before every career across the board, you can apply that. And I just love that that’s brilliant.

Justin McAleece:
Well, and being patient too, you know, the second part of that is waiting seven years. Like you said, to be able to actually plug someone into something. And because you know, as sort of an older ish filmmaker in Fresno here, it’s like, I, there are times I have an opportunity to give back to, you know, a 22 year old, like I said, in the example. And I want to do that for someone. I think that has potential to do something else good with the gear or the help or the, the location or what, or whatever I can offer them. You know, I want to do that as someone who’s already been through that stuff, because I want to like repay the people that I thought I was at the time sort of idea. And so, so I think for people asking questions out there who are young or who have never done something like the people you’re approaching, they want to help most of the time they want to be able to repay. They just want to be able to do it to the right person. Who’s doing it for the right reasons. And like you’re saying, offering value makes those reasons much more apparent usually. And so that’s like the best way to start that relationship.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah. Well said Justin Wilson, and you know what we’re getting to know. We’ve, we’ve been given a bad rap as artists, right? Like I look at artists and sometimes we just, we’re so desperate to get our content made. We’re so desperate for that approval. And that’s because life is this freeway. That is the lawyers and the doctors that everybody’s put on it’s college. It’s this, it’s the family, it’s the 401k. And as artists who want to do it for a career, we’ve really just jumped on this off-ramp and we’re on this gravel road and which is harder to go further on the gravel road. But more than that work, we’re taught that there’s less opportunity. So unfortunately we kind of stopped down. The other artists were climbing over each other when we shouldn’t be climbing over each other and we should be coming together to climb over the freeway, not over each other.

Ben Andrews:
So it just becomes a bad habit. It’s a bad habit. Will you look at my stuff? Well, you’ve given me opportunity, isn’t it great. And instead we need to really just take one step back and start viewing everybody as human beings again, and appreciating the fact that this person’s going to, you’re the person you meet that may give you opportunity. The value starts to seeing them as a human and then them realizing that you are seeing them as a human and then there’s a connection there. And then it’s a real connection. And if you can start a relationship with a real connection, then the possibilities are endless.

Justin McAleece:
Very true. Yeah. And that’s going to go for any human relationship, not just different, trying to get them to show up at your film festival. Yeah. Clearly

Sarah Marince:
You could also be a motivational speaker because I’m, I’m like getting lost in like, just listening to all the nuggets of wisdom that you’re dropping here. They’re like perfect quotes for life. That’s why he’s my mentor. You have a great mentor. Yes. That’s wonderful. Marissa, did you have anything you wanted to add?

Marissa Fujimoto:
Oh gosh. What am I adding? What was the question, again?

Sarah Marince:
I don’t even remember Justin. I can’t remember the question that you asked that led to this. Or if I ask
the question, I’ve just, I’ve kind of forgotten that I have to ask questions.

Marissa Fujimoto:
I forgot the question, but I mean kind of going off of what Ben had said, like, it really is like just working together. Like even when I was going into, like, I guess you call it film school or art school, we all wanted to do different things. It’s like, well, how come we guys, like aren’t working together to make something awesome. And I think that’s what really like, you know, with working with Ben, we were very collaborative with everyone and all of our, all of our members, which I really like really appreciate. So we’re not like stepping on each other’s toes, you know, it’s, there’s no competition. It’s like, we are all gonna do our part work together and make an awesome event. Do you have any pieces of advice or maybe something that you learned early on in your career that you would tell someone who is trying to become you or try to do what you’re doing now that would really help that if you knew when you were starting out, it would help you out.

Marissa Fujimoto:
I would say keep going, that’s the goal. That’s like my ultimate quote to just not give up. I think that’s like the main thing. Cause I think a lot of people, they get stuck and they don’t know what to do. So then they just kind of quit and they’re like, well, I can make money elsewhere. So I don’t, I just do this. It’s like, no, you just, if you just keep going, keep networking, keep meeting people and expand, you know, your friendships with everyone, you will go far further than. And then also Ben, what did Ben Ben said, Amor portfolio review. I think he said, if you, if you do the thing that you say you’re going to do and you do it, you will get further in life than anyone else who doesn’t do it. That’s what you said. Yeah. Ben, did you say that? I don’t remember that, but I did. I did. It did everything. Everything you asked me to look wherever I saw you’re here. That’s why you’re here today. Then. have you been to many film festivals as I’ve been like a part of your process or deeds sort of break the mold?

Ben Andrews:
No, I’ve, I’ve been to a few. It’s not like I’ve traveled the world to film festivals. The first film festivals I went to was whole shorts, film festival. And that, yeah, that was my first, I think, major film festival other than our Seattle international film festival. And, and, and I met the I met Theo and Daniel who are two of my closest partners to this day. And what we do with Holy shorts is, and this is just from some white schmuck coming up to them going, Hey, I want a partner guys weirdos like that to them, you know, seven years later you know, Marissa produces w we provide a production grant. So the Holly shorts short screen screenplay competition winner gets a production grant where they fly up to in the calendar year and we shoot their film. And then it gets an automatic screening at opening night at Holly shorts, the following year, and Marissa produces these.

Ben Andrews:
And I think we’re on our fifth one, but each year they just get better and better and better in their award winning films. And again, back to that partnership thing, it’s like, speaking of value, you know, Holly shorts is the premiers are in the grabens theater, which is a very, very, it’s like the famous theater. Do you feel lighter? Yeah. Right. So I get to take that information to the best filmmakers in our state and the best crew members and go, Hey, this is just a passion project, but we get an automatic screening at the most famous theater next year. So I’m able to just get, you know, the, the best team and w and Marissa, Marissa will act humble and nice on this screen. But like, she, she is a workforce. She is a storm. And I saw that when we were at college and that speaks to knowing your drive when you see it and keeping them close and trying to take care of them. I covered about three seconds or three subjects in that little ramp right there.

Justin McAleece:
Yeah. It’s very true. It’s like you there’s a lot of times in the creative process, or just trying to get stuff done, which is like way more logistical than creative, where you just get so bogged down and you’re like, this is awful. I’m terrible at this. I suck at everything. And so you have to have sort of good people around you to be like, and you’re not that bad. Also I’ll take care of this. It’s fun. Just show up tomorrow and it’ll be good. We’ll, we’ll push through. And that’s like super crucial to having that team around you to, to help you push forward when it’s just straight up hard. And it feels like it’s thankless.

Sarah Marince:
I wanted to throw this out to our panel right now. If anyone is listening to our audience, if you have any questions, you can go ahead and throw them in the chat box. Now we’ll get to them in a few minutes and also our giveaway, our fun giveaway. And so one of my, one of my last questions I have here is where do you see the film festival industry going, moving forward?

Ben Andrews:
That’s a tough one.

Marissa Fujimoto:
It’s tough. I mean, gosh, I don’t know. I think it’ll be interesting, I think especially with COVID and having to like, depending on where you are and what state you live in, like, you know, there’s different rules and regulations for filmmaking and how many crew members you can have. So I think like really it’s, you know, before you’d have like 30, 40 people on set now, it’s kinda like what we need to scale back again and figure out how to wear multiple hats instead of have individual. I mean, everyone will have their own role, but you won’t have as many PAs or any as much help as you would. And I think we really had, I don’t know, I think scaling back is going to be really interesting for indie filmmakers. And I think it’s going to be actually good for us because we do wear multiple hats and we are like really scrappy when it comes to filmmaking. So I don’t know. I think, I think any filmmakers are gonna kind of come up during this COVID time

Justin McAleece:
Probably brings opportunities too, because you know, a lot of times when someone with money find someone else who they think has telling an up and comer, then they just want to throw money at them. And they want to have a big set with a bunch of people that they don’t know and have no reason to want there in a lot of ways. And then they sort of get overwhelmed by that whole machine. I know a lot of people, David Fincher, for example, on his first production of aliens, three very much felt like that. It was like this big machine around him. He didn’t care about, he didn’t want any of that stuff. He just want to make the movie you want to make. And yeah, so we will see interesting things in the coming years because everyone had to like do be an auto tour again, and that’s largely gone away. So I’m excited about that too.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Yeah. It be interesting even for like Hollywood, you know, they have really big sets what’s going to happen. I really do think indie filmmakers are gonna take over. And I think film festivals are gonna be the, the place.

Ben Andrews:
Yeah. I can speak to, I can’t speak to like core film festivals because that’s really not my lane, but we’re like a hybrid, right? We’re, we’re an industry expo. This is really the first year that we were actually on film freeway and have a full lineup of screenings. So this is actually a little bit new territory for us. So we’re regrow market expo and a festival. But for, for me personally, I’ll give up some, I’ll give up a secret here. And this is maybe where they could all be going is real, at least the last three years. I, my, my ambition, my goal is that we become our own production lifecycle, right? So basically we, we know we can produce, we know we can make films. Now we now have a solid development arm. We partner with the big Footscray challenge, which has amazing fellowships and it has amazing writers.

Ben Andrews:
And then out of that big foot script challenge, we pull out annually, 16 writers, put them in pods, and then they work together to refine their scripts. So we’ve got development, we’ve got production capabilities, and now we’re pulling in distributors to be at the summit. So, you know, our goal or I should say, you know, where we want to take it as we’re appointing summit select winners this year. So why do we need to go to L we’ll always need to collaborate with the larger markets, but if we can develop, produce at a very high level, and that’s, that’s the key there, the high level, that’s the tricky part, but develop, produce and distribute all within our branding. That’s to me, kind of my utopia, because then, then went on to sell out right. That’s and selling out is, is a loose term to throw out there. I’m not saying that you sell out when you sell, when you sell your film to anybody, but it would be lovely to be able to manage the whole process, keep our standards, keep our ethics and keep our value in the whole process instead of having to hand it off at some point.

Justin McAleece:
Yeah. That’s so great. And in a lot of the process of making a film has so little to do with making the actual film, like, so little of it shows up on the screen. We’ve talked about that in previous episodes of crew talk and yeah. So being able to handle a lot of that stuff on your own makes it to where all those roadblocks that don’t really need to be there, there a lot of times they’re there, they’re just there so that people in Hollywood can make a cut off of it or feel like they have some input or, you know, worry about their own job. You can sort of take the the super, super freeway right past that. And that’s a pretty good place to be. I think. So that’s awesome. What you guys are able to do.

Ben Andrews:
This is the time to do it. I mean, speaking to your audience and whoever’s listening filmmakers, like now’s the time to innovate. Now’s the time to take whatever art form you’ve learned and, and realize that it’s the wild, wild West, again, like opportunity and balance. You just have to kind of be fearless and just move the ball forward.

Sarah Marince:
So we have a question from Robin, hi Robin. And she wants to know what is the time for beginning to end, to make a film, like a beat

Justin McAleece:
In my case, it’s 11 years for brick madness coming out this December, watch it.

Marissa Fujimoto:
I would say, yeah, that would be very accurate.

Ben Andrews:
But yeah, that’s a great question, Robin, but it’s also if you want to say shooting a film, so like a 12 to 15 minute short film would normally take a crew three to four days to make. Whereas if you start, you know, if you’re a hundred million, $200 million Hollywood film, I think that’s anywhere between 30 and 90 to 120 days that they’re actually shooting low budget feature films. And did you like, it’s a tight scheduled for 19 days?

Justin McAleece:
You know, a lot of times we look, yeah, a lot of times it’s around three weeks or so is like, we know that we’re only getting three takes and we know that we’re only getting four or five setups per scene, but we’re going to be able to get through that on a 95 minute script to whatever. So it’s like, you don’t have extra time and you sort of budget a little bit more for certain scenes. Cause you know, that those are going to take longer. You want to spend time or they’re pivotal or whatever it happens to be. And the rest of the day, you’re like just sort of blocking and tackling as one of my friends used to say to, to make sure that you have what you need to tell the story. And if you could have twice that much time, it would be 25% better, but it wouldn’t be twice as good. So there’s sort of a sweet spot in there where it ends up being for a lot of indie productions, I would say.

Ben Andrews:
And, and Robin, I think in the Hollywood system, which is, you know, that’s its own little thing. I think the movies that you see come out and theaters were probably put into their development process at a very minimum three to five years before it hit the screen. But for us, for us indie filmmakers, you know, like Justin was saying, you know, you, you get that, you have a very tight schedule, you have a lot of limitations, but the more you prepare and pre-production, you know, you, you help alleviate those, the errors that you’ll find in production, the more effort, the more EV every answer, every question is answered, every moment is accounted for. And that can take, you know, that that’s still another year process. And then you get into post production.

Justin McAleece:
This is a mess. This is horrible. I hate this. I want to leave forever. Yeah, no that happens. And then you go in and out of it, a movie we, I worked on for a couple of days on a movie that ended up on the psychedelics channel called the zombies too. And so it’s, it’s exactly what you would think it would be. It’s a zoo of zombies and or zombie zoo. One of the things anyway, that basically was up on TV two months, a month and a half after they shot it. It was a crazy short schedule, like on TV, not, you know, network television. Yeah. So they were editing while they were shooting and putting it together. I was not too much. And I wasn’t involved with any of the editing or anything like that. And it was just sort of a day player on the movie, but yeah, very interesting. So it can go super fast when you’re going to make that kind of movie. I would say timelines are

Ben Andrews:
Money fixes everything. Yeah. Unfortunately everything enough to be watchable. Those of us that don’t have the money, we have to be very, very smart about every step of the process.

Sarah Marince:
To, to my audience here, I’m going to quickly have you put your numbers into the chat box for our giveaway. So if you want to go ahead and pick a number between one through 100, just one number P throw it in the chat box. And I’m going to talk about our giveaways here, our panelists, I’m sorry, you guys can’t, you can’t play Ben Marissa. You can’t win the gift card. I think you guys will have an into the festival. So yeah. So yes, everybody just go ahead and throw your numbers in. So we actually have four giveaways today. The first one is going to be our $50 BH gift card and a ticket for the summit. And then we’re going to be giving away three additional tickets after that. So just like last week, I have my fun little pretty random number generator here. So I want to make sure last call is everybody have their number in looks like last call

Justin McAleece:
Just a second. They’re still, they’re still tickling

Sarah Marince: One through 100.

Sarah Marince:
It’s going to film festivals, not so much numbers. Math was not your strong suit.

Sarah Marince:
I wish I could play. I would love a BNH gift card. I mean, who doesn’t love BNH you literally can get, I mean, I don’t know. Have you guys ever been to the BNA store in New York city? No.

Marissa Fujimoto:
That would be a goal. We hear tales of it. Anyone who hasn’t gone only hears their friends, talking smug hushed tones about it. When they get back right away,

Sarah Marince:
It is crazy. Like literally, like you buy something and then like, it’s on like a trolley thing above you. And then all of a sudden you’re like walk up to the counter and it’s their bag for you and you pay for it. But like literally they have everything. Like everything, every section you can play with everything, it’s, it is just like Disneyland for, you know, us, I guess

Sarah Marince:
Because you will spend all of your money, like all of your money. So, but it is very cool. Yeah, Robin, I guess you’ve been there, Robin. It is wild. It is wild and very, very fun. So my identifying my age, if I say I still don’t even know what you’re talking about.

Justin McAleece:
No, no, it’s not. No, it’s run by a bunch of 80 year old Hasidic Jews. It’s not a young man’s game at all. No, it’s a very interesting place. No place that has all the video, audio, video and photo stuff started more and more like photo, but you can buy a normal like consumer electronics. It’s the best way to essentially. Yeah, but it’s this place in Brooklyn, New York. Yeah. That’s awesome. By that he hires people that get, that buys different BNH

Sarah Marince:
It is in New York city landmark. Yes, it is. So all right. For the BNH gift card and ticket, number one, you can see, I have zero on my screen here. We’re going to hit randomize 80, 80. We have 80 for our first one 80

Justin McAleece: Jazmine said exactly.

Sarah Marince:
Congratulations, Jazmine. I have confirmation that it is you, so, okay. All right. For ticket number two, a ticket to the Seattle film summit. Here we go. And randomize 18, 18. I don’t know if we have an 18 or someone close to it. Corbin will. I think it was.

Justin McAleece:
Yeah, Cheryl’s sure Kara was how we’re pronouncing your name wrong,

Sarah Marince:
Cheryl. I think it’s Cheryl. Okay. Ticket number three. Here we go. Randomize 85 Kindle at eight 85 85. Cheryl said, yes, we did pronounce her name properly. Yep. 85. Do we have any five Jim Richardson? Jim Richardson. All right. And for ticket number four, I can shake it to randomize it to 38 38. All all right. Yay. Awesome. Congratulations to all of our winners. That was really fun. And if the two of you just want to take a moment and kind of plug your stuff again, plug your website. If you have a personal page for your work like Instagram or a personal website too, you can also talk about that before we kind of sign off to everyone.

Sarah Marince:
What the Seattle visit. Well, do I want, you want me to talk about the film summit, everything yourself on the go.

Marissa Fujimoto:
Okay. let’s see. I have my own production company called Slugger food creative media. So you can get, you can find [email protected] or Instagram at SF creative media. I also, I’m a part of the Japanese American Memorial pilgrimages which is J a M pilgrimages.com. Or you can find us on Instagram with the same title. And then I have my personal account, which is on Instagram. I’m Fuji. I am F U J I awesome. Very cool. Ben,

Ben Andrews:
I’m really horrible at plugging myself. So I’m just going to state visits. You know, film summit can be a part of it. You won’t regret it. I’m very proud of what this team has done and this team puts their whole heart into it. Other than that, I will say, go vote, go vote. Totally, absolutely. Treat each other very, very well and build your tribe. Move forward. Those are all touch points we got on. So thank you guys for having us. I had a great time.

Sarah Marince:
Yes. Thank you so much for joining us. Justin, do you want to plug your stuff as well?

Justin McAleece:
Oh, I mean, well, yeah, in a couple months, watch Brick Madness BrickMadnessmovie.com. That would be the thing. And go to Shoots.Video, and make a profile. That is the thing for sure that you could do to help yourself out the most. If you were out there and have anything to do with video production in any way, and you will find a spot on there and can get hooked up.

Sarah Marince:
And subscribe to these videos on YouTube, because you will find all of these videos on YouTube and as always I’m Sarah Marince Instagram at Sarah Marince and my voiceover website, SarahMarince.com. So thank you everyone for being here another Wednesday evening for crew talk and we will see you next time. Thanks guys.

 

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