Monday, September 27, 2004

My New York Recap

My New York Recap:

1. I ate A LOT of cake, pastries, gelato, ice cream and deep fried oreos. My favorite ... it's a tie between the Black Forest Cake from a diner on the upper west side and the ice cream from an ice cream shop that Jay Duplass took us to in the East Village. It was a double scoop of banana and chocolate ice cream. Ooh, and the gelato from Ciao Bella ... Malted Milk Ball flavored.

2. I ate A LOT of savory stuff as well. My favorite ... the Ethiopian Restaurant on Mulberry and Houston. OH MY GOD!!! Probably in the top three meals I've had in my entire life. Oh and the cold left over pizza that Nevie and Christine gave us from some famous pizza shop in Brooklyn.

3. Catching up with friends. I got to see so many friends I haven't seen in ages ... Maya (good college friend), Mark Griffey (a total weirdo from high school who I adore), Barbara (an acquaintance who works at Showtime), Frank Reynolds, Bojo and Chad (friends from college), Marie Marshall (an acquaintance from Austin), Wyatt Phillips (ex Austin filmmaker now at NYU and interning at Killer Films), Anne del Castillo (friend/ex-AFS Artistic Director, now programs POV on PBS), Christine (my old therapist/friend), Jay Duplass and Jay Deuby (ex Austin filmmakers) and probably one or two others that I'm forgetting.

4. The IFP ... I met many, many cool filmmakers, writers, editors, business owners. I made quite a few contacts at the IFP by just hanging out in the lounge. We were set up with two official meetings. One was a company who's only film I'd heard of I saw at Sundance this year and hated. They weren't interested in us, and we weren't interested in them. Just got a not so good vibe at the beginning of the meeting. The second company was comprised of an Italian guy and a German guy who have line produced over 15 indie films and are starting to produce. We met with the Italian guy. We told them that "Brain Brawl" wasn't a good match for them, but pitched "jumping off bridges". He seemed really interested so I gave him a script. We went to one party/reception at the IFP. I saw two works in progress, one narrative and one doc. Saw two panels. I found the IFP good mostly for meeting other filmmakers and lower end industry types. I think it's a good market if you have a documentary or you get into No Borders. Scripts kind of get the shaft there.

5. Meetings outside of the market ...

a. Startz Productions (Ella Enchanted, Tuck Everlasting) - We met with the VP there. She loved "Brain Brawl". She was very complimentary about my voice, the script ... I felt completely validated. Basically she's not sure if they'll be able to do something with it. She says that the studios are looking for material for 16 and 17-year old characters, but she's giving it to the head of the company to read and see what she says. She's hooking me up with a couple of agents that she's going to recommend me to. She asked if I'd considered turning BB into a children's book.

b. Karin Chien (produced Robot Stories) - Met with her to get an idea about self-distribution and how Robot Stories did for them. We got tons of info from her about all of that. She wants to see BB. She has a friend who heads up the family division at Paramount.

c. Andrew Lauren Productions (G, and some film that's being co-produced by Wes Anderson) - Wants me to take BB in an edgier, more indie direction. Says I need to decid if it's something we take to the studios (where I probably wouldn't get to direct), through indie companies or for television. Good meeting. He's possibly interested in fostering the project.

d. Gianna Chachere (former programmer of Slamdance, now runs a festival with Allison Anders) - She's a friend of a friend. Very cool girl. She has some connections in Los Angeles that she might hook us up with.

e. Allen Chou (runs Passion River, a distributor in NYC) - Gave us an overview of what to expect with distributing our various projects, docs, narratives, doc series ... very informative.

6. Basically, we came away with the following:

a. I need to slightly rewrite a draft of BB with an indie edge to it to send back to Andrew Lauren Prods.

b. Keep the one I've got to pursue larger scale companies (i.e. Paramount, Nickelodeon Films, ABC Family).

c. Write a television pilot to pitch as a series. (Christine's sister just started writing a new series on Nickelodeon that I'm going to send it to)

It was a GREAT week. We made so many connections and there are a few possibilities that are out there of things that could happen with various projects ... from "jumping off bridges", "Brain Brawl" to "Rescue Me". We even pitched a doc series "Road Side Texas" that Stacy wants to do. When I was telling one doc distributor about it, he got VERY excited. So, we'll see. I have a lot of following up to do.
There are more stories, anecdotes ... but these are the biggest ones.
Part of me is glad to be home and part of me aches to be back in NYC.

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