Day 2 of our IFP experience left us exhausted, but happy to be in the company of a lot of other filmmakers. One thing that separates New York from Los Angeles (other than an average IQ differential of about 45) is that people here in the movie business are all about “collectives,” other loose partnerships, and the general good will that a high tide raises all ships. In Los Angeles, every success becomes a referendum on the failures of everyone within the successful person’s penumbra, as well as a good time to work up your resentments into a fine patina. I probably shouldn’t use the word “resentment,” which is too fine-tuned for the LA experience; best go with outright naked “jealousy.”
Not so in New York, or at least not so obvious. We actually want everyone to do well, and talk up projects that we may not even like. One such narrative we saw today, and the conversations later all started with “I don’t want to be mean…” and finished with “…but I really respect what he was trying to do.” We also saw some pieces today that needed no qualifications, as they were quite good without any waffling from us. Paul Devlin’s documentary “Power Trip” about the electricity outages in Tbilisi, Georgia (former USSR) was cool, as was Jessica Sharzer’s short film The Wormhole (word on the street was that she got a 3-picture deal from Universal out of it fuckin’ yikes).
My favorite dudes, of course, are the ones who got into the Market through spit and vinegar, and don’t mind dorking out while they spin their various yarns. Like this guy, for instance:
I think his documentary is about the venerable urban legend that we didn’t actually go to the moon in 1969, and the whole lunar landing was done on a soundstage in Burbank. Which makes you wonder if Apollo 11 was a hoax, why did they keep pretending to go back, even after the TV ratings dipped? They took six more journeys to the moon after the first one, including the botched Apollo 13. I dunno, it just seems like a lot of work to keep the ruse going.
Keeping the conversations purring at these things takes more out of you than you realize, like a lot of sun on a hot beach day. Tomorrow is our big day at the festival; we show our clips at 1:45 at the Angelica, put on a little dog and pony show, and hope for the best. I’m a little concerned about the approachability and conventionality of our project it seems like we’re not just the only comedy, we’re the only feature with a linear storyline. One of the documentary guys said “you made a comedy? You guys are brave!”
me and Tessa on the subway home, dressed in our pink best