Short of the all the coffee I bought in 2017, one of the best spends last year was attending the Film + Music Conference in Ft. Worth, TX.
Pretty much like all things from the Musicbed/Filmsupply mothership, the Film+Music team killed it. They brought in some freakin' fantastic speakers: some I'd heard from before, others I'd followed online for years, and still more that were new to me. The music and live performances brought another dimension to the event. A serious kudos is due to whoever was behind the lighting design on stage. Most of all, the people attending seemed to be the "Who's Who" – and the rest of us plebeians – in the creative film/music world.
My biggest take-aways were ideas like "The world needs you to stop being boring" and "The internet is a treadmill that doesn't love you" from Brad Montague of Soul Pancake/Kid President. Ryan Booth – of Ryan Booth fame – encouraged us to "Go home, make things that are interesting to you, and put them on the internet." Natalie Kingston's lighting workshop was pretty rad and wish it would've lasted longer.
If you're able, I'd for sure recommend heading out to their next one scheduled for September 28-29, 2018.
We'd been wanting to get out of town for the holidays and Anne the Wife's mom found us all a place in Lyme, CT. With two small kids Anne and I (plus the mother-in-law with this trip) are seemingly always playing defense so the house doesn't burn down, but I was able to sneak out with my camera right after the snow fall Christmas morning.
Nerding out about finally using the iPad/iPhone/FaceTime/Teleprompter hack I'd seen before.
We wanted the person being interviewed looking directly to camera and not trip out because they're not making eye contact with the other person. It's working better than I expected honestly.
ProTip: make sure you mute the iPads/iPhones being used so you don't get a feedback loop.
Updating demo reels is like digging through mountains of old journals looking for an ounce or two of something precious. The hope is you find a gem or two allowing you to keep making new piles to dig through later on. I simultaneously curse at and thank all the live event coverage and interview footage I pass on the way to anything even remotely interesting looking.
Demos are also about the edit and music. In times past (here and here) I was looking for something moody and hoping to show how cool I am. Turns out once you hit mid-thirties it’s a little easier care less. Who would you rather hang out with, the moody kid in the corner concerned with how cool he is or the one who’s both smiling and giving you an opportunity to dance as you walk through the door? Don’t worry, they’re both secretly on the cusp of throwing up out of nervousness when someone sees the work they’ve done.