[The Conversation: At the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA, October 17-18, 2009]

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The Conversation 2010 Wrap-Up: Links, Tweets, Pics, and More

Thanks to everyone who was part of The Conversation @ Columbia on Saturday — what a high-energy group of pioneers!

We'll try to collect as much media as possible related to the event here. Feel free to post other links as a comment below. (We hope to post some video of the main panels soon...)

- Host & advisor Ira Deutchman's kick-off speech.

    "We need to come to terms with the contradictions of a marketplace that simultaneously gets more accessible by the day, and more difficult by the day."

- The Twitter stream from the event.

- "Thoughts on 'Free' from The Conversation," from Smitri Mundrha at Truly Free Film

- From The Film Panel Notetaker: Film Links Worth Clicking from The Conversation.

    "I most appreciated the positive, playful and experimental spirit that dominated the day’s events..."

- From Eugene Hernandez of IndieWire:

    "Throughout the day filmmakers seemed at odds over a number of issues. Case in point, some resist the idea that they need to spend more time marketing and distributing their own movies. Others reject advice that they should to consider their ultimate audience for a movie, and sometimes distribution plans, even before they start shooting their films. Still others in attendance groused that journalists are spending more time focusing on the business and process of making and releasing movies, rather than the films themselves."

- Brian Newman's pre-event notes about audience engagement, and a post-event essay titled "Selling Your Film: When Is The Best Time? From that second piece:

    "My argument here is really with the notion that a premiere at a major festival is your point of maximal awareness. It’s not, never has been and never will be, unless such festivals do a lot of re-visioning of what they are and how they operate."

- Notes from David Tamés at Kino-Eye:

    ...[C]ollaboration among independent filmmakers is crucial if we’re going to develop an alternative way to build and connect with audiences and develop a healthy distribution ecosystem...

- Scott Kirsner's iPhone pics of the event, on Flickr.

- "The Conversation in a Nutshell," from filmmaker Adam Reid.

    "We are forced to be pioneers of this industry, prioritizing what we want to get back from our work and planning accordingly."

- Chris Thilk from Voce Communications, a sponsor of The Conversation.

- Slides from the "Cultivating Your Twitter Following" session with Joselin Mane and Angela Aviles- Clinton.

- Blog post from Leah Hurley of Web Direct.

- Speaker/moderator Aina Abiodun: video and related material from her session on product placement and marketing partnerships.

- Event notes from Latinos in Entertainment.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

JibJab Interview: Making & Monetizing Web Content

NewTeeVee just posted this video interview I shot with JibJab co-founders Gregg and Evan Spiridellis, who were at The Conversation in 2008. We shot it in their nifty green screen studio, in Venice, Calif.

It's a nice warm-up to some of the topics we'll be discussing at The Conversation 2010, which happens next Saturday at Columbia University...

We've just added a number of great lunch discussions and workshops to the agenda, so check it out. We're expecting the event will sell out sometime this weekend.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Finally: A Date, Place, and Some Early Speakers for The Conversation 2010, in New York

I'm excited that we're finally announcing the date, location, and a few of the early speakers for the next edition of The Conversation, a gathering we first held in the Bay Area back in 2008. (If you were at the inaugural Conversation, you may have already gotten an e-mail about this next one.)

It'll be held Saturday, March 27th at Columbia University (thanks to the support of faculty member Ira Deutchman and event manager Daisy Nam there.) Those of us on The Conversation's advisory board are working to recruit some amazing speakers and sponsors, and ensure that this East Coast event will be inspiring, invigorating, and most of all -- useful.

We'd love your help spreading the word. If you happen to tweet about it, you can use the hash tag #convoNYC.

Registration is now open and there is a steep discount if you sign up before February 14th, when the price goes up $25.

We are also soliciting your ideas for speakers, topics, and workshops you might want to run at the event, on the conference's wiki.

Confirmed speakers, moderators, and workshop leaders include:

    - Bob Alexander, CEO, Indiepix

    - Brian Chirls, Filmmaker and Technologist, Chirls.com

    - Arin Crumley, Filmmaker, "Four Eyed Monsters"; founder, OpenIndie

    - Matt Dentler, Cinetic Rights Management/FilmBuff

    - Ira Deutchman, Managing Partner, Emerging Pictures; Professor of Professional Practice, Graduate Film Division, Columbia University School of the Arts

    - Sandi DuBowski, Founder, Films That Change the World; Outreach Director, The Good Pitch

    - Sean Fitzroy, Founder, Cineshift

    - Jim Flynn, CEO, EZTakes

    - Scott Kirsner, Editor, CinemaTech; Author, "Fans, Friends & Followers"

    - Ari Kuschnir and Scott Thrift, m ss n g p eces

    - Richard Lorber, CEO, Kino Lorber

    - Cory McAbee, Director, "Stingray Sam" and "The American Astronaut"

    - Brian Newman, Founder, SpringBoardMedia

    - Laure Parsons, Founder, x + x films

    - Steve Savage, CEO, New Video

    - Fred Seibert, CEO, Next New Networks

    - Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus

    - Tiffany Shlain, Director, "Connected" and "The Tribe"; founder, The Webby Awards

    - Chris Thilk, Publisher, Movie Marketing Madness

    - Hunter Weeks, Director, "Ride the Divide" and "10 Yards"

    - Lance Weiler, Director, "Head Trauma" and Publisher, The Workbook Project

    - Thomas Woodrow, Producer, "Bass Ackwards"

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Future Conversations

There's been some talk in the last month about organizing more CONVERSATIONs this year.

One thought is a series of online events that would include video interviews with forward thinkers, along with the chance for you to ask them questions and float ideas of your own... live. The advantage here is that you'd be able to hear from one person in great detail, and we'd have plenty of time for questions.

Another is to do another "real world" event, possibly in New York, building upon last October's gathering in Berkeley. The upside to these live events is the chance to make new connections and get face time with speakers and other participants.

(And the two ideas aren't mutually exclusive.)

We're very open to hearing your ideas about speakers you'd like to hear from, topics you'd like to see covered, and anything else...

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More photos from The Conversation 2008

Alyssa Stern, the logistical genius behind The Conversation, recently uploaded some more photos from the event. (The one here is Mike Shiley at one of the Saturday afternoon workshop sessions.)

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

SF360.org Pic from The Conversation

Anna-Mae Chin from the San Francisco Film Society was one of the people who helped us get the word out about The Conversation.... and she just posted this snapshot of me, Lance Weiler, and Tiffany Shlain.

Thanks, Anna-Mae!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

LECTURE: Redefining Digital Content Distribution

A lot of people missed my lecture on Saturday about license-based digital content distribution, so Scott suggested I post a link to it here. Please read it at your convenience and let me hear your thoughts:

Redefining Digital Content Distribution, or Why Apple is About To Get Its Ass Kicked

You can email me directly or through Facebook.


Notes from The Conversation on CinemaTech

I posted some not-very-copious notes from the event on CinemaTech...mostly quotes, data points, and predictions that struck me as so good I couldn't not write them down. But it's far from a comprehensive run-down of everything smart that got said...


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tiffany Shlain at The Conversation. Clip 1

Here is the first of a series of clips from an interview I did with Tiffany Shlain. In it, I ask her about the biggest challenges facing independent filmmakers today.

Larry Jordan

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Videocast from The Conversation

Lance Weiler, one of the co-hosts of the event, broadcast much of it live from his Nokia cell phone, via Kyte. You can see that footage archived here...

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Blog Coverage

Dutch Rall posted some thoughts on the event.

Roger Erik Tinch of CineVegas had some notes on the opening session with John Batter and the session on 'New Forms of Storytelling.'

Larry Jordan blogged a bit of Friday's proceedings.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Pics from The Conversation

JD Lasica has posted a great set of photos from the event, featuring the JibJab Brothers, Reed Hastings (that's him at right), Tiffany Shlain, Slava Rubin, Chris Thilk, and a number of other participants.

JD's blog, which focuses on social media, is here.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

What Independent Movies Need to Learn from Graphic Novels

Christopher Allen of Skotos (an interactive storytelling/gaming studio) gave a great 10-minute talk yesterday in the "Open Ideas Forum" session... and he has posted the slides on SlideShare.

One interesting idea was that filmmakers should be making comic books and graphic novels related to their movies -- either to sell or for promotional/marketing purposes.

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Woody Benson Video Interview

Chris Albrecht from NewTeeVee was at the event, and he posted this video interview with Woody Benson, one of The Conversation's advisors (and a panelist on the 'New Rules of Finance and Funding' panel on Friday.)

Just click Woody's nose to play it...

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Shameless plug

Great to meet everyone, and have some great conversations this weekend. I can't help but use this opportunity for a shameless plug for a talented kid... check it out:


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