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

Goal Team Schedule Blog Venue Registration Sponsors Contact Participants

Quote mark The Conversation begins Saturday, March 27th at 9 AM when registration opens, and you'll have a chance to meet your fellow participants over coffee. The program starts at 9:45 AM, breaks for lunch at 12:15 (featuring a variety of lunch discussion groups -- including those where you'll be the expert) and concludes at 5:30 PM. Afterward, you'll be invited to keep the discussions going at a nearby watering hole.

The current schedule is below. We also welcome your ideas...

The Twitter hash tag for The Conversation @ Columbia is #convoNYC.

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM
Registration, coffee, networking (Uris Hall)

9:30 AM - 9:45 AM
Introductions and Goal-setting (Uris 301)

9:45 - 10:45 AM
What I've Learned About Attracting an Audience through Social Media (Uris 301)
What social media tools and strategies actually get people to see your film, whether at festivals, in theaters, on DVD, or in digital form? How can you get them to engage with your issues and take action?

10:45 AM - 11 AM
Networking break

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Digital Distribution: Addressing the Big Questions (Uris 301)
With so many new digital platforms, from Hulu to iTunes to Netflix, which ones matter right now? Which specific films have had successful digital release strategies - and how well have they done digitally relative to DVD and theatrical? What are the problems and challenges that face filmmakers and distributors hoping to reach audiences - and bring in substantial revenue -- this way? This panel will bring together filmmakers and leading distribution executives for some concrete answers, data points, and examples.

12:00 PM - 12:15 PM
Announcing lunch discussion groups (Uris 301)
Participants and speakers will have the opportunity to create a lunch discussion group on a topic they're especially passionate about.

12:15 PM - 2 PM (Business School Cafeteria)
Lunch and conversation

Lunch discussion groups will include:

    - Aina Abiodun on Crafting an Effective Social Media Campaign

    - Doug Block of "The Kids Grow Up," "51 Birch Street" and The D-Word on a Filmmaker's Experiences With Hybrid Distribution

    - Caitlin Boyle on Turning Virtual Fans & Communities into Real Audiences & Events

    - Brian Chirls on CrowdControls, and Gauging the Demand for Film Screenings

    - Leah Jones of Natiiv Arts & Media on Search & Monitoring: What Are People Saying About Your Film, and How Can You Join the Conversation?

    - Eugene Hernandez of indieWire on Working with the New Media

    - Ryan Werner on IFC's Acquisition & Distribution Strategy

    - Davin Hutchins of IndiesLab on MicroDocs: What They Are and Why You Might Want to Make One
    ...Hosted by ITVS

    - Best Practices for Building Robust Audience Engagement, with Brian Newman, Founder of SpringBoardMedia

    - Ira Deutchman on The Future of Theatrical Release

    - Bob Alexander of IndiePix on the Factors That Impact DVD Sales Online
    ...Hosted by IndiePix

    - Adam Chapnick of Distribber on The Nuts & Bolts of Preparing Your Film For a Digital Release

    - Scott Macaulay of Forensic Films & Filmmaker Magazine on Creating and Communicating a Consistent Brand for Your Film

    - Lance Weiler on How Transmedia Can Extend the Stories You Tell, Build Audiences, and Create New Revenue Streams

    - Outreach & Distribution Strategy for Social Issue Documentary Filmmakers, with Robert Bahar, Producer of "Made in LA"

    - Sean Fitzroy on a Three-Act Structure for Social Media Marketing

    - David Tames on How 20 is the New 90: The Future of Not-So-Long Form Content on the Web

    - Simone Nelson and Malaika Mose on The Realities of Online Film Distribution

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Workshop Session #1: Choose One

A. Assessing Your Digital Distribution Options (Uris 303)
Take a deeper dive into the waters of digital distribution. Speakers will paint a picture of how things work today, and offer advice about what to do with your current (or previous) projects. If you are a participant and would like to discuss your project in this session, please post it here.

B. Making Content for the Web (Uris 332)
Sharing what we've learned about the artistic and economic realities of making "Internet native" video content. C. Cultivating Your Twitter Following (Uris 141)
Fifty followers just won't cut it. How can you attract a large following on Twitter, and how does Twitter fit into your overall social media strategy? D. New Thinking About Festivals, DVD Sales, and Screenings (Uris 326)
Four filmmakers and industry experts discuss strategies and success stories
    > Robert Bahar, Producer, "Made in LA"
    > Ira Deutchman, CEO, Emerging Pictures and head of Columbia University's Producing Program
    > Bob Hawk, Founder, ICI (Independent Consultation for Independents); Producer and Researcher
    > Mitchell Teplitsky, Director/Producer, "Soy Andina"

    Host: Brian Newman, Founder, SpringBoardMedia

E. Social Media Consults (Uris 330)
Social media experts will briefly highlight some of their favorite strategies for generating awareness - then answer your questions about tools and tactics that will work for your projects. 3:15 PM - 4:15 PM
Workshop Slot #2: Choose One

A. Let's Make a Deal (Uris 303)
Distribution Strategist Peter Broderick will guide you through the new world of dealmaking. He will explain how to split your rights among multiple distribution partners, while maintaining direct sales rights and maximizing revenues.

B. Product Placement and Marketing Partnerships: Where Content Meets Brand (Uris 332)
Can collaborations with ad agencies and brands help support your career - without making you feel you've sold out? C. Finance and Fundraising: Reports from the Field (Uris 141)
How can you blend traditional and new approaches to raising money - like crowdfunding - to get your project made? D. Social Media Consults (Uris 326)
Social media experts will briefly highlight some of their favorite strategies for generating awareness - then answer your questions about tools and tactics that will work for your projects. E. Ten-Minute Presos: Big Ideas for the Future (Uris 330)
Short presentations on new directions for film and new technologies. (If you're a participant and you'd like to give one, post your idea here.)
    > Will Coghlan, Co-Founder, DynamoPlayer - Monetizing Video Online
    > Nic Baisley of FilmSnobbery.com - I Am Indie: A New Destination for Indie Creators
    > Regi Allen of Fried Chicken Cinema: Showcasing Film Libraries in a New Way
    > Simone Nelson of Xenia Media on Harnessing the Power of New Social Media Tools to Market & Monetize Your Work

    Host: Scilla Andreen, CEO, IndieFlix

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Closing Conversation: Stories Elsewhere (Uris 301)
What are the opportunities to tell stories and make media in new ways, taking advantage of new forms and communication channels, that will resonate with 21st century audiences?

5:30 PM Wrap-up (Uris 301)

( The agenda from The Conversation 2008 is available here. )