For those of you cynics out there who suspect that most panels are for just a bunch of blowhards to toot each other’s horns and give useless advice, well you’re right about most of them. But every once in awhile there’s a panel that sheds some true insights and forges connections.
So below is one positive experience I’ve taken away from a panel and one major reason why I suspect this upcoming panel at VC will be a good one…
What good comes out of panels?: When I was an assistant many years ago, I was hungry to take a break from studio development and get my hands dirty in the world of indie film production so I paid a hefty sum to check out a panel on indie producers. The panel fee that was half my month’s rent did pay off as, I met an independent producer who eventually became my boss of four years. He gave me an opportunity to be on set and learn, while working across various departments in the trenches. Soon, I was doing everything top to bottom at the company from the mundane (coordinating multiple company moves from production office to editorial suite to main office, back to editorial etc.) to rewarding (working with directors on all sides of creative and production process), to fun and indulgent (enjoying private villa dinner parties in the lush hills of Cannes). Not to mention, this job was the first time I became exposed to great festivals as Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto as well.
Why bother going to the YOMYOMF INTERPRETATIONS panel?: This panel event on Sunday features industry professionals who run the gamut in experience from indie to studio films. You’ve got Trevor Groth who has had tremendous exposure to indie films and filmmakers as Sundance’s Director of programming; Universal Exec VP, Jeff Kirschenbaum and producer Dan Lin who both have extensive studio filmmaking experience; and CAA agent, Rowena Arguelles who represents a range clients from those who have cobbled together financing for indie films, to those hired by the studios to direct a summer popcorn movie. This is uncommon as most smaller panels (particularly when you’re featuring non-filmmakers) tend to be loaded with just studio or indie side folks. Sometimes it’s deliberate because the panels are focusing on a specific area but often times, it’s just that like attracts like. So, consider this event a unique opportunity to be able to ask questions and hear insights from panelists who cover the industry spectrum.