Friday, September 17, 2010

Tiff: Was it worth it?

Now that Tiff, aka the Toronto International Film Festival, is winding down, time to take stock and see if springing for an industry networking pass which got me into everything BUT movies, was actually worth it.

My goal in attending this year was to find an executive producer for an indie feature I want to direct and to promote myself as a filmmaker.  I'd say that my score on the EP is a C and I got a solid B+ on self-promotion.  (Walking down the street for the Bell Lightbox opening, I ran into an old colleague who I've worked with in the past and who had executive produced a film that is in the festival who seemed open to considering my project.  So that's a C - contact made, but deal not closed.)

Attending the panels was an interesting exercise.  There were a lot of attendees whose sole purpose was to make themselves known to the panelists and attendees by asking a question, (introducing themselves and pitching their product as part of the question) and then scampering up to the panelists afterwards, trying to get them to take their leave behinds, (sell sheets, business cards, whatever.)  I admired their enthusiasm, though a few didn't really appear to have any selectivity to who they buttonholed.  And anyone with a script or even a sell sheet for a script was usually politely declined.  No one's going to accept a script without signing a release first.)  I was a bit more selective in my networking and tried to introduce myself to the people who could actually help me.  Hence my self-score of a B+.

But as always, the best meetings were with people you could never choose to meet, but which happened serendipitously.  Proximity makes the best bedfellows.  And then you actually meet someone you LIKE, who also just happens to be someone who might be of help.

Now, I'm scanning all the business cards I collected and following up with a few emails.  Back to business.

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