Friday, January 29, 2010

Follow Up to the 1st Film Courage Interactive

I must keep this one brief as I can because I have much more to write beyond this blog. Though I feel it is necessary to have a short write-up on our first Film Courage Interactive.

The whole night would not have been possible without the support of the Downtown Independent which is establishing itself as the best independent movie theater in Los Angeles. If you need to screen your film for one night, there is no better place. Thank you Jim, Vivian and Ivan for welcoming us into your state of the art venue.

Karen and I arrived about 6pm. I videorecorded her filling out the sandwich board and placing it outside. After that, once folks started arriving...there was never another free moment where I could get the camera out again. Forgive me. So I have a whopping 30 seconds of video to share with you in the near future.

On that note, I am anxiously awaiting a small batch of event photos that were taken by Carl Mahoney of Cannot wait to see them and share them with you.

We are grateful that Filmmaker Jake Barsha and Producer/Actor Stuart Bennett were kind enough to exhibit their film EUGENE. It exceeded the our expectations. It was great to see the rarely seen director's cut that Jake decided would be more appropriate fit for the night.

I believe we had over 15 Filmmakers come out in support which is a great start for us. Some of the names off the top of my head include Jake Barsha, John Dentino, Brian Ronalds, Dean Ronalds, Greg Seki, Laura Russo, Gregor Collins, Stuart Bennett, Ryan Reyes, Mike Palsey, Nathan Cole, Justin Winters, Phil Calderone, Aaron Caine & Craig Ouelette.

We mingled in the lobby area for a bit, then inside the theater Karen and I introduced the event and turned it over John Dentino (Illusion Travels by Boxcar) who introduced Jake Barsha's EUGENE to the audience. Our aim with this is to build up the independent film community. So we are having fellow filmmakers introduce the night's film. In this case John introduced Jake's film.

We screened the trailer to Mike Pasley's STEVIE WONDERSHOW, which will screen at our next Interactive on 2/22/10, immediately followed by EUGENE.

That was followed by an insightful Q&A with Jake Barsha, Stuart Bennett and Ryan Reyes. Jake surprised me in his willingness to be candid and vulnerable in front of the audience. From there we took a break. Many who attended had to leave. We managed to wrangle about 20 to 25 folks who joined us back in the theater for the 'interactive' session which is something I was excited to get started. Turns out it was the perfect amount for this first gathering. We went around the room, had everyone introduce themselves, share their current projects, and reveal a current obstacle or challenge that is keeping them from getting to the next level.

Some were resistant to this and maybe felt awkward. Yet most warmed to the idea quickly which led to great honesty and sincerity between us. After the last person introduced themselves, we went back around the room and had each person point out something another had said that they connected with or touched them in a unique way. It got us all away from ourselves to caring for others in the room. This can be a rare feat in LA (with so many having their own agendas). It was amazing for me to experience and watch unfold. Karen jokes that it is Filmmaker Therapy and she isn't too far off. My goal is to get into deeper discussions on the business as the event evolves.

In the end, we are thrilled with the foundation we have in place. We would like for this monthly event to serve as an extension of our radio show. To be a place in Los Angeles where filmmakers come together each month to support our own. A place that plays it's part in inspiring, enlightening, motivating and connecting us all.


JBMovies said...

Sounds like a great theater to work with. Think I'll put it on my list for places to screen at in the future.

David Branin said...


This is an awesome theater. Certainly put them down.