Support Your Local Filmmaker

With the ease and accessibility of video cameras and editing software, the number of filmmakers in the world is growing exponentially. Though you can watch movies on YouTube, as a general rule they are better when you see them in a theater. The best way to support local filmmakers is to go see the work and give them feedback if asked. Screenings nowadays can take place anywhere from a theater to an auditorium to a bar. I used to go to Super 8 film screenings in the back room of a pizza place. Anyway, you can find out about them through your local college or alternative weekly newspaper.

Another way to support local filmmakers is to support the venues that support local filmmakers. In Seattle, one such venue is the Northwest Film Forum, and I want to throw a little support their way by mentioning the online component of their annual auction, which runs up until May 3 at 7 p.m.

Though there are some items up for bid that are Seattle-centric, there are almost as many that can be utilized around the country or, at the very least, that will justify a trip to New York. These are items that are perfect for filmmakers if you know any, or filmmakers who you may have met at a local event.

For example, here are a few items that you can bid on:

1) ½ hour pitch with renowned producer Peter Newman. He has produced movies like The Squid and the Whale, Smoke, The Secret of Roan Inish, and the TV show Grey’s Anatomy. The winner will have to meet him in New York.

2) One hour meeting with New York film producer Scott Macaulay. Another New York prize, the winner can get advice from the producer of Raising Victor Vargas, Idlewilde, Gummo and Julien Donkey Boy. He’s also the editor of Filmmaker Magazine, so you can talk about film writing if you want to.

3) One hour meeting with New York casting director Adrienne Stern. This one also takes place in New York, where you can talk about creating a plan to cast your film, or ask her about her connections to Sundance.

4) Three hours of feature fundraising and budget advice from cult filmmaker Jon Moritsugu. I think he lives somewhere around Seattle, so the meeting would probably be here or maybe in L.A. He’s made a handful of underground features and is in a position to give some good advice.

Other auction items include meeting with Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker James Longley (Iraq in Fragments) and a meeting with the Seattle International Film Festival’s Artistic Director Carl Spence to talk about festival strategies, poster designs, production budget consultations, and a whole lot of other stuff.

If you can nurse the talent of the right young filmmaker, you can change the filmmaking scene forever.

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Andy Spletzer knows a few people who would love each of these items, and a bunch more who wouldn’t know what to do with them.