The End. It’s a Wrap!
At the beginning of 2011, I was just Three Sheets to the Wind. That’s the name of my friend, Michael’s boat in Oxnard, CA. A film festival was the farthest thing in my mind I thought I’d be involved with in December 2011. It’s not completely out there as I have been involved with film festivals in the past as a filmmaker, a film-goer, a volunteer, a festival director and co-founder, etc. Having lived in Las Vegas for a very short time, re-inventing myself as a filmmaker and freelancer was most important.
After 18 years in Los Angeles, I moved to make a change hopefully for the better. Los Angeles was not providing the right opportunities to move my career forward. Will Las Vegas be the place for that change? That remains to be seen. I have achieved some opportunities as a freelance writer.
In April, I wrote a blog about my experience at TribeFest in Las Vegas. David Magazine, a local Vegas magazine, hired me to write a first person article for their magazine. That relationship lead to a 4- page story about me and my film experiences, surrounding a screening of one of my films at the new Theatre 7, a local Mom & Pop movie house that gives independents of Las Vegas a place to call home and a hub for out-of-town filmmakers to screen their films too.
It was in the beginning of June when this idea circulated in my head about something called the Social Media Film Festival. There are a lot of factors that could have played a part in forming this idea.
I filmed and edited a short film last year in Las Vegas called “Come Together” about a group of friends that text each other even though they were in talking distance. It’s a funny satire about social media. I had a lot of creative input while editing the film as it was initially produced for a contest from the Review Journal newspaper. The short made the top ten. More recently, the Nevada Film Festival at the Rampart Casino gave it an honorable mention.
Like many I use social media to promote whatever events I had taking place. I’ve had other screenings of my short films (“The Octo Circus” & “The Turnaround”) at various venues around town including the Beauty Bar and Tommy Rockers.
Another influence was June 30th AKA Social Media Day put on by Finesse Enterprises. The day was made official with a proclamation signed by then Mayor Oscar Goodman. Speaking at the event was the CTO of Mashable, Frederick Townes. The venue was held at the Rok nightclub at New York, New York Casino. I actually helped out organizing the line out front. I told people to have their smart phones out to check-in and/or have their print-out ready to make the line go smoother.
At the same time in early June, my own mother said to me that I should put on a film festival. Really? I’m trying to like hell to create some sort of income and struggling to find work and you think I should spend hours upon hours of putting my passion, blood, guts and soul into something that may or may not fly? I know my Mom had great intentions. She happens to have great intuition and knows how much I enjoy festivals.
Ambition is exhausting.
Let me say that again in case you skimmed over it. Ambition is exhausting. I know this too well with every baby I’ve given birth to over roughly 2 decades. When I say baby or babies I mean ‘films.’ They are my babies. I don’t have any human babies of my own. Not yet anyway. Only the ones I paint make-up on.
It has already been a long road for me as a struggling filmmaker, video editor and screenwriter. I’m taking my knowledge and giving back to young filmmakers that haven’t the time or the experience to take on the obstacles in their career that I have.
I knew very well the amount of work it would take to put together a film festival when the title of the festival, Social Media Film Festival, popped into my head. When I get an idea I fall in love with I go all the way and take projects as far as they can go until the ‘exhaustion’ takes over.
So, when I was typing in the website socialmediafilmfestival.com and running a search to see if anyone claimed that site I knew as soon as I got the answer whether I would be pursuing it or not. The website was free to grab so I grabbed it. At first my heart sunk because I knew I would have to follow through and that it would be a lot of work.
At the same time, I decided to finally make my production company name legit after about 18 years of using it so In Your Head Productions, LLC was born. Forming an LLC is very time-consuming and ate up a chunk of time I would rather have spent on the festival, but had my mind set on doing it all. I later registered the festival as a DBA. The LLC would also be for my other freelance work as a writer and video editor.
Freelance work has not been steady. I hope that will change in 2012. This year I originally wanted to finish a rough draft of a screenplay and write a book based on all of my film experiences. Of course, these two things got placed at the bottom of my pile of projects. It’s funny. My favorite thing to do is to write screenplays. I used to crank them out like they were meat going through a meat grinder. Unfortunately, those passion projects get placed on the bottom of piles.
A film festival is a BFD! That’s BIG FUCKING DEAL! It’s major undertaking. People have been posting what seems to be sarcastic comments on my website about the ‘writing’ on it. It is a blog. However, it’s a blog on a site for a start-up film festival. While I’m working on sponsorship literature, attending networking functions and promoting my Indie Go-Go campaign, when do people think one person has the time to write a blog. I had the thought of blogging while developing this festival as it comes together. This long blog here had to wait until the end of the year. If you want content, perhaps you should ‘Like’ the SMFF FaceBook Fan Page because there’s a lot more traffic there. I share a lot there such as Mashable stories, anything related to film, technology and funny social media stuff from You Tube.
In addition to writing and editing (Directing – It’s been a while), I purchased a 7-D DSLR camera to not only use for my Indie Go-Go campaign, but to film short promo videos for the festival and hopefully venture into freelance photography and videography. Vegas is a town of shooters. So, I’m adjusting to the needs of the town and people. I’m making my own personal and career adjustments. Discovering the culture and the community in Las Vegas takes work too. It’s not obvious unless you attend First Friday Downtown. (A shoutout to Zappos for keeping FF and Downtown thriving.)
For those people that want to ‘read’ blogs go find a blog site to spend your time. My other blog on my regular site has a bit more written blogs on it as I do write about concerts and filmmaking. http://rosshmartin.wordpress.com/
I am in the process of switching all of my http://www.rosshmartin.com materials to this blog site and will be turning it into my regular artist freelance site. So, maybe that’s your answer to finding something to read. Maybe my old blogs on South Korea might interest you. Want more? Go to my HubPages site. http://rosshmartin.hubpages.com/
The Social Media Film Festival website is for a film festival. That’s all! There is hardly time to ‘write’ anything but to update the rest of the site.
I do not know what will take place in 2012. I may not reach the fundraising goal in my Indie Go-Go campaign. Hopefully the money I do raise can go towards a venue, etc. I’m looking forward to seeing what film submissions come in. Hopefully, we’ll end up raising enough money through sponsorship to warrant having a film festival at all. I am being positive.
As of now my team is very small. I hope the festival will grow in 2012 and it will take place sometime next summer. Like any new start-up there are many obstacles to overcome.
The Social Media Film Festival appreciates people sharing the Indie Go-GO link
You can also help by ‘Liking’ the FaceBook Fan Page.
Thank you to anyone who shared the link or liked the page.
Thank you to anyone who has supported the festival or my other endeavors this year.
I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here in Las Vegas the past year. I’m grateful for David Magazine, Vegas Seven Magazine, RAW Artists Organization, Theatre 7, The Royal House @ Royal Resort, MeetUp Groups; LV Screenwriters, MGLV, Video Production, Photographic Adventures Vegas, Smug, WordPress. Some friends and associates in Las Vegas I’d like to personally thank: Chris Rogers, Rayna Booker, Darlene Dalmaceda, Chad Plummer, Sara Gabriella, Demont Daniel, Nestor Ruesga, Yolanda Arteaga, Danette Tull, Kelly & Charisma Schwarze. In addition, I want to thank FaceUp, Blue Luna Marketing, Danny Vegas and Cosmopolitan Connections for putting on networking events throughout the year. Some of my opportunities have come from your events.
Thank you to all of my Los Angeles friends for your continued support. You know who you are. If you don’t know who you are I suggest taking more Vitamin C. OK. Sean & Chris. You deserve a shouout! (Merry Xmas!)
And of course, where would I be without family? Thank you to my sister and the Haile Family. Thanks Mom & Dad for your support as always!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!
Being Social. Going Global!
Ross H. Martin