My Experience At the New Media Film Festival
By: Chris Darkes - June 12, 2015
Category : Shoe Factory Road
This past Wednesday I was invited to attend the 6th Annual New Media Film Festival at the Landmark Theater in Santa Monica. I don’t the exact number, but I’m almost certain there were at least 17 categories, each of which had some really compelling material. Shoe Factory Road was selected under theDigital Comics panel. It was an honor to have a platform to discuss the project, and talk about the inspiration of storytelling. The great thing about the festival was it was everything content contributors were looking for and VERY content driven. Panelists discussed everything from documentaries on shark fin scalping to the logistical nightmares of run-and-gun filming. To discuss the event I’ll kinda do a my day in pictures…
So I arrived at the Landmark Theater around 9 A.M. Street parking was nonexistent, so I opted for the parking garage where validation for the day was $8.00. After signing in, they presented me with a badge allowing you to walk in an out without the theater staff stopping you. Once I had my badge I was free to roam wherever.
The programs were broken up as: the category, panel discuss, and Q &A from the audience. Each event was roughly an hour long. Afterwards, there was about a 15 minute window where you could grab a drink in the lounge and network. Or use the bathroom. Both were at your discretion.
One of the people I met was Michael Victor. He apparently developed an App for Treehouses. Sounded kind of unusual, but after seeing the screening and hearing him talk about how he got involved in the project, it was really intriguing. He was invited by Discovery Channel to pitch a project based on his app development or vice versa. We also talked about the battle between having creative control and zero funding vs. having little control and a huge infusion of cash from a corporate sponsorship. After the next batch of panelists, I decided to take a walk around the 3rd floor of the theater.
There ended up being two big screenings that were taking place that evening. The first was Live From New York, which was pretty much filled with as much paparazzi as you can imagine making the pictures impossible. The second, was The Last Man On Earth which I knew nothing about, but managed to grab a snapshot while they were setting up.
Afterwards I roamed the connecting mall for about five minutes, before realizing there wasn’t much in there so I sat for a moment to look out the window and appreciate the sun setting, while facing almost perfectly north.
It was one of those moment that I took in. While everyone was running around snapping photos, yelling out people’s names, I was down the hall with the doors closed admiring the serene (although urban) beauty of watching cars quietly drive to wherever their destination takes them. I watched the sun sink west, pulling the last stream of light with it. It was a nice and unexpected moment.
After that, I made my way back to the festival where they were wrapping up the music video section and were going to announce the winners of each category. The entire process seemed like a blur. Susan Johnston was the driving force, and creator of the New Media Film Festival. She worked to get the sponsors and the judges. She began each section with a tiny speech about why that category was important in the world of New Media. The judges explained what they saw in each project and how each participant was selected and filtered through to their decision.
Each category winner was chosen, given a minute to say something on the mic, and handed a mini clapperboard and prize package. The judge that reviewed Shoe Factory Road was Michael Lent, a mixed media writer and producer from Marvel Comics. He explained that he liked the amount of content in the short amount of pages. A lot of the other comics he saw were just flashy drawings with no real story to speak of. I think we all remember hearing something like ghosts and “haunted” places growing up. We always stay to the end when an endings in doubt.
Afterwards, the event wrapped up and everyone went their separate ways. I made some great connections, and had an awesome time. I look forward to hearing about what some of these people do with their next projects, and made me start thinking outside the box in terms of creating new content, distribution, and marketing.
Speaking of leaving you in doubt, Shoe Factory Road ended up winning the Digital Comic category.