Media for Change Nuevo Mexico

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Jonny Cournoyer is a multi-disciplinary artist with a primary focus on moving and still imagery.

Media for Change Nuevo Mexico

Date Posted: 
2011-09-08 00:00

Blog Series:

I recently attended the Media for Change workshop in Santa Fe, NM hosted by Vision Maker Media and was a part of the Media-Maker’s group. The bulk of the first session was led by Molly Murphy of Working Films who gave an in-depth presentation of what their campaigns consist of. She offered insight and tips on how filmmakers should approach Working Films and similar companies and pitch their projects correctly and in turn what benefits they can reap from the collaboration. She touched on fine-tuning who you’re going to pitch to, being able to describe what the purpose and vision of your project is, knowing your film’s outreach audience and focusing on the “low-hanging fruit” that will bait and hook collaborators to help you get where you want to be. The group partnered off and discussed these points in regards to their own projects. It was good to get feedback on my film from a fellow filmmaker and helped to realize what I was lacking still in my presentation of it. It was good to hear about their project too and bounce around some ideas

After lunch both the producers and media makers joined together. We screened some trailers of Working Film projects and PBS educator tools. We broke into mixed groups to discuss how the info we received on pitching, funding and promoting could help our own projects. My group actually ended up chatting about our projects in general and what our specific needs were. It was a chance to get to know some of the other attendees and hear where they were with their films. Our group ranged from local New Mexicans, Washington State and several Californians, including one filmmaker who lives about 5 minutes from me in Los Angeles. This group session was one of the highlights for me and other members as we all shared our frustrations, needs, funding stories, etc. amongst both creatives and producers. Aside from the info of the presentations, it was the networking that occurred that I really walked away happy about. Even though I live in Hollywood, I’m not usually working or socializing around other filmmakers of my peer group, and certainly never any who are working on native-based projects. I ended up making some new friends/contacts that I hope to stay connected to and hope we can all support each other’s projects as they blossom. It was really good to meet the Vision Maker Media staff finally and get to know them as well. My personality type and interests probably wane more towards the solo, technical-based filmmaking workshop as opposed to a group discussion and funding-based one and I surprisingly ended up enjoying this much more than I thought I would.  It was a reminder how crucial knowing how to fund and promote a film is to the work not just getting made but to it actually being seen as well. The location of Santa Fe was a good choice as well as it was Indian Market weekend and everyone in the Native Arts world was in town.