Inspiring the direction of Bay Area filmmaking through networking and collaboration!
Whether you are an actor, producer, director, writer, editor, sound engineer, gaffer, grip or a production assistant, networking begets more work. This business thrives on professionalism, work that reaches and maintains a high bar, and the connections we make. These connections usually can only be made on set, at screenings, in classes or in a high quality networking environment. Our goal is to create the latter.
In 2011, a few realizations were made by Dave and Marcus…
1) The Bay Area has so much talent across the board, but everyone is insular developing his/her own projects that nobody comes together to solidify what the Bay Area really has to offer. As a result, the Bay Area is not considered a mecca for film and television, even though it was once strong.
2) In L.A. you hear of people always attending mixers and meeting with the people who make things happen. Connections are made and people work together to build great projects.
3) Large open industry mixers do not seem to occur in the Bay Area. Why? It is usually a few people that bond to form something and then it fizzles out because they are the only ones involved.
Why it’s important and why NOW is the time:
The Bay Area is on the verge of a renaissance of the arts. If you look closely at the improv market, never before have there been as many new groups developing. Acting classes are thriving in the Bay Area. More and more artists are emerging. Last year, the Bay Area had the Pictoclik Film Festival, a new local film festival, and Bay Area films are taking awards at a national level. We are in a new media market where Hollywood no longer needs to hold the reigns of entertainment.
New technology is bringing production costs down, and the Internet is making it possible to launch content from anywhere in the globe. Look at what Netflix has done with ‘Orange is the New Black and ‘House of Cards’. The Bay Area has the talent, the drive and the infrastructure to retake its rightful place on the silver screen. There is a lot of buzz in the film community right now, and the only thing left to do is to inspire, bring together and harness the power that is already present.
As mentioned above, this event came from humble beginnings. Dave Moutray and Marcus Sams sat over a cocktail and asked, “How do we bring people together and inspire them?” This was the birth of the Bay Area Film Mixer — a place where fellow artists can mix, mingle and share their work to help inspire each other to not only do more projects, but to also raise the bar of filmmaking here in the Bay Area. Our first mixer was on a Friday at the end of January in 2012. With minimal advertising, we had about twenty people in attendance. A quote that stuck with us since that first mixer was given by a filmmaker that has been in the industry a long time — “It is a beautiful thing you are trying to do here.” After that, we were inspired. We then held the event at the W on the 2nd floor every four to five months for the entire year. As attendance grew, we knew that we were on to something, that this was something that the Bay Area filmmaking community needed.
After a year of success, we decided it was time to raise our own bar for the event. In December of 2012, we decided to attach our film company to the event and go for broke. We invested our own money in order to fund the event, and put forth a major marketing blitz through newspapers and on-line sources. We also partnered with YetiZen and Eventbrite. The combination of these efforts resulted in a growth of 200+ filmmaker attendees. During the evening we had live demos of TriCasters, cameras, and cranes from Repertoire Productions, featured two musical artists that have scored Bay Area films, showed four local production companies’ reels, had a live DJ, food, and an open bar.
Producers from KQED, the producers from the San Francisco Improv Festival, film artists of varied types and levels and seventeen film production companies were in attendance. Sam Williard, a roving photographer, was also present to capture stills of the events key moments. At the end the night, the booze, as expected was gone, along with every last crumb of food. A sense of camaraderie and the promise of new friendships took their place.