It seems only yesterday we were welcoming in the New Year and that of course means that we get our second instalment of the Film Expo South at the beginning of Feb!
This may sound cliché to say, but if you are involved with film and this event is not in your diary, it should be! Its a tour de force of film events and its hard to believe that this is only its second year running. Seriously! Its a true haven for all creatives involved with Film to meet up, share stories, build contacts and enjoy a broadening of horizons. I have no doubt that this single event will be the catalyst to many a fine project in the coming future.
The event itself is born from the passion of actress Gillian Tully and it shows. The level of personality this event has is rare to find and the care and attention to detail that is taken in producing this huge event and making sure everything runs smoothly is evident every where you look. Its truly hard to believe this is all from the effort of one person. Give this woman an oscar for event organisation please. No one deserves it more.
So what is the fuss all about? Let me share my personal experience to give you some idea of what to expect.
I arrived quite early on this rainy day. I wanted to try and get as much as I could into it but the weather wasn’t doing much to lift my spirits. I thought it would be relatively quiet to start with and I would have time to recoup once inside and ground myself from my journey. It was already buzzing with people and excitement all around and I couldn’t help but get swept up with it. Within 10 minutes I had bumped into at least 3 well regarded industry players I knew and had managed to say my hello’s to them once again, a nice opportunity to meet people we don’t get much chance to meet through the year, due to their schedules, and discover what exciting projects we are all working on now.
After familiarising myself with the environment I quickly swung by the networking wall and popped up my business card with a mini advert of who I was hoping to meet. A great idea carried on from last year and an area I frequented often during the course of the event to see who else had put up some details I could take note of.
Next up, my first lecture I wanted to stop by. So many to choose from and I could have done many if I could clone myself at least 3 times but I had made my selection and I was sticking to it. A good choice it was too, presented by 4 people in a panel who all had 30 years and upwards experience in their fields. True experts in every sense of the word. Needless to say, I came out of it armed with many tips to put into practice during my next productions.
Rolling out of this seminar I had enough time to swing by another one held by a person I met at the previous years expo. This seminar was packed but I was able to sneak in the back and even for just the 20 minutes I could make of this seminar, I came out of it both wiser and hungry to test out the ideas I had just learnt.
My next seminar wasn’t for an hour so I had chance to swing by the exhibits and see what was on display. A mixture of drone camera operators, union reps, councils wanting to work with producers, polystyrene modellers, make up artists, production companies so many to mention and I happily lapped up the free merchandise on offer and met some very useful companies indeed. Exciting to experience.
I visited a number of other seminars throughout the day, each egging on my excitement and eagerness. During my down time I happily watched the wealth of actors performing their monologues throughout the day on the main stage or one of the pitchers pitching their scripts for the pitch idol award and a chance to get their short film made. It was great to see how each approached their pitch and their work and something I had never really seen properly before. The judges on hand were all very constructive with their compliments too.
If I needed some down time, I could go and enjoy watching some awesome screenings in the screening room of independent film makers showcasing their work. Its always nice to see what others are doing.
When the time came to come home, I felt alive and full of energy to go and conquer the film world in my own special and unique way.
So, why should you go to this film expo, why should it be in your calendar? Honestly, the shorter answer is why shouldn’t it be in your calendar as I can’t think of a single reason!
Go, check out their website and start booking your time out now for next year.
Gillian Tully, you have truly surpassed yourself once again!