Since creating this blog along with a YouTube channel to share my work, I've said countless times that I considered this all to be part of my online portfolio. The hope being that a wealth of new people would see and give feedback to my work, and in some way push my credibility a little higher a single view at a time. So far it's all been quite a motivation boost, with over 17,000 blog views and well over 60,000 video views in just a year, and keep in mind that it's largely from talking just about myself and my movies, but until last week I had never been on the other end of the promotional spectrum when I was presented with direct opportunities to accept or decline.
Up until now I've been playing the festival/competition game, and really I'm still playing it. To have 2 different people contact me in a week from my YouTube channel just seemed so out of the blue, that when I first opened the messages I was skeptical to say the least. Before I explain the details of each, I will preface this by saying that both opportunities have been finalized on my part and will be going ahead later this year. Getting curious yet?? haha.
The first message I received came from a segment producer in Minnesota who is responsible for a short film series on television titled Short Cuts. He inquired about having my films on the program after seeing Keys to Existence and A Chill in the Air on YouTube. My first impression was that someone was pulling my leg, but after talking with the producer further the opportunity only sounded better and better. The program is out of Rochester, MN and is 12 part series, an episode a month, in which several filmmakers have their work shown each episode (the episode repeats several times throughout the month). My work would be appearing later this year as the series is already in progress. Now this is no national broadcast or anything, and I'm not making money on this, but as far as I'm concerned it's exposure to a handful of new people, and in the producer's words that's over 35,000 households or about 85,000 people. Hello Minnesota!
The second message came only several days later from a completely different part of the world. Again, I received the message from someone who had just watched Keys to Existence and wanted to know if I'd like it to be part of their festival. In the midst of my high with the Minnesota show I did a bit of research on the festival and accepted soon after. The festival is Aeon 2008 and is a mixed media festival including art, music and film from around the world all showcased over a weekend in a giant field in Crediton in the United Kingdom. Keys to Existence will screen on rotation in the 'video-dome'. A theatre set up in a giant tent that will serve as a point of interest in between performances throughout the day.
Needless to say I'm excited about both opportunities. Even just the simple gesture of someone asking to share my work, as opposed to me going through the promotion process, has proven enough to re-energize my creative energy and has left me scribbling out several new ideas for a couple of short films to share and submit, both on YouTube and abroad.
When I thought of myself leaving university I pictured myself in a job that was just a job, doing work that took away from the creativity that I really wanted to pursue. To my surprise, I'm shooting and editing for my day job, and still have the energy and passion to pursue my personal film goals at my leisure. I've never felt more satisfied with the direction I'm in. I may be broke, but I sure am happy!