Sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long! It has been incredibly busy for the past few days. But now it’s time to get you all up to speed! A LOT has happened since we last spoke. I finished my orientation early in the week, and have been working my internship position for four days now.
First, I’m going to tell you a little bit about the orientation. I arrived at the Pierre & Vacances hotel a week ago, and moved in to my apartment with two other students and one mentor. Living with these ladies has been a wonderful experience as we are all passionate about film, but bring very different skill sets to the table. For example, one of my suite mates is an experienced editor, and the other a screenwriter and director. They are both part of the Film Program, a separate but equally awesome program through The American Pavilion. Living with a mentor has also been a great experience, as she has insight into the academic side of film studies.
Our orientation lasted through Wednesday, and was filled with walking tours of Cannes La Boca (the small town just off of Cannes where we are staying), Cannes, the Palais (where all of the main theaters are located), the Marche du Film (where production companies buy and sell movies), and The American Pavilion itself.
The AmPav students were also given the opportunity to hear a few different talks from SAGIndie, The American Pavilion, and the lovely folks with Cannes Classics, just to name a few. There was one talk in particular that stuck with me. Lucius Barre, a publicist and Cannes expert, came to tell us about the history of the Festival market. He spoke about the original purpose of Cannes: to create friendly relationships between nations, and to allow for different types of storytelling and viewpoints to be celebrated. Cannes, he said, is unique in that it allows us to “enter the dreamscape of others.”
He also addressed the fact that times are changing, and that what worked in the past does not necessarily work now. Young people aged 18-30, an extremely important demographic for the film industry, no longer watch movies in the theater, preferring to watch at home, online. Because of this, many people in the business are looking to the internet as a means of getting their works out in public. Barre acknowledged that there are pros and cons to this shift. On the one hand, the film industry is becoming increasingly accessible to everyone. However, the distractions of the internet often prove disastrous (Barre believes very firmly that there is no such thing as multi-tasking).
The thing I found most interesting about Barre’s talk was his advice to all of us students, and anyone who is interested in being part of the process of filmmaking: don’t let your surrounding environment stop your vision from being realized. Use the tools available to you and listen to your audience. There is nothing you cannot do, but you have to actually do it. This struck me in particular, because I often forget about the second part of that equation. I may be passionate and full of ideas, but actually making those ideas a reality is so intimidating that it is a rare dream that comes to fruition. Barre’s suggestion? Give your subconscious assignments. Go to sleep with a problem in mind, and you will wake up with a solution. I don’t know if this really works, but I think I’ll try it out tonight. What about you?
**Stay tuned for a description of my internship later today!