The Insider Archive
Film in Philly
Innovation Matters, Volume 2, Issue 17 - July 1, 2009
Film in Pennsylvania is booming. With the Film Tax Credit Program, giving filmmakers a return on production, more and more filmmakers are coming to the Commonwealth to shoot their movies. This is creating a whirlwind of film- based events in and around the city. The Philadelphia Film Market (PFM) just completed its inaugural year. One of the sponsors of PFM, the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival (PIFF), just completed its second successful year, closing the Philadelphia Film Market festivities with screenings on Sunday, June 28. Continuing the activity through the summer, one of PFM’s other sponsors, Project Twenty1, hosts their film festival at the end of a 21 day competition, beginning August 1, 2009.
This past week, Innovation Philadelphia attended PFM. There was a buzz and energy from the attendees, exhibitors, and presenters. “Attendees were networking and there was a palpable sense of community among the exhibitors themselves,” says Alina Lucila-Osmunson, Communications Manager for Innovation Philadelphia. In order to ensure quality film productions, collaboration and communication were stressed as crucial factors to maintaining a solid and organized team. Speaking on a PFM panel, Patricia Weiser, one of the producers for the current Philadelphia production, The Best and the Brightest, said, “You have to find a groove with certain people…that’s what makes a successful team.”
From June 22 until June 28, PFM featured daily events, screenings, workshops and seminars like “Producing an Independent Film in Philadelphia”, “A Panel of the Top 100 of Film and TV Music”, “The Filmmakers “Jam” and Open Mic Q&A”, and “Transitioning from Film School to Professional Film Work.” At the “Producing an Independent Film in Philadelphia” panel, producers Patricia Weiser and Nicholas Simon discussed raising money for indie films, tax credits, budgets and filming in Philadelphia while also giving advice to aspiring filmmakers and producers.
With this being the first year for PFM, generating buzz is crucial for local, regional, and national recognition. Jason Brewer, CEO of Brolik Productions Inc., a web-based marketing solution company and sponsor of PFM said, “It is a great opportunity for our company to reach out to the region and the industry, and to show off our services through a successful event.”
The Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and Project Twenty1 present unique opportunities to showcase Philadelphia as a premier industry location, perfect for both indie and big-budget films. This year, PIFF took over numerous unconventional venues around Northern Liberties, such as Exit Skate Shop and Yards Brewery. With film submissions from 17 countries, this year’s festival featured work from many genres and cultures. The three-day festival included screenings and networking events.
Beginning August 1, Project Twenty1 will host the 21 Day Competition. Filmmaking teams will create a 10-minute film, which must be completed by August 22nd. Local teams have the opportunity to network with actors, crew, musicians, and start to form their teams. Participants outside of the region take advantage of Project Twenty1’s online message board, networking and forming their teams virtually. The August 1 event ends with a reveal of a secret element that each film must incorporate to fulfill the guidelines. All teams that have submitted films on time are guaranteed a screening at the 2009 Project Twenty1 Film & Animation Festival in October. There is a list of prizes that each team can win as well as awards like “Best Acting” or “Best Directing.”
Philadelphia has been a huge center for filming movies within the past few years. Marley & Me and Baby Mama were both recently filmed in the city. Law Abiding Citizen, featuring Jamie Fox and Gerard Butler, was also filmed. M. Night Shyamalan will be filming The Last Airbender, and Reese Witherspoon, Jack Nicholson, Paul Rudd and Owen Wilson will be staring in a film called How Do You Know. Neil Patrick Harris and Chris McDonald are currently filming The Best and the Brightest.
For a list of film events and resources in the Philadelphia region visit www.film.org
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