April 29, 2008

Walking Off the Tribeca Film Festival, Day 6

I'd like to make some general observations about my experience covering the Tribeca Film Festival.

• Already I am tired and behind on my schedule. Every morning I sit down with the list of movie screenings and scratch through the names of movies I didn't get around to seeing the day before.
• I have met a ton of nice people, most of them filmmakers and bloggers. Though I tried to stop meeting people a few days ago, I keep returning to the Target-Tribeca Filmmaker Lounge where I end up meeting more people and promising to see their films.
• When I make appointments with filmmakers to talk about their films, I pretty much have to go see the films before we actually talk. I don't want to have to start the conversation with "And what's it about?," followed by me saying, "And then what happens?"
• It's hard to find time to write and to go to movies on the same day. Plus there's necessary schmoozing and meet-and-greet opportunities. I hate to give these things up.
• I heard there were 2,000 accredited members of the press at the festival, but I suspect that the vast majority are interested only in covering celebrity red carpet events. That's good for me, because I mainly care about talking to emerging first-time independent filmmakers, and I can usually get some time with them.
• My normal eating schedule has gone to hell in a handbasket. I love that phrase. Since Thursday I have subsisted on coffee, canapés, rosé wine, bottled water and white chocolate macadamia nut petite cookies.
• I am accumulating lots of business cards. People take a lot of time making these cards look good. A few people have handed me tiny cards, much smaller than the standard size, and I'm scared of losing them.
• After making more friends, I'm starting to get invitations to extraneous parties. Someone asked me the other night, "Are you coming to the bowling party?"
• It took me a while to figure out where to keep people's cards. Then, I noticed that festival veterans were sticking them inside the plastic cases that protect the festival badges we wear around our necks. I do this now, too, so I look savvy.
• A lot of people that I meet express excitement about the John Cage performance I wrote about earlier and want me to talk about it some more. I guess it's a good break from all the film talk.
• A lot of festival-goers, especially from outside the city, are amazed at how much they're having to walk in New York, just to get from the movie theaters to other events. When the topic of walking in New York comes up, that's when I pull out my business card.

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