Whilst at the Far East Film Festival, I’ve been talking with a lot of other media professionals and writers about creating contacts, getting feedback and finding out more about working in the journalism industry as a writer/critic/reviewer/photographer & media professional.
As shown in the 361 post here, I’ve talked to one producer and director about getting my FMP film seen by an award winning director and getting feedback, and had an email reply from this already. I’ve also conversed with other producers/directors such as Fruit Chan and an Executive Producer from the leading HK independent self-owned company Golden Scene, Winnie Tsang, to also get more professional filmmakers to watch my FMP. At this stage I don’t ‘want’ anything from them, I just want to get it seen by more people and get my name around through networking.
I’ve also been conversing with other professionals, not just who work in film but also those who work in publishing and promotion, as one of the careers I’m interested in as a ‘side hobby’ is review writing and film interviews, so I’ve been doing more of both whilst out here in Udine and talking to other professional critics to find out about that career path. One of the contacts I’ve worked with whilst here is Mathew Scott, who is currently an independent writer and does a lot of work for the South China Morning Post, and I’ve been working with him in the press room and the VIP FEFF talks, learning more about how he writes and the style that an independent should operate. He’s been very helpful giving me lots of knowledge and information about his past, and also openly discussing different tips and ways of interviewing directors, i’m going to post some links to my reviews/articles in another post and some of the questions are suggestions from him, as he has years of experience and film knowledge so has hinted at different ways I can improve my own critiquing by asking about the politics behind some of the film choices, the messages the director is trying to convey, the inspiration behind the film and other things I’ve not really considered in my own reviewing/interviewing but help to make the writing more professional and credible, elevating the level from just that of a student to something more.
Asides from Mathew, I’ve also been conversing with other Journalists such as Rodger who works as the Japanese Critique for London Magazine (a fun old chap who attends tons of festivals in the year and has seen almost everything in his time) or Patryk Czekaj who is the Twitchfilm.com correspondent for the festival, a professional film website of which he is a writer/reviewer and I’ve discussed more with him about this and helped get some tips. Patryk has been a fun contact to talk with whilst here as he is of a similar age and we enjoy the same style of films, so both his tertiary knowledge of film catalogues and his professional writing skills have been helpful to learn from, spend time with and improve my own skills. We’ve regularly tweeted each other during the festival, and also worked alongside one another in the press rooms and the private VIP talks.
Other professionals I’m working with at the festival include some of my ’10 contacts’ such as Ross Chen, Frederic Ambroisine, Giando Ricci, Carla Fabris, Davide & Nicola Cassanello. I’ve interviewed ross as part of my ‘Speaking to Professionals’ posts, to find out more about him working as a film critic and distributor for YesAsia, so I’ll be writing that up, and I’m also hoping to grab time with Fred as he works as an independent photographer and documentary maker, selling his materials off to magazines so his experience is invaluable and knowledge unavailable anywhere else, which I feel would be beneficial to learn from and find out more about. Giando & Carla both work as press for the newspaper/website udine20.It, and I’ve worked with Giando before as a photographer at the previous 2 editions of the FEFFtival, he’s a lot of fun and always gives interesting feedback on my photos and how to improve them so I like discussing with him a lot. The Cassanello Brothers are both professional photographers, and they enjoy writing and critiquing about asian cinema (Davide works for a travel company as a photographer) so getting time with them and having fun taking photos is a great learning experience, as Davide owns his own studio so he can give quality advice whilst Nicola is always good to discuss my reviews and thoughts of the films/guests with.
All of these contacts are helpful as Ross is based out of HK, Patryk out of Poland, Mathew from HK, Rodger in London, Fred out of France and the other 4 from Italy, so I’ve got global contacts that I’ve known for several years now and are all giving me advice about their careers for PPP, and also giving me feedback and critique on my own portfolio and work style, such as the photography or film reviews, so getting this help from people who actually work in that job for a living is giving me first hand knowledge, learning how to adjust my photos to get perfect shots or watching the local professional press work and then acting as their assistant for the day (with Giando in the press room) to get a deeper insight into that job, or just collaborating together to learn more from each other and have fun in the process! All this is beneficial towards PPP and meeting up every year is a great laugh, so I feel that working with all these different professionals from a variety of countries and professions is TOO useful, it feels criminal that I’m having fun and working at the same time by learning from people in the job I want to do.