In the Glasgow Film Crew, I have found a reliable collective of individuals who I enjoy working with
and spending time with. While there are many regulars, who have become my friends, there’s
always new and interesting people, and in no other group or environment have I felt more like I’m
surrounded by people who I can connect with and share interests with. As I’m spending a few months in Colorado, I decided to seek out a similar group of filmmakers. I discovered the Boulder Filmmaking Incubator, who also organise through meetup.com
The format of the meetings is a bit different. We gathered at Boulder Digital Arts, which is a centre
of education and support for technology-using artists. The room where the meetup takes place is
set-up like a lecture theatre. After going round the room and letting everyone introduce themselves, the organisers, Marianne Leviton and her husband Doug, lead us through an agenda. There was some discussion of a group project, a simple short film that members of the group could make together. This is something that happens regularly in the GFC, but usually isn’t put together by the group officials, although a related organisation the Young Filmmakers Glasgow has had good results with the top-down approach to getting short films made.
Next, a long-time member of the group, local filmmaker Matt Abraxas, got up to talk about the short
film he’s been working on, ‘Vermin’, especially the challenge of shooting an underwater shot, and
how they overcame that challenge. I found his experiences very informative, as I’m planning a short film with an underwater scene myself, and his video updates for the film seem like a good marketing technique to build anticipation.
After that organiser Marianne Leviton showed three different versions of a trailer she had cut for a
documentary she had just recently completed. Paper and pens were distributed so that people could give feedback and evaluate the three versions. The discussion afterwards led to talking not only about the documentary itself, but about the right kind of approach to take with trailers in general. Is it better to tease the audience, and leave them with questions, or give some of the details away to show off the content?
We then moved on to screening attendees’ submissions. People were only screening around five
minutes of their work, although Marianne told us longer screenings were allowed, but would have to be arranged in advance to make sure there is time on the agenda. This is different to other “open mic” screenings I’ve been to in the past, usually at Café Flicker, a monthly night organised by
Glasgow’s GMAC Film, where the negotiable limit is 15 minutes, with plenty time left for Q&As with
the filmmaker. There were some sections of incomplete documentaries, a clip from a comedy short
presented by the soundtrack musician, and an enjoyable animated comedy. I took the opportunity
to present Carcosa, the Glasgow Film Crew’s submission to the 2015 48 Hour Film Project which I
contributed to. The film was very well received, with one attendee commenting it was the highlight
of her day.
Another difference between the meetups was the time limit. The room was booked for a limited time, and by the end we were rushing to finish the attendee screenings, with not a lot of time for Q&A. The networking portion took place in the hallway outside, once the screening was over, but a lot of people didn’t stick around, and we were standing in a corridor. This was probably the biggest difference, Glasgow Film Crew is almost all networking and socialising, sitting around a set of tables in the pub, with no time limit. In fact, people often continue on to the pub across the road even after the venue has closed, and some enthusiastic members have been known to stay out until the wee hours of the morning.
Although Glasgow Film Crew meets every week, Boulder Filmmaking Incubator only meets once a
month, sometimes every other month. Although this likely means that they have more material for
their screenings, it changes the emphasis from a social gathering and more of a creative showcase. I enjoyed attending the Boulder Filmmaking Incubator, and plan to go back to their next meetup later this month.
Myke Hall is a screenwriter, producer, and sound recordist with the filmmaking collective GlasgowFilm Crew. He also co-hosts the crew’s weekly meetup events. Myke’s background includes music performance and promotion, Internet radio and podcast presenting and producing, and music journalism. Myke has professional skills in social media marketing and IT support.