Two expert panels advised, teased, and encouraged filmmakers attending the Los Angeles Comedy Shorts Film Festival Friday morning, while giving them a chance to peek behind the curtain of “the biz.”
The first panel, "What…In This Economy?", focused on giving management/production companies what they really want. Panelists included J.C. Spink (Benderspink), Chris Prynoski (Titmouse), and Brent Lilley and Gloria Fan (Mosaic Media).
The panelists were in a Charles Dickens mood — It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We were told by Spink that “the industry sucks” and that Hollywood has become timid and afraid to compete. On the other hand, Prynoski pointed to the upside of the dollar being in the dumps: “Now we are the off-shore studio,” he said, referring to jobs being sent to his studio from Japan and other points foreign.
"Do anything to get people to read your script. Lie to them if you have to. If it’s awesome they won’t care. If it sucks it won’t matter anyway." — J.C. Spink
"You don’t make as much on Adult Swim as with Disney but you can do what you want and get it done faster. Don’t get me wrong. I love Disney." — Chris Prynoski
"Do you have to move to Hollywood? Yes. It’s all about relationships. Trying to make it here without being here is like trying to find a girlfriend without going on dates." — J.C. Spink
"Remember the six degrees of separation. Don’t be afraid to ask your mom’s friend’s gardener who has a cousin who knows someone in the business. If you have a relationship, use it." — Gloria Fan
The Festival named its second panel “But I’m a CeWEBrity!” It focused on translating success on the Internet into success in TV/film. Participants included Tom Hoffman (Fremantle Media, Atomic Wedgie TV), Mike Farah (Funny or Die) and Tina Santomauro (Comedy Central and MTV2). They all emphasized the ability of the web to get you noticed, but pointed out that big on the web doesn’t necessarily translate to big on network or cable. Santomauro explained, “We don’t need cats on a treadmill. We’re looking for great comedic writing and that’s what parlays into television and film.”