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ASCAP Sessions
      EDITOR'S NOTE
I’ve had a few conversations in the last week about the subject of jobs. One was with a colleague who told me that she was a firm advocate of the “second job” for filmmakers. In this economy, she thought, the idea that one needed to quit a day job in order to focus on and finish a creative project was the wrong one; filmmakers, she believes, need to adjust themselves to longer timelines and figure out how to find work that doesn’t tap them out physically or emotionally while they make their films. Of course, there is nothing new in this idea – filmmakers as well as artists, actors, novelists, and playwrights have juggled other work for hundreds of years. But what is new is what these jobs might be. Someone sent me a video this morning that reported that one in four jobs today didn’t exist just ten years ago. For filmmakers who have figured out that their sensibility is not going to produce a six-figure spec sale, who want to keep making small-scale long-form feature films instead of quickie Webisodes, who are not independently wealthy, and who are new-media savvy, their skills may place them at the forefront of today’s labor market. Around the country news departments are being radically restructured, and hyphenates – those who can write, produce, edit and then supervise cross-platform placement – are highly valued. Those who have an understanding of how the concept of community has been reshaped by the internet are being sought after by traditional media. And, most importantly, those flexible enough to not cling to outdated job descriptions are finding employment opportunities even in a down market.

I’ve written a lot on the blog about how our films might have to change as technology and audience tastes morph, but perhaps it’s the rest of our lives that change. Maybe all that new media stuff is what filmmakers do when they’re not making their feature-length films. Maybe for some filmmakers it’s not about taking new media ideas and shoehorning them into already defined filmmaking aesthetics but about taking independent filmmaking ingenuity and web smarts and applying it to other, less personal work while passion projects come together.

Nothing radically new here – just some Thursday morning thinking. But a couple or writers are exploring these concepts at greater length in upcoming issues of Filmmaker. And, as always, you can email comments or thoughts to editor.filmmakermagazine AT gmail.com.

See you next week.

Best,

Scott Macaulay
Editor
      NEW IN THEATERS
EXAMINED LIFE
"25 New Faces" alum Astra Taylor follows up her debut film, Zizek!, where she followed Slovene philosopher Slavoj Zizek on a lecture tour, with Examined Life, another doc on philosophy, but this time she places eight diverse thinkers on the streets, sidewalks and roadside paths of their home environments and films them discussing the relationship of philosophical thought to the act of living in the world. As she tells Nick Dawson in this week's Director Interviews. "When I was editing Zizek!, I had this strong desire to do another film about philosophy and to do an ensemble piece," she says. "I feel like Examined Life is the culmination of approaching philosophy." Read our interview with Taylor below.

      RECENT BLOGS

This week on the blog, Scott Macaulay posts Mickey Rourke's (pictured left) hilarious acceptance speech for Best Male Lead at the Spirit Awards, reacts to the closing of New Yorker Films and explains how Amex wants to help make your movie.

To read more posts from our blog, click here.
      UPCOMING AT IFP
IFP SCRIPT TO SCREEN CONFERENCE - MARCH 7-8
IFP's Script to Screen Conference explores new opportunities available to independent filmmakers and directly connects aspiring and working screenwriters to the decision-makers of the film, television and new media business. Featuring some of the most prolific industry innovators and iconic screenwriters in independent film today - including conversations with Focus Feature's James Schamus and 30 Rock producer Jerry Kupfer, master classes with filmmakers Lee Daniels (2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize Winner Push: Based on the Novel By Sapphire) and producer Scott Franklin (The Wrestler), panels featuring Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden (Sugar, Half Nelson), Ramin Bahrani (Goodbye Solo), producer Ted Hope and more! The Script to Screen Conference is the place for writers and writer/directors to explore the art, craft and business of writing and creating the next great independent film. For more info and tickets click here.

      NEWEST WEB ARTICLE
ASTRA TAYLOR, EXAMINED LIFE
By Nick Dawson

With her sophomore feature, Examined Life, Astra Taylor once again brings together her two main passions: film and philosophy. The title is derived from a quote by Socrates (who deemed that “the unexamined life is not worth living”), and over the course of the film Taylor introduces us to eight contemporary philosophers who delve into the issues and problems of the modern world. Taylor here creates a film of substance that is nevertheless light on its feet. Neither the walking philosophers nor their conversations stop for a moment during Examined Life, so the result is physically and mentally energetic piece of filmmaking. read more

      FESTIVAL DEADLINES

FEBRUARY
Newport International Film Festival
Submission Deadline: Feb. 27
Festival Dates: June 3-7

MARCH
Santa Cruz Film Festival
Submission Deadline: March 1
Festival Dates: May 7-16

Fantastic Fest
Submission Deadline: March 4 (Early), June 3 (Final)
Festival Dates: Sept. 24 - Oct. 1

London Independent Film Festival
Submission Deadline: March 6 (Final)
Festival Dates: April 17-27

Find more festival deadlines, click here. And get the latest news and notes on the fest circuit at Festival Ambassador.

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