One thing about me is that I never tell people to do things that I don’t do. If I say the best way to get traction in your industry is to go to company gathering and network, it is because I’ve done it, or am doing it. In the case of networking, I was fortunate enough to attend the Produced by Conference, hosted by the Producers Guild of America form June 8-10. This years conference was held at Sony Studios in Culver City, CA.
One thing I have to say is that if you are writer/producer and you want to be in a place where all the big wigs collaborate, this is one of those places. Everyone there had something they were working on, and it was a fantastic place to pick the brains of many. I was lucky enough to find a discount opportunity, whereas it only costed $545 instead of $945 to attend (thanks infolist.com). I was basically a day full of conference session, along with networking sessions where we could mingle and discuss partnerships in between.
In my time there I was able to meet Christian Kubsch, President of Prana Studios (For those not familiar they did most of the special effect for movies like Transformers, Tron: Legacy and others).
I got to sit in on a presentation by Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, where they spoke a bit about their transitions into the industry, discussing his earlier work such as Momento and into his more successful works (I don’t think I need to list off).
From there is was just a ton of things you could get into. There was an exhibit alley, where you can find out ways to collaborated with other studios, location management companies, and variety of other services.
However, in the end it was just great to talk with people and see what they were working on. Since I don’t live in LA I really have to come back with as much information as possible, and that means, really leaving your shyness at the door when you speak to people. Having a project helps the discussion, since everyone else has one. You don’t want to walk in there with just an idea, you have to have something to work with. With that, you can at least discuss potential collaboration.
All in all, it was a fantastic experience. Definitely go if you have completed work, money, and a will to collaborate.