Christina and I were invited to participate in the In With The New Out panel at Outfest, which was a huge deal since Outfest is the leading organization that promotes what they see as equality by creating, sharing and protecting LGBT stories on the screen. The panel was, as always, very fun and OutFest was very well attended, which made for a full audience with lots of positive energy.
Screening 'Kelsey' on such a big screen and getting the audience response was a necessary reminder of why I love to create, why it's so important to keep going and that the payoff doesn't always (actually quite rarely) come in the form of financial gratification but the joy and participation of those who consume our content. For one and a half hours, the duration of the panel, my self-doubt had gone on vacation and I thoroughly enjoyed the positive energy of the room.
I got to hang out with wonderful filmmakers on and off the panel, some I had met before, others I now consider new friends. After the panel some of us grabbed lunch and discussed the film industry and LA in general. It was a short but wonderful time and I hope to go again next year (with Christina).
Some lessons I learned along the way, the hard way:
- Don't walk -- especially if you're not wearing sunscreen.
- If you're getting into a car service, be prepared to talk.
- AirBnB is cheap and effective and less scary than initially feared.
- 'Kelsey' works well on a big screen (yay!)
- Everyone is struggling to finance their content.
- The sun will burn you through your car window and leave you with one side of your face more freckled than the other.
- Don't buy breakfast at the airport (what was I thinking?!) they'll charge you a liver and a kidney.
- I love NYC.
IN WITH THE NEW OUT PANEL (in sitting order): Moderator: Damian Pelliccione (Boys In Tech) Panelists: Kieran Turner (Wallflowers) Dalila Ali Rajah( DykeCentral) Tina Cesa Ward ( Anyone But Me/Producing Juliet) me (Kelsey) Kevin O'Keefe( The Transgender Project) Joe Dietl (Where The Bears Are)