Industry professionals met with students and other Savannah locals in the Marshall House lobby on Nov. 2. The event was part of the Coffee Talk series of informal panels, and focused on discussing the advantages of shooting films in places other than Hollywood, and the benefits of using local resources.
David Paterson, writer of “Love, Ludlow” and associate producer of “Love, Lots of It,” dove right into the conversation, discussing how to break into the industry with little resources.
“The two best words you can know as an up-and-coming filmmaker are please and thank you. You can get anything you want. You just have to ask for it and be nice,” Paterson said.
Mike Magidson, director, producer and writer of “Inuk” continued the conversation, telling students how the previous relationships he made while filming two documentaries in Greenland helped him in making his new film.
“I could not have made this film without forging those relationships,” Magidson said. “I am a firm believer that films can be made outside of Hollywood. In fact I think it’s necessary.”
Bernardo Nascimento, director, producer and writer of “North Atlantic,” told students that when filming, “There was a lot of friends to help and we got a little funding from things like Kickstarter.”
Paterson admitted, “A lot of directors aren’t people persons so you want someone on your team who knows how to approach people and get free things. Someone who knows how to be really nice and can get you amazing things and amazing places.”
But what if by some stroke of luck you do have money and a collaboration? Do you flaunt it or tell people about it?
“I always say I have no money,” joked Paterson.
“You never have enough money,” Magidson added. “You need to go after resources as much as you can and you need to be as honest as possible with the people you work with.”
The filmmakers also spoke on the thought process that goes into finding the right community to film in.
Magidson said, “It depends on what it’s about. When I shot in Greenland, the story contributed to the community and the problems they are going through, but if it’s negative you’re going to have a hard time getting them on board.”
Paterson interrupted saying, “It never helps you to sneak into a location without telling them the truth. Its always safer to be up front and have everyone know what’s going on.”
Magidson added, “You cannot say it will only take a day and know that it will take four. Don’t take advantage of people’s generosity. Treat it like your parents house because you want to go back there for Thanksgiving.”
On this same note, Paterson concluded with the number one thing he feels filmmakers need to remember: honesty. “Be honest with your cast and crew. Honesty is the best policy.”Contact Danielle Austin.