Running a Meetup Group – 5/29/20

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If you’re looking for helpful advice on how to run a meetup group, this post isn’t for you.

So this is pretty much a lazy bull shit post so I urge you not to read further, I just think I need to get in the habit of posting regularly again. For Mountain Cult I don’t really have anything to do until I secure a location for episode 4.

Ok, so here’s what I did – I realized I new very few people interested in filmmaking, and in particular acting, and also saw that my local area did not have any local groups that would serve my interest. So I launched my own – the Riverside Film Network.

Well, guess what – the corona virus has had this strange effect on people where they don’t really leave their homes or go out in public places. So the first 2 meetings I had with the group were suggestions to create a short youtube video, which one lady kindly did. Also my good friend joined the group and created one, but that was just to troll me.

Now that the covid-19 lockdown is winding down, I’m preparing to announce our first meet up. I’m pretty excited about the possibilities of the group, but also apprehensive. I don’t want to be the constant driving force behind a group if the participation is insignificant. At the same time, however, I am the one who started the group, so it’s success/failure is largely on my shoulders.

Do you have any experience with meetup? If you are a writer I highly suggest you join one. Being in a public group is a great way to motivate you to continue striving toward your goal and is the first step in networking regarding your specific interest.

Ok, that’s it. Here’s my stupid ass short film if you haven’t seen it yet. God knows I’ve posted this thing enough times already.

Staying Busy – 4/23/2020

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A beautiful image from a failed shoot. 

My last post here was pretty somber, to say the least. I felt beyond defeated after cancelling my friend’s involvement – the only person who I had to use as an actor at the time.

I spent much of Friday, or Thursday, or whenever it was, lying down with my eyes shut allowing defeat and despair to consume me to the point of a peaceful nap (am I the only one who sleeps the best when all hope is lost?).

But alas, ideas began to pummel my head. How can I consider myself devoid of actors when I’ve only contacted a few friends who don’t want to be actors? How can I possibly be the only independent filmmaker in my area who is having these problems? Why did I all of a sudden forget about Matt, who acted superbly in my first short film and more importantly somewhat enjoyed it?

Questions determine your path ahead – and the decision to avoid answering them is also known as “procrastination” and leads to that heavy, sinking feeling called “overwhelmination” (fuel for my peaceful nap).

I spent all of Friday night visiting various websites and “connecting” with people online. I put connection in parenthesis because an online relationship is the equivalent of downloading a robot that will press your star every time you press theirs.

I set up an account on a few official casting websites. I haven’t posted a job yet because I’m slightly terrified of offering no money, no chance of distribution, and no union benefits. Not to mention some repped actor is going to show up and see me holding a camera, a microphone, and a slate board. Followed by my explaining that I’ll be the lead in this worldwide exclusive. “You can add this to your reel!”

Anyway, I came across one of my favorite websites that I haven’t visited in years. It’s a website known as https://www.meetup.com/ . The way it works is you enter in your zipcode, search for a hobby or interest (writing, screenwriting, hiking, yoga, getting drunk on the train tracks) and voila! You discover you are not actually an alien sent to earth by accident, but you were sent here with other aliens to be outcasts together.

I started out by contacting others in similar groups, but that proved inefficient. The big hang-up was that I had no filmmaking group in my immediate area (!) Now, I’ve never organized anything before nor have I ever had the desire to. I do, however, wish to continue producing films. So I decided to create a group specific to what I wanted to accomplish – with the knowledge and expectation that nobody would join it.

Well, fast forward to today. There are currently over 25 members with our first event planned this week. Due to the corona virus lockdown we are unable to meet physically. Instead, I created a challenge for others to make a 60 second introduction video. I finally got around to creating mine last night. I’ll leave a link below if you’d like to check it out.

On top of that great news, I also contacted Matt, the actor from my first short film. He was down and available to do some shooting this week. The only obstacle was that I had also begun a weekend project of creating a dolly. I was pressed with time, but I managed to complete the build before filming began.

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That is Kelly’s sock, my girlfriend who refuses to participate in any video unless she gets to play a homeless extra in the background. There is also a film dolly.

I was able to get some awesome shots with the dolly, a few of which I’ve included in my introduction video below. And moving along with the theme of good news, I had another friend who said he would be happy to spend a day filming with me, and even offered his wife up to participate in an acting job.

I’ll try to continue updating here more frequently, but for now it’s time for me to drain 5 beers in 10 minutes so I can fully immerse myself in the universe of Red Dead Redemption 2 (I should clarify that I’m writing this at 2 am and not at the time of Thursday’s posting. I haven’t had a drink that early since April 22nd so relax.) Here’s the video link to my intro video below.