Every once in a while, an opportunity arises that you cannot resist. Riding camels in Egypt, giant wave surfing in Australia, nude sunbathing during Thailand’s monsoon season. Well, I’ve done none of these things, but I still got to do something pretty cool.

This year at the 20th annual Raindance Film Festival in London, UK, SAGIndie was invited to share our knowledge on independent filmmaking and new media content.  I assumed it was the Queen herself, asking for me. I’m sure she went through “channels”.

Actually, our introduction came to Raindance in the best possible way; through filmmakers who liked our message.  Back in March we were at SXSW Film/Interactive/Music Festival.  There, SXSW had a section called SX-UK where they had a group of UK filmmakers doing business, meeting people, and generally trying to convince us that we don’t pronounce aluminum or centrifugal correctly.  Well, we quickly set them straight on that.  But it turns out that the folks from “across the pond” are also interested in filmmaking.  Too bad they do it so poorly… (Wait, what? They don’t do it poorly? Long history of filmmaking? What the heck is the King’s Speech?!)

Despite their obvious shortcomings (why can’t they speak English?) we met quite a few filmmakers who seemed cool. Several of them mentioned this great festival for indie filmmaking that takes place in October in London. Turns out, they were more than just talk, they actually mentioned me to the festival director, Elliot Grove and we met each other while in Cannes. One thing led to another and off I went to London.

The festival was very cool. Over the course of 12 days, Raindance showed movies, (opening with the much talked about ANOTHER EARTH), held panels, and threw some groovy parties (suddenly, I feel all Austin Powers). I was on s panel about creating a web series. While the internet is worldwide, it seems that the US of A is leading the pack in creating stories for it. Raindance wanted us to share the wisdom we’ve acquired over the years.

You all should know that, as a rule, I try not to acquire anything– not wisdom or anything else that might make my luggage heavier and harder to get through customs. But, as it turned out, I was able to share a bit about how web series are getting better, more prolific, and attracting really talented people to be a part of them. It seemed like a good time was had by all.

I also made a jump and visited a group of filmmakers in Dublin, Ireland. I had padded the trip by two days so I could roam around a little. Just as I was deciding between visiting Oxford or Canterbury for a little educational ME time, I got an email asking me if I’d come to Dublin and talk with a group of filmmakers, actors and even guild members (producer’s guild and directors). How could I pass that up?  Plus, their offices were mere blocks from the Jameson Irish Whiskey Distillery – if you like that kind of thing – which I do NOT (unless you have photographic evidence). So, I met a great group of professionals and students in filmmaking.

Clearly, I’m not the shyest person on the planet and I try to make friends wherever I go (except YOU Minnesota. Haven’t forgotten how you snowed on me in SEPTEMBER!!). But I can happily say that I met the nicest, warmest people on my trip. We had dinner, we talked film, we talked politics, we talked Princes (Will AND Harry), and I just generally felt welcomed in by our counterparts “over there”.  I would happily go back tomorrow, IF the dollar were just a little bit stronger.

Now, could someone please tell me how many pounds a STONE is? WHY CAN’T THEY JUST TALK AMERICAN?!

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