Meetup Report: Austin Film Pros. Conclusion? Awesome.

Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a meetup group for film professionals at the Speakeasy in Downtown Austin. Jennifer Hutchins, a producer who has worked in both tv and film and whose credits include a film and tv series of the master magician Criss Angel, hosted the event. She put together a couple of fantastic presenters, and did an excellent presentation herself. One of the themes I noticed throughout the evening, between all presenters and practically everyone I chatted with, was the importance of connecting with others creators and film pros in Austin in the effort to make our community stronger.

Jennifer talked about the PGA, which stands for the Producers Guild of America. As a composer, I don’t know if they would accept me, but if they were to make an exception I certainly would. The way the PGA was presented by Jennifer made it seem like it would be a boon for just about anyone going down that path. The way Jennifer layed out all the benefits made great sense to me. I’d do it for hanging out with the members, and btw- it’s cheaper to join the PGA in Texas than in California!

Her first guest speaker was Josh Rubin, owner of Media ATX. What I liked a lot about Josh was that he was incredibly forthright about how the community in Austin that does film doesn’t know the resources they have in their own backyard. He mentioned a number of studios that very few of us were aware of. Another thing that I found incredibly interesting is that he shared a story of how there were two kids who he met with who covered a niche in the gaming community on their blog and managed to pull in more than 1,000,000 views on their site a month. Had he not been willing to meet people and find new and interesting stories, he wouldn’t have found those kids (and they were kids, btw).

The next speaker was Tate Allyn, who is associated with I found her presentation really interesting in that it seemed like was about connecting ing people who work in this town with the big studios, and helping the big studios by finding them excellent talent in Austin. When I spoke to Tate later, she told me she studied musical theater and opera at University of Southern California! That is a such a great school for music! We had a good chat about introversion and extroversion. We both agreed that it gets really interesting when these two basic personality traits switch sides, ie when a lifelong introvert (myself) goes external (has a ball at a networking event) and when a lifelong extrovert (Tate) goes internal (starts thinking about what she could create and how she could present it). Fantastic conversation.

I really enjoyed meeting a ton of other people there and what they were up to. Tico, the photographer, has a background in design and it was cool seeing how he’s applying that to photography. Shawn who has a background in coding for video and how he’s applying that to videography. And JD who has a background in post-hardcore music and now he’s dedicated that same work ethic to creating his first short film. One other guy that I really enjoyed talking with was Joel Laviolette, a sound designer and composer. I hope I didn’t scare him with my enthusiasm, but damn, we had a 15 minute conversation about synthesizers and instrument plugins for Cubase. It was ridiculously nerdy and completely fun.

All in all, this was a fantastic event. I couldn’t recommend this meetup group enough. If you’re already a member, than awesome! Hope to hang with you at the next meeting. If you want to find out more about Jennifer and her meetup group for film pros, join the meetup here:

Also, if you’re a musician, please be advised I will probably want to talk shop. Warning: I could do that for hours.