Fresno Takes Steps to Draw Film and Television Production to the City -- Fresno Filmmakers Forum Conference to Address Scriptwriting, Production, and Finance
The second annual Fresno Filmmakers Forum conference will be Saturday, October 25, 2008, at the Tower Theatre, 815 East Olive Avenue, Fresno, California, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. A meet-and-greet mixer will follow at Palomino’s restaurant adjacent to the Tower Theatre.
Ray Arthur, Fresno’s Film and Entertainment Commissioner, announced the slate of prominent speakers for the event.
“We’ve just confirmed that the Miller Brothers will be there,” said Arthur. “They successfully completed their film ‘Touching Home’ which stars Ed Harris, and will tell us how they did it.”
Arthur announced the entire line-up of speakers for the event. In addition to Logan and Noah Miller, they are Dean Shull, who produced the feature film “Waiting…” distributed by Lions Gate; Marty Shindler, whose entertainment business expertise includes years of management positions at major studios and accounting firms; Peter Maris, who has produced and directed over thirty movies and interactive computer games; Alexis Fish of SAG Indie with information about how to get actors for projects; and documentarian Kevin White, founder of Filmmakers Collaborative.
A meet-and-greet party will follow the Fresno Filmmakers Forum conference that evening at Fresno’s popular Palomino’s restaurant adjacent to the theater. Conference attendees will be able to meet the speakers and network with others in the entertainment business.
“This is our second conference,” noted Christine Autrand Mitchell of Entandem Productions, one of the founders of Fresno Filmmakers Forum. “About one hundred people attended last year, and the enthusiasm was so high, we expect two to three times as many people will attend this year.”
Regional areas vie for film and television production because the entertainment business is a low-impact industry that creates jobs, helps invigorate an area’s economy (productions require food, transportation, laundry, props, and other local services), and boosts civic morale and pride.
Collaboration between the City of Fresno, local non-profit organization Creative Fresno, and Fresno-based production company Entandem Productions created Fresno Filmmakers Forum in 2006.
“We saw the obvious short-term and long-term economic benefits of bringing out-of-town productions to Fresno,” notes Creative Fresno’s Suzanne Bertz-Rosa. “However, the benefits I’m most excited about are the opportunities for local creative professionals to make a living while growing our own indie film discipline.”
The City of Fresno is taking several steps to attract filmmakers to the city.