Content creators, filmmakers learn industry strategies at film lab

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Filmmakers from Guam and Saipan gathered at the Museum Thursday morning for the second of a three-day film lab sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC). (PNC photo)

Lights. Camera. Now it’s time to take action! Filmmakers from Guam and Saipan gathered at the Museum Thursday morning for the second of a three-day film lab sponsored by Pacific Islanders in Communication (PIC), a non-profit media arts organization.

Leanne Ka’iulani Ferrer, PIC executive director and Cheryl Hirasa, director for program development and content strategy, said the purpose of the program is to educate participants on bringing their projects, from concept to completion, in the film industry.

“The goals we hope to accomplish with this lab is not only to bring filmmakers together so that they can recognize one another and collaborate and network but also we want to be able to provide funding so that your filmmakers, our filmmakers, can tell their own stories.” Ferrer said

“Filmmakers lab that we’re holding here, in partnership with GIFF, is really to focus on learning about who are the media makers here and what are the stories that they want to tell,” Hirasa said.

The first day session focused on producing and directing. “What is your story? How are you going to tell it?” Hirasa said, adding, “Producing carries over to the second day, which is, how do you tell it? Then the third day is really about distribution, like how do you put all these pieces together?”

Don Muna, Guam International Film Festival co-founder and PBS executive producer stressed that the festival is not only a showcase for films, it is also a resource to help filmmakers establish themselves.

A first of it’s kind on Guam, the workshop provides independent producers and filmmakers a wide-angle lens exposing the dynamics of their industry from pre-production to marketing and distribution.

Several filmmakers shared their take on the lab.

“Aside from being in the creative side to producing a film takes a lot of work and there’s a lot of people involved in the scene,” one of the participants said.

“I think the biggest thing I expect to get out of this lab is to, one, become a better producer and of course understand distribution strategies. I think that’s one of things that we’re really lacking on island. This is a perfect opportunity just to get into the producer mindset because as an artist we’re always focusing on the art and not the business aspect of things,” filmmaker Brian Muna said.

While Guam’s local talent continues to refine their craft, as well as grow into entrepreneurs in film, they wonder what is being done by our elected officials to facilitate the opportunities that await in this multi-billion dollar industry.

PNC was able to get an interview with Speaker Tina Muna-Barnes, author of Public Law 31-159, which established the Guam Film Office. We’ll have more on this story tomorrow night.