Tues May 17, Day 2 at Cannes
Happy Norwegian Independence Day! Marthe’s from Norway and trying to make connections there. And she spent a lot of time today celebrating the holiday as best as possible. And I’m sporting 2 tiny Norwegian flags in support.
Today we went to one of my bookmarked breakfast places. Much cheaper, equally lovely. We also stumbled upon a flea/farmer’s market, which is my favorite thing. And I picked up 2 tiny souvenirs, although our last day I went back and bought shoes! We walked through the shopping area of town and I found the coolest chocolate shop. I know I can’t really eat chocolate, but I had to try a million things. So beautiful and yummy. And yes, THAT was one of my favorite parts of today.
The rest of the afternoon was pretty frustrating. We ran between Short Film Corner, The American Pavillion, the Documentary Corner, and town. Here’s the thing, the festival is HUGE. None of the above are in within 100 or 500 ft of each other. So it takes time to run around. I think we did 25,000 steps today (wearing my garmin pedometer!) and it’s tiring! Especially since we’re basically still carrying all the flyers we ordered, and we cannot find places to put them. We hand them to people we’re meeting, along with our business cards, but I would not order flyers again. Every stack we’ve put down has mysteriously disappeared shortly after. Also, there are many people to meet with at the Documentary Corner, but they’re almost 100% international type buyers. No one really is connected to the US (at least that I could find) and so there wasn’t anyone I wanted to meet with. I had gone on Cinando (the festival website to connect all industry people at several major festivals) and contacted many people ahead of time, but nothing came through. So we’re winging it all. As some of you know, I’m ridiculously freakin’ shy when it comes to approaching people or walking into a crowd. So Martha started walking up to people she didn’t know and introducing me. Or daring me. Whatever she could so I’d actually talk to some documentary filmmakers, which I so desperately wanted to do. Thank you Martha. And when I say there’s a crowd, I mean, we went to the SFC happy hour and there were probably 400 people crammed into a 70 foot space. I started hyperventilating. Texted Marthe (thank you Verizon, money well spent) that I was hiding all the way in the back), she found me and we skedaddled somewhere I could breathe.
Also today, I went to a documentary panel and keynote address. But although I love watching documentaries, I’m just not into that 99% of them seem to be about horrible, depressing topics. There are fun stories too people! It started late. I’m jetlagged. Comfy seats. You get the picture. Good nap.
Also the nice part of today was Martha and me having dinner right on the water, but away from the festival. And again I’ll say that I find everyone in France to be incredibly lovely. I’m a New Yorker. I’m used to people bullet pointing everything they say and do and not giving a damn about me. But when I ask for directions, or help with ordering food, etc, I think everyone could NOT be any nicer or more helpful. Although I will say, I’ve worked my butt off learning French this time and it has REALLY helped. So I approach in pretty good French and maybe that’s a better jumping off point.
It should also be noted that while Marthe and I spent time at dinner talking about life, and the festival, we also discussed business and our future together. So we networked with each other. We cultivated our relationship. And we confirmed that we like working together. And THAT is what this business, and networking, is really about. You meet people. You like some of them. You work together. It goes well. You want to do it again. That’s not just how films are made, that’s how ALL work is made. So when someone snarky says, “It’s not WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.” Well maybe they already met that person and didn’t like them. And who wants to work with people they don’t like?! If you’re a pain in the neck, no one wants to work with you again. And word gets out fast. I’m pretty demanding. I expect professionalism on set. I expect people to be organized and respect my time and effort. I expect them to be talented and have vision. I have no patience for anything other than that. I expect a film set to feel like a team, or a family. A functional, kind family. And if it doesn’t…I’m moving on and not looking back. It’s a 2 way street. And today’s street’s in French.
Speaking of streets. I said we brought flyers. Waste of money. Not only are they heavy, and we couldn’t find places to leave any, but eventually, Marthe started handing people on the street, on the way home, a flyer. I laughed hysterically the whole time she did it. She even put some on motorcycle seats that were parked. So yes, I’m afraid we may have littered in Cannes. Desole.