Patty Fantasia

The Las Vegas IndieMeet Brings Together Filmmakers

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Patty Fantasia


The Las Vegas IndieMeet Brings Together Filmmakers from Near and Far

On Memorial Weekend from May 28th through the 30th, the Las Vegas IndieMeet was held for the sixth time in seven years. If you’re a filmmaker it is an amazing way to meet other people, who share your passion, learn new skills and see some terrific independent films and shorts. Graciously hosted by movie makers Mike and Sheila Conway at their Las Vegas home, attendees came from as far away as Arizona, L.A. and Texas like Kelly Johnston and his wife Debbie and Mario Salcido and Otis Stover. There were also familiar faces from the local Las Vegas independent filmmaking community, such as Jeremy Settles, Joshua Cohen, Martha Somers, Tracy Garner and Stu Chaiken.

Friday night kicked off with a combination buffet dinner and networking meet up. Everyone had the chance to make new friends and catch up with old acquaintances before setting up outside on folding chairs by a bonfire to watch movies. Known for screening both independently produced shorts and features, this year’s choices didn’t disappoint. The horror genre dominated starting with shorts made by FEWDIO along with one of our host’s latest productions “Dreamin Demon”, which Mike wrote and stars in with wife Sheila. A special premiere of “One Long Day”, a feature film shot here in Las Vegas, was shown afterwards and director Keith Mosher and several cast and crew members including Chris Schaub, Tommy Lynch and Dean Mauro were all in attendance. Topping off the opening night festivities more shorts followed.

For those looking to improve their skills or acquire knowledge Saturday’s demo session provided lots of information. Mike Conway started us off with several examples of how to use Adobe’s Special Effects, set up masking shots and film with a green screen using clips from his own work as examples. Next Keith Ford, presented several AirSoft guns and rifles, which look authentic enough to be used for props on any set. They also have price ranges appealing to an indie filmmaking budget. Kelly Johnston, a former marine and filmmaker, told us how he discovered AirSoft and used them in one of his earlier projects “The Awakening”

Chet Simmons demonstrated another type of equipment used for shooting, his Canon 7D camera. This led to a discussion about lenses and comparisons between it and another Canon favorite the 5D. Award winning Lionsgate trailer editor, Garo Setian, revealed some of the finer points of his craft, while treating viewers to a reel of his work. Former line producer and recent Las Vegas resident Jorge Falconi talked about AFM (American Film Market) and distribution. Filmmaker Jeffrey Blake Palmer then shared promotional video about his new project “The Sleeping Deep”. Jeffrey, who hails from New Hampshire, made an earlier project in his hometown called “On the Fringe”, which didn’t require the graphics and artwork that his new film will. In between guests helped themselves to slices of pizza and Sheila’s amazing chocolate chip cookies and were privy to a few special effects demos. The first one was by Mario Salcido, who built a lifelike torso and then rigged it to explode. This was followed by Jimmy Gingsumrong showing a squib charge going off.

As the night settled in, we were visited and entertained by the Alien Warrior Comedian, stopping by to share some old jokes and try out his new material on the crowd. The green costumed comic provided a humorous diversion for us earthlings after all of the presentations. Once he bid us adieu it was time for Saturday night’s slate of films to be screened. On the schedule were more FEWDIO shorts and features “Bio-Slime”, “The Back Room” and “It Envies the Living”.

The event concluded on Sunday where attendees went to see “The Prince of Persia”, then had a pool party and barbeque before finishing up the 2010 IndieMeet with a few more shorts.