I should really been in bed but to be honest I’m quite excited. Even though I didn’t get back to my room until after 2 am this morning, my departure from Cardiff at 11.30 marked the end of two days volunteering at the Ffresh Student Moving Image Festival of Wales. I wasn’t entirely sure about it when I signed up but now I’m really glad I did. The organisers were fantastic guys, the screenings were exciting (some a little bit bizarre to my tame tastes), the talks were wide ranging (and fascinating) and it was all in all a good experience.
I know one or two of you John Q. Internet Public types are probably saying to yourself, what’s so exciting about volunteering (if there is anyone actually reading this blog)? Fair enough is my response to that. I know I wasn’t exactly your stereotypical pretentious filmmaker/creative swanning around rubbing shoulders with all the important people but I think I did something way more interesting than that.
It’s easy to see networking as just sucking up to people who can do things for you. Far too easy, and it’s just not in my nature to do that. When I know someone, I like to feel like my presence contributes to whatever it is they’re doing. I like to help and I like to make things happen as smoothly as possible. So it was my distinct pleasure to help these guys out and I’m glad I did. They are top quality people and I’d gladly volunteer for them again. Plus James, one of the organisers, has been so kind as to let me e-mail him to ask him things about organising shows. Any information that would be useful to our grad show. The film industry is very much a “I scratch your back, you scratch mine” kind of deal and from what I’ve heard it’s very much based on your relationships with people. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking for some kind of networking opportunity out of this but I was prepared to work hard for it. I doubt I’d make a very good pretentious filmmaker anyway, but oddly enough that works for me. If I’m genuine with people I hope that they’d be genuine to me. So far that approach has worked so we’ll see how that all works out.
All in all I’ve had a good time. Met some people from other universities (and a few from my own) got to know some of the guys from the Festivals Company so I’m happy. And on a completely unrelated note, I’ve found that I quite like commuting to Cardiff on a morning. Strange thing to like I know but it’s an interesting experience, though I imagine it would be annoying if I had to go further than the Atrium. I’d talk about the talks I went to (Jon Ronson, Noah Harris, Semiconductor) but I am absolutely tired. Two days in Cardiff for 12 hours is more than enough to make me sleepy so maybe tomorrow I can type up something interesting.