The DIY DAYS conference will be held in Boston on Saturday, October 4th at MassArt, along with screening of From Here to Awesome films the night before, also at MassArt. This traveling conference, recently held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York, explores how independent filmmakers can sustain themselves as filmmakers and storytellers in today’s environment of shifting film distribution systems. How can independent filmmakers monetize their films and get the word out without studio support? Presented by MassArt Professional and Continuing Education, From Here to Awesome, and The Workbook Project, DIY DAYS aims to answer these questions with a day of roundtable discussions and workshops: A look at how you can fund, create, distribute, and sustain yourself as an independent filmmaker.
Who should attend? Anyone who makes creative work: film, video, music, games, especially if you would describe yourself as an independent filmmaker. The day consists of both structured and free form activities to encourage open discussion and the opportunity to break into groups and get everyone talking to each other. Register now, the event is free but space is limited due to the size of the venue, designed to encourage an active and participatory discussion among participants.
This conference, inspired by the success of “unconferences” in other professions, is quite special because it’s being organized by filmmakers and supported by generous sponsors, hosts, and volunteers, rather than driven by vendors. It started last year when filmmaker Lance Weiler (Head Trauma, The Last Broadcast) reached out to Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) and Mike Belmont (We Are the Strange) with the idea to create a virtual conference and festival. After a series of discussions they decided that the virtual event would be a way to connect filmmakers directly with audiences and the event itself could become a model for open content distribution, one which allowed filmmakers to have a say in how their films were reaching audiences. It also enabled them to take concepts from the Workbook Project (an open source project for content creators) and to put them into practice. To make a long story short, the virtual event evolved into an online and real world event in two parts: (1) The From Here to Awesome festival which is playing out in theaters, living rooms, online and via mobile devices and (2) a series of live conferences with participatory discussion know as DIY DAYS.
The organizer’s goal is to create an open discussion and debate that will evolve as the conference travels around to several cities. At the end of the process, the organizers intend to share the results and then go back to the drawing board to plan for year two. I’m excited that this conference is coming to Boston, and being hosted in such a wonderful location. See you there!