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CIA: Gladiators
If someone was to sit me down right now and tell me that that was some top secret social torture experiment, I would believe them.
Recipe for instant mayhem:
Put 20+ over-achieving, bossy, know-it-all, director wana-be’s in a room together and tell them to out-perform each other for the prize.
On the surface all seems very sweet, polite and even marginally collaborative (in the true sense of the word). Peek below the thick atmosphere and you see manipulative, conniving, merciless, hyaenas, waiting their moment to overpower the weak or weary.
Seriously. That was not an uplifting or nurturing environment. If it was intended to nurture new film makers, I doubt it nurtured anyone except to show us the cold hard face of what euphemistically the film industry seems to call ‚Äúcompetitive collaboration‚ÄĚ. In plane English: It had more in common with Roman Gladiator games.
Individually you can not fault the people that attended. There were some really lovely people and a number I hope to meet again soon. I am sure that under different circumstances we could all have a very pleasant, enjoyable, enriching interaction and probably learn a huge amount from each other.
The good thing: It’ over and hopefully the day achieved what the organisers had hoped for it.
Personally we wait and see what happens next. I am beginning to think that I would like to make this film even if I do not get selected for the NLFP funds. It will be a wonderful experience and stretch me as a film maker, especially in my ability to work closely with actors and hopefully together make something surprisingly good.

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