Random Thoughts from Cannes – Day 1

Hey cats.  Thanks for checking in to Seven Thoughts.

After a long plane ride and a layover in Germany that was seven years longer that I thought it was (or so it seemed), I am back in France for the 67th edition of Cannes. After five consecutive appearances as an lawyer, then producer, I took the year 2013 off from festivals. Frankly, I spent a portion of 2013 trying to figure out exactly “where” and “how” I fit into the film industry, and I made a lot of career changes in that regard, all for the better.  Last May, Rumi and I went to Naples instead, attending Sarune’s wedding and exploring the wonders of Italy (genius).

Tonight, I am spending some time on a balcony catching up on work and writing. Tomorrow, the producer’s network starts (think Dinner Club 7 on steroids for a week and a half), and things will be fast and furious through next week.

As the international search for Flower continues, I am meeting with producers and representatives of countries and companies about Goodbye Blue Sky. I feel like we are close to selecting our Flower, we have some awesome candidates, but we really won’t know until we hold auditions, because the Flower character itself is so unique. Until we have Flower, there is no movie. Once we find her … look out.

The chaos at Cannes started early this year, compliments of the bus incident at Nice airport, where most of us thought the driver was going to engage in hand-to-hand combat with an American filmmaker who was not amused (aka pissed off) to “not” to have a seat on the bus to Cannes. The sitcom like episode included lots of yelling, luggage being tossed around, and the filmmaker sticking his hand into the bus door as it closed TWICE, resulting in screams, shouts and threats. Somehow, someway, real violence was averted and the bus left for Cannes without the filmmaker. In the mayhem though, I twisted my knee trying to get into the bus seat. The injury felt weird, I thought I f*cked it up to the point where I was going to have to get right back on a plane and go home. which would have not been so amusing. Happily, my knee did not swell up or get too crazy painful, and quick visit to a French pharmacy for a knee brace and some aspirin, got me up and running again, albeit a little slower for a few days.

Anyway, I am in Cannes in a different capacity than the last five journeys. My entertainment law practice is going great, including new representation of a large Japanese entertainment company. But for the next two weeks, “lawyer” is not something I mention in Cannes. I am here as the Director of Goodbye Blue Sky, and that is all my new business cards say. For the record, I am still, and always will be, an entertainment lawyer, and I love being a lawyer. But the only way I enjoy being a lawyer is if I am also working creatively as well. Right now, it is easier to present my movie, and not have to explain the journey from lawyer to director. I don’t think I could really explain it anyway, it all started during the Wizard of Oz-like huge storm in Cannes 2012, but that is a story for another day.

The branding issue, so to speak, was that when I tell someone who I met for the first time that I am an entertainment lawyer, assumptions get made about my creative abilities, and we usually end up talking about their legal issues, not my film. As my drum corps pals know, I was creative long before I stepped inside a law school, a creative who became a lawyer, not the other way around. So, with a renewed focus on personal branding… I am a first-time director in Cannes, and more than a little belligerent about it.

Okay cats, thanks for reading.  Have a nice day.

Give me a script and get the hell out my way…








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