Neil Hollander is a U.S. born independent filmmaker who moved to France as young boy. He was born in New York but has found the sea to be his home. He has lived in numerous places but loves his home in France. Neil spent 3 years on the water sailing around to different ports experiencing different cultures who still live on the water. He found a love to explore different cultures and telling their stories in an honest and respectful manner.
On October 20th 2017 Neil Hollander and his producer Barry visited Lane Community College for an artist talk and to preview their new movie. They gave a 2 hour presentation where they told stories of the trials and tribulations of being an independent filmmaker. The ins and outs of large movie companies and how they try to conform you to what the sponsors want instead of telling the real story. Neil was a bit of a conspiracy theorist as far as that went. He lead off the presentation asking for a show of hands for people in the audience who wanted to do independent films and joked that you shouldn’t want to do it. He was just getting us ready for the door being shut in our faces and being told no and that we need to change what we want. It was a little discouraging but I also found it as a challenge because I would much rather be told that it’s to hard to be done so that way I know what to expect.
At the end of the presentation Neil and Barry answered questions and were very knowledgeable about the movie industry as a whole. The ways that different ideas would be dealt with and the different networks and what they looked for as far as content. He had a huge problem with social media and the internet, which coming from his time I completely understand because your work was yours and you protected it with everything. I don’t believe you can totally hate modern technology and be able to move forward. I believe the key is to figure out how to use tech to further your cause and get what you want done. Neil was very good at doing what he needed in order to accomplish an idea but in this one major area I believe he is tying himself up for no reason
Im very glad I went to this event. I learned a lot and got a good sense as to what it’s like in the travel and film industry. I’m looking forward to the challenge of getting in places and getting the shot. I’m a thrill junkie and a truth gatherer so this is going to be perfect.
Some way some how I was able to get in touch with a Hollywood producer. After a few emails back and forth I was able to interview David Scharf. He has been in the industry for 18 years and still going strong. The most famous movie he’s worked on as a producer was the Princess Diaries and the Princess Diaries 2; Royal Engagement. Most recently he has contributed to movies like Keeping Up With The Stines, Magic Camp (a Disney Movie), Raising Helen with Kate Hudson, and Barefoot. Not only is he a producer he is very versatile in post production. More recently his work revolves around the post production supervision of the movies in contrast of what he’s done in his later work. He expressed to me that after 18 years of working in Hollywood he’s starting to enjoy the post production side of film more and more. Scharf never went to film school. He attended UCF and received a business degree although he knew film was where he wanted to be. He never had an in with anyone in Hollywood when he first got out there. After many phone calls and a whole lot of hustle he finally got an internship with Garry Marshall (the producer of Pretty Woman).
“In this industry you have to have thick skin”, said Scharf. He explain to me how much rejection everyone in the film industry must go through to eventually get the green light. No matter if you are an actor, writer, producer, or anything in between I was told that you must be resilient. Scharf also referenced the metaphor, “jack of all trades is a master of none.” I expressed to him that I choose multimedia because I was unsure of what I wanted to really do in this industry and what I was really good at. He advised to to dabble in everything, yet find something I do really well and run with it. The industry will look past me if i am just average at everything. To hire you for a job they want something to really jump out at them. Something that tells them your good, and your skill asset can really contribute to the project in some way or another.
I find it hilarious that in my first year of classes all our teachers are telling us Premiere Pro is the new industry standard for editing and post production. After talking to David I have come to be inform that that is not necessarily true. Although he said Adobe After effects is great and is highly used, the program Avid is actually the industry standard. Although after the release of adobe premiere Avid had to drop their prices. Nine out of ten times he said long time editors will always use Avid over Premiere. That worried me considering I am paying for classes teaching solely adobe programs. He assured me that it would be fine, to learn what I could, and if and when, or even at all I choose to go down the path of postproduction the switch over wouldn’t be to hard with a few online tutorials on the Avid interface.
All and all the thirty five minute phone interview with David Scharf was incredibly exciting and helpful. He was such a humble guy and so willing to help a girl out with her project. Depending what happens in the next two years of my education David offered to remain a contact for when I might be ready for an internship.