The Blow off – Hollywood’s cruelest tactic and the lament of your humble narrator

I’ve been blown off twice in the land with the big fancy sign. I remember them very specifically and yet I’m not even sure if the people involved are aware that they even did it or how degrading it felt to have been on the receiving end of such a blow off. Perhaps, it sais more about them that it does about me and it’s not entirely fair that you only get my one sided account of such matters but if there is one thing about this industry that I CANNOT STAND it’s the blow off.

I will paint you the pictures:

Last year, my school, mount super fabulous, hosted a film festival, a film festival that will remain nameless as I refuse to promote it or the person who created it based on the moral and ethical principle that is of my own soul making.

This inaugural festival took place on a Saturday. A rainy Saturday. A Saturday I had to walk from downtown, take the red line from 7th and metro to Hollywood and Vine

and then walk the rest of the way, in the rain, without busting my ass on the likes of

Julia Louis Dreyfus, 

Frank Sinatra,

and George Carlin

Of course, I had no umbrella cause I am but a lowly beyond poor student. But more on this status of hopelessness hapeless loser later as it will be of the utmost relevance at that time.

So I get to mount super fabulous,

on a Saturday, without having fallen on the star of Clive Davis (although he may have like it had I did) soaked and take my seat

and proceed to spend my entire Saturday watching short films. Most of them starring this person, or produced by this person, or somehow was involved with the making of most of the short films I saw that day, and there were A LOT of them. And I thought to myself, this person is really impressive and I must know this person, and this person seemed really nice on the day and was grateful that I showed up and I couldn’t wait to send them a request for friendship on the facebook.

Only one problem. I was in facebook jail yet again (See previous note: Facebook jail and other signs of the coming Apocalypse) and I wouldn’t be out for almost a month. So I waited and waited and then FINALLY!!! I was able to send the sacred request for friendship and start to build up correspondence mileage and thinking this is going to be great and then of course I noticed a week later that it had been

DENIED!!!

O.K.

So it probably just means they had no clue who I was cause I probably didn’t send a message along with it cause that is a major fault of my own laziness and then I pretty much forgot about them until March of this year when Mount Super Fabulous held their inaugural Alumni Association event and low and behold there the Facebook reject-or person is. And I was really freakin’ nervous even approaching them but it was one of those situations where I had to do it cause I really wanted to know how they put together that Film Festival and just when I got the courage to ask, when it seemed they had a mere moment of I can actually talk to this person time, their reaction was that I was basically interrupting them from talking to someone a lot more super fabulous than myself as they proceeded to walk off to do just that.

I did manage to ask, how did you put that film festival together cause you had talked about it taking a year, and they said

yeah,

and how did you go about booking the theater?

and told me

to just book the theater through so and so and it wasn’t that difficult and good luck.

So me expecting a real conversation that could have lasted at least 5 minutes lasted about 5 seconds and I never felt more insignificant at Mount Super Fabulous than in that moment.

Now ironically with someone like Kevin Smith who is uber famous and has to be what I consider to be very successful that guy actually made me feel like a peer and that was incredible moment to have gone from such a fan to now I’m in the same business as he is, and we’re all in it together, and his view of his fellow filmmakers and collaborators couldn’t have been more opposite from what I had experienced just a few months earlier with this person who made me feel so insignificant.

Of course, 10 minutes later, I would go on to win my very first Joe Byron pen, but after this very brief encounter I was no longer a fan of this person, and really felt that they were more out for themselves and what can you do for me than what someone whom i know would call the networking process as ‘making friends’ instead of the ‘what can you do for me’ philosophy.

I mean for me this business really is about relationship mileage and then the opportunities will come because that person likes you as a human being first and then have the skill set as a secondary. Basically it’s who you know, not what you know, but what you know will keep you there. I certainly prefer to work with people with this mindset and it’s still surprising to me that pros in the industry embrace this philosophy as well and how important relationship mileage is here.

But woe to those moments when you realize that the person you really want to get to know has no intention of reciprocation and is viewing you as someone who is blocking their path to the big executive with decades in the industry.

I get this feeling sometimes on Facebook when I promote someone and then they will like that I promoted their project but it’s the only time they will go on my Facebook to actually like anything so I’m always blown away by the pros in this business who go the extra mile after  you’ve promoted to really reach out to you and reciprocate. So it’s a really good way to know who would be good to work with and who you might want to avoid.

But back to this person who shall not be named. . .

I would see this person again a few months later because their film festival was being held at Mount Super Fabulous again, this time I would see them at a foreign film screening, and they made a short speech about their upcoming film festival, and if you have any questions come see me after the screening. Of course, me naively thinking they were going to actually stay and watch the movie with us left 5 minutes after it started and then nowhere to be found after.

So once the festival was publicly scheduled in the Mount Super Fabulous newsletter I did everything I could to get the promo code for it cause I was not going to pay 20 dollars for this thing when the previous year I had gotten in for free for being a student. And for damn near two months I tried to get the powers that be to get me that code and FINALLY!! on the last day before it started they sent me it cause they had to get this person to create one. And then I couldn’t go cause that weekend I came down with a horrid cold.

So for those of you who are fans of the blow off I guess that’s what you would call Karmic justice or something???

That was my first real experience at being blown off in this land with the big fancy sign and still I’m not sure if they are even aware that had blown me off to such a degree that now I will not utter their name or promote their film festival and I am hardcore when it comes to promoting other people’s organizations. But as far as organizations you actually belong to the second time I had gotten the blow off was from someone I totally would not have expected it from.

Now this person had done a damn good interview with Gale Ann Hurd the month before and was the go to person for one on one interviews with land with the big fancy sign big wigs at these monthly meetings. So of course I go up to her and compliment here on it the following month and ask her if she would be interested in being a part of the upcoming radio show I’m working on and it turns out she had zero interest in anything I had to say about it and to go up and talk to the main guest and to basically not be afraid to do so like I was the biggest wuss on planet earth and that I was basically a young lost puppy that ‘they’ had no interest in talking to.

Now this could all be my imagination and thinking that this organization was basically created to further the careers of the board members and really weren’t interested in dealing with people that they would feel are beneath them to work with in any type of capacity. I could be so wrong about that, and really wish that I am but then today,

I had the nerve to ask about the 5 dollar fee they are now charging to attend their monthly meetings and who am I to ask?

and that I might has well farted in their office for even asking in the first place?

Here is the conversation thread verbatim that unfortunately ended way too early:

art holmes:

Is there a promo code I can get for this since I don’t have a car and I always walk to these?

conservative/religious/too patriotic? person:

The event is $5 to attend, for all members, and this has nothing to do with parking a car.

Make sense?
Thanks,

art holmes:

Where does the 5 dollars go to?

CR & too patriotic? P:

Art,

As with any event, there are a myriad of costs and overhead. If youve put on an event before you can likely appreciate this.
If you do not feel the event is worth $5, you are not required to attend, and you can still take advantage of the free things VFT offers such as the facebook group and new website.
Thanks,

Most normal people would have ended it right there but of course I’m Art Holmes and cannot help myself:

Art Holmes:

What’s involved with the overhead costs and the other factors involved?

If I have a clearer understanding why we are paying a fee and why it’s justified I can then relay this information to other veterans students who have wondered the same thing when I have found myself in this conversation over the months.

In the past, I was under the belief that it was for parking and I was fine with that and defended that. For a student to have to pay five dollars of which equates to a week’s worth of bus fare it would be helpful as to why the week’s worth of bus fare is worth the sacrifice, when previously the only explanation for implementing a fee was due to the high flake factor and therefore I had felt like it was some sort of mass punishment for the incompetence of others.

Seriously conservative and way too patriotic:

VFT is an exclusive group youve been accepted to, not a right. Like any product, if you are unhappy you can choose not to support it.
Overhead includes parking lot attendant, security, bar staff, venue, insurance…just to name a few, and that’s just for a single event. 
It’s quite frustrating to pour thousands of our personal dollars in to what we’ve crafted to be VFT and thousands of hours only to have certain people question the opportunities we provide at the absolute lowest, mostly free, price.
Please maintain a positive attitude, do not make negative assumptions, and be grateful for opportunities that are offered to you.
Does this make sense to you, Art?

Art Holmes:

Yes, except for what you are perceiving to be negative assumptions? When I am trying to get clarity on an issue that has come up in conversation over the months when an entry fee had not been established from the onset of VFT but has been a gradual implementation over the months. This way I can have legitimate talking points in the future when this issue is brought up with other veteran students.

Please point out all negative assumptions that I have made so I can address them to provide better clarity as to my intent.

As an Entertainment Business student with classes coming up in Event Planning I am actually interested in these costs, especially if it’s going to services I’m not using such as parking and the bar which is an additional expense for those who partake and the justification of a fee that was first implemented to deter the L.A. flake factor.

I’m not exactly sure how an interest in these things translates into being ungrateful and negative? But then again, I totally understand it from a very conservative religious perspective and questioning how things actually work.

_______________________________

So that was it and no response and like I had felt previously stated and had felt there was no intention there of enlightening a humble student as to the inner workings of how an organization that is very helpful to those in this land of the big fancy sign and have the ability to navigate the networking politics within it actually works on a monetary level.

Also, I was very confused as to why the very first response had stated that the fee had nothing to do with parking but the first thing that ‘they’ listed in the overhead was for a parking attendant? I’m a really big fan of consistency and professionalism and I hadn’t realized two very important things when I initially asked about the fee.

First thing was that I had been under the assumption for months that this was only for parking so I figured I would be able to get a promo code because I knew someone who actually was successful in getting one when they had mentioned the same dilemma.

The second assumption that was incorrect was that I actually thought asking where the entry fee goes to was actually a legitimate question. So my first two responses were actually two strikes against me. Now I had found myself in a similiar situation back when I was in the Recording School when we were given individual projects to do and I always finished ahead of everyone else so instead of sitting there for ten to twenty minutes waiting for everyone to finish I would jump on the Facebook until one day the instructor was like, NO FACEBOOK IN THE CLASSROOM!!!, so I then mistakenly tried to explain that I was finished and actually being productive, but before I finished explaining this I got another, NO FACEBOOK IN THE CLASSROOOM!!!,

so

BAM!!!

that’s two strikes against me in the span of 10 seconds with an instructor and so at that point I just closed the lap top and twiddled my thumbs for 10 minutes. Still not a fan of that instructor. Of all the instructors I’ve had there are only two that I’m not fans of. The only other time I had an issue with an instructor was when I was trying to get my current grade and it was damn near impossible so everyday I would ask and finally he just got really annoyed at me cause apparently my excitement at life in general was too much for him but anywayz. . .

Perhaps it can be argued that I was out of line comparing the response to that of which I had experienced in organized religion when you really start to question how things actually work?

And yet I’m still confused why asking how the money is spent was so offensive to even ask when your a member of said organization? But that’s the way mop flops.

On a much more positive note I was able to get a much more respectful reply about this later in the day and thus proving my previous points on how important relationship mileage is and having a mutual respect for each other is in this town.

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