Friday, November 30, 2012

Filmmaker Grant Shaud: Why I Love Open Screen

By Devin Wachs, Public Relations Manager, BMFI

On Monday, Bryn Mawr Film Institute celebrates local filmmakers at the first Open Screen Showcase, a compilation of some of the most interesting work from our Open Screen Mondays program. The free event, which includes food and drink, will be emceed by actor/comedian and former MST3K host Joel Hodgson, and is curated by BMFI Lead Manager Mike McCracken.

You may recognize Open Screen Monday contributor Grant Shaud from his role as Miles Silverberg on the long-running TV series Murphy Brown. In the years since, he's been a frequent guest star on such TV series as Law and Order, Pushing Daisies, and Louie. But he comes to Open Screen as a budding filmmaker, and his short "A Five Minute Epic Love Story" is featured in Open Screen Showcase.

Actor and filmmaker Grant Shaud's loves the supportive environment of Open Screen Mondays. His short film is featured as part of Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3. (image via)

Mike McCracken interviewed the actor and filmmaker via email about the importance of the Open Screen Monday program.
Why is an Open Screen outlet important for the filmmaking community?
Open Screen is a fantastic place to get to meet people who are actively interested in the process of creating film. It’s a supportive environment for people to show their work and learn.

How is the Open Screen format different than a selective format? 
It's just friendlier and more relaxed. Everything in this country is now about a competition. At the Open Screen, people bring in work that is still in development and not finished. That's how supportive it is. And because of the nurturing environment, some of these projects have gone on to great success at festivals such as Sundance. But they were able to breathe and grow at BMFI. BMFI has tapped into a great source of talent in the Main Line area, but they didn't seem to do it for that purpose. Again, they did it just by encouraging people to come on by and bring their films.

How does this format benefit you as a filmmaker?
It takes the pressure off by not being so results-oriented. If you're not so worried about being "good", you can stumble on to "great".

What did you learn about your work through Open Screen?
I've learned that if you're motivated to actually make a film, it's beneficial to let people see it. I mean, nobody threw me out. They were actually quite effusive in encouraging me to continue to make films. Again, it's an incredibly kind environment. I like being in it whether I have a film to show or not.

Thank you, Grant! See Grant Shaud's short film, "A Five Minute Epic Love Story", at BMFI's Open Screen Showcase on Monday, December 3 at 7:00 pm.

Devin Wachs is the Public Relations Manager for Bryn Mawr Film Institute. She joined BMFI in 2005, following her graduation from Bryn Mawr College. If you send BMFI a message on Facebook or Twitter or are interested in onscreen sponsorships, she's the one who'll be in touch!

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