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     Does anybody out there have any experience with forming a
salon for people seriously involved in the filmmaking craft (i.e.
film makers, scholars, critics, librarians etc.)?  I am
not talking about yet another group where people come to do power
networking, learn important professional tricks of the trade etc.
Not that this isn't important, but we already have several groups
in the Washington DC area who are doing this quite well like Women
in Film and Video, the Film and Video Council etc.
     What I am looking for is something more like a true salon,
where people get together for the pleasure of conversation and
sharing ideas.  It would kind of be like this mailing list, but
also give us the opportunity to get feedback on our projects and
ideas, screen our work for critiques etc.
     My parents have had been quite successful in forming salons
for people who like to watch good movies.  They have a potluck,
show a movie that they believe will inspire a lot of ideas, and
then actively facilitate the discussion.  Because of the extra
effort of RSVPing and bringing a meal, people seem to becoming more
committed to the group, and real friendships are forming.
     Maybe I am being naive to think that something like this could
be done with people seriously involved with the filmmaking craft.
I tried to do something similar with the AIVF and found out that
this didn't seem to be what people who came to the meetings wanted
at all.  They wanted meetings with minutes and agendas, speakers
on topics of importance to them, the opportunity to network with
important people etc.  Perhaps not surprisingly, most people were
far too busy with their films to volunteer the time or contribute
membership dues to make these things possible, although the group
is still going on.
     I don't know if that is just the DC area, or a trait of people
who make movies and therefore just don't have the time to do much
else.  If anybody has any thoughts on this subject I'd really like
to hear them.  If anybody lives in the Washington DC metro area and
would be interested in such a salon let me know.
 
Many thanks,
 
Simone Fary
 
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