CLEAN SLATE :: March 2011

Once every month, Clean Slate will pose a question or two that involves the business and art of movies in Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond. “Comments” will remain open for three weeks, during which you can congenially respond and debate. Write us now if you have suggestions for future topics and until then, talk shop below! [All comments will be moderated. Opinions stated below are not necessarily shared or endorsed by C-U Blogfidential staff or writers.]

~ Jason Pankoke

March 2011

Question: One resource sorely lacking in
Champaign, Urbana, and the cities beyond that could
aid local movie makers a great deal is [FILL IN THE BLANK].
Why do you feel it necessary and how can it be
realistically implemented?

2nd Question: A new reader remarked that
he is surprised to see so little interaction on
C-U Blogfidential from its readers. Please name
one constructive thing you feel CUBlog could be doing
that would encourage you to visit and participate
more often than you do now. Thanks!

9 Responses to CLEAN SLATE :: March 2011

  1. Bogdan :

    I might as well break the ice..

    For the 1st Q I cannot yet give a pertinent answer. I moved to CU only 6 months ago, but as a general rule of thumb observed throughout my years of production and Academia, I would say that a community (film or not) can always benefit from people being proactive. After all, an art community is mostly driven by passion, so it seems inherently logical that people communicate with one another, help one another, and promote one another. In art if you think “competition” you are doomed from the get go, IMHO.

    So yes, there are lots of elements that could be implemented in a film community, and I hope to start bringing some of these to the “table.” Those interested to collaborate with me, simply visit my website, see who I am, and let me know if we’re on the same wavelength ( I like to live secluded and enjoy my time with family, but film still is my passion, and like a very good meal, it is best when shared with others.

    As far as the 2nd Q, I have already met Jason, and I have been slowly making my way through his blog, Youtube channel, etc. I have to say that if WE are indeed passionate about film, a little participation would also give Jason new wings. To maintain such a constant presence on the web and to publish a print magazine it’s no small feat. We’re not doing it… So, my humble suggestion, and not wanting to sound condescending, is that we – the READERS – get involved in Jason’s efforts. Write an article. Post your comments. Ask questions.

    Otherwise, it feels like a monologue…and nobody likes to talk by himself/herself for too long. Maybe I am wrong, but I looked for comments on his blog and website and I couldn’t find them. So make some waves. It’s a good thing and you never know what leads to a new project…and a better project.

    Cheers to you all,
    Bogdan Heretoiu

  2. Administrator :


    Thank you for your thoughts.

    One technicality on the Comments I should bring up, to be fair – I had them closed for the better part of 3 years because of a WordPress flaw allowing spam to infiltrate where it didn’t belong and not just what appeared in the “spam filter.” (We never discovered if it was the architecture or the theme allowing this breach.) Recent upgrades have finally curtailed that problem and I have left Comments open for the past few months running.

    I address this a bit more during “In My Backyard,” which posts later tonight. But I obviously share Bogdan’s conclusion – participate, people, participate! 😉

    ~ Jason P.

  3. cb photo :

    A1: A location scout/location manager for the entire state south of I-80 would definitely help. A camera/lighting/grip rental house would be nice, but I doubt it would be profitable enough to provide the latest and best gear.

    A2: My lack of reaction and interaction is because the topics are too broad for my level of experience, and that I have nothing valuable to contribute.

  4. Jason Lindsey :

    i would like a film commission website for the Champaign area listing all the resources in the area. When we shoot productions all over the country the first thing we do before we even decide on the location for the shoot is look for information on what resources are available in the area we are considering. Good film commission type site are the most valuable resource for this.

    I think we have more resources in the area than many people realize.


  5. Joe Taylor :

    I think one thing we really need is an audience willing to be openminded enough to go take a look at something they have not heard about. As with many things (music, art, films, improv, theater, etc) we have been conditioned to go see things that we know about through big budget marketing and the very few things that get positively reviewed by the critics. If we haven’t heard about it through these traditional means, then we are scared to take the risk and go see it. Even those of us who are involved in creating seldom go see things outside of our comfort zone, but when we do, we often find something of value. All this is a little easier in the big city where they have a population to support it.

  6. Thomas Nicol :

    Personally, I can’t think of anything C-U is lacking that would significantly aid my own filmmaking (aside from a shop supporting my niche interests, but there’s the internet for that). We have a pretty solid community here, and I’ve had no trouble finding projects to help out on, or finding people to help with my own endeavors.

    Of course, it all depends on what sort of projects one wants to do, and what one wants to get out of it. For someone looking to live off the art… there are better locations. For the cinematic hobbyist, it’s a pretty good place to be.

  7. Paul :

    Q1 – I would say local fundraising resources, but at the same time, I haven’t fully explored it all myself.

    Q2 – Continuing to connect everything on here with social media (i.e. you creating this Clean Slate for March as an event on Facebook was gold!)

  8. Joe Taylor :

    More Pankoke – in 3D!

  9. Linda McElroy :

    As Joe Taylor said, I would like to see more people willing to take a chance on attending independent films. The Route 66 International Film Festival held in Springfield during the third weekend of September screens films from across the country and around the world, as well as films made in Illinois. Filmmakers have come from California, New York, Florida and all parts of the country, as well as Canada and Mexico, yet local-area filmmakers rarely attend. They are missing a great opportunity to network with other filmmakers and experience some great films.