December 1, 2008

Mike and Priorities and Me...Oh My!


My friend, Mike, is part of this comedy troupe, Room 28 ( -- really funny, really talented guys. In fact, we like them so much we asked them to rewrite the script for the 2008 NY Int'l Latino Film Festival commercial. The result was hilarious. If you've never seen it (, the premise is the somewhat ludicrous film pitches development executives have to endure. Our POV is of the executive, so you just see this succession of ridiculous characters and pitches. It's cast and edited beautifully. I'm telling you, it's funny stuff. Mike has also always been a very good friend of/to the festival - he's worked with us for years on marketing and grassroots outreach. He and I were chatting this afternoon about his desire to help with next year's festival. The issue always becomes time and priorities. In addition to a full-time job, Mike also always has a million projects in the works, including producing Room 28 shows and short films. So, here's the point: Mike offered to meet with me every few weeks next year to bounce around ideas, trade contacts, etc. In theory, it's a lovely, very generous offer. In reality, however, it becomes a waste of my valuable time because my biggest challenge is not idea generation: it's execution. We can dream up ideas 'til we're both blue in the face, but if there's no one to get the work done, it's not only irrelevant, it's useless and unproductive. Again, it's about priorities. At that time, my priority has to be on the bigger picture: managing our various partners (I just sent the recap video to
44! 2008 NYILFF sponsor contacts), overseeing production, creative and media, and running the event, itself. I'm not suggesting this isn't important stuff, because I'm a huge believer in the power of grassroots marketing. I'm just saying, at a certain point, I can't be the one to do it all...especially when you consider this is just the festival I'm discussing, here. The REALLY big picture, of course, is Cinedulce and the relationship between the festival and Cinedulce. The obvious solution is to hire a marketing director for the festival. Duh. The issue? $. That is just one example of a job I'd love to fill but we first need to be sure we have the funds to add the position to our already growing staff list. Last year, we had roughly 30 staff members and 150 volunteers. Another solution? Interns -- AKA God's gift to the NYILFF and Cinedulce. Our current intern, Michele, is a rockstar and is already handling a bunch of online grassroots marketing. Maybe we bring on a partner for her and, together, they knock it out? We shall see. These are the issues we find ourselves facing on a daily basis. How do you get everything done - and, more importantly, done well - within the confines of a limited budget (especially, in this economy, which, apparently, was just officially declared in a recession)?? Creativity. Resourcefulness. Prioritization. More on this another time...

In the meantime, check out Mike and the Room 28 gang this Saturday, 12/13, for their LIVE Christmas sketch show, including performances by Tweaponz and Pattydukes & Rephstar (both of whom were also in our commercial!): La Pregunta Cafe (1528 Amsterdam between 135th and 136th Streets). Doors open at 7pm. You must RSVP at by December 11th. You can also watch them live on
Two lucky online viewers will receive $100 dollar gift certificates and an mp3 player. Good stuff!

~ Liz

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