Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hong Kong FilMart - AFM, Only Shorter

The Honk Kong version of AFM begins Tuesday, and I have a badge waiting for me. What I don’t know is where the event is being held. I haven’t talked to Richard all day on Monday, and he’s my ride. I also need to get him the class workbook original so that he can make copies - ASAP. So, even though I am exhausted, I wait up Monday night for him to return. I end up so sleepy I just pack it in at around midnight, and set the alarm for 8am. I’m still jet lagged and haven’t had anything resembling 8 hours sleep in days. I also don’t get 8 hours sleep that night - I sleep in 2 hour segments, then wake up and can’t get back to sleep - my body *knows* it’s the middle of the afternoon in Los Angeles.

Eventually the alarm goes off and I get up. I can hear Richard talking to one of the servants in the main section of the house, so I quickly shower and shave and dress and... by the time I’m ready to go Richard is already gone.


I could take the shuttle bus downtown and catch a taxi.. But where to? I have all the event information on my email - but it’s not on my laptop. That means I would have to take my laptop downtown, log in at Starbucks or Pacific Coffee, ead my email and get the address, then lug around the laptop for the rest of the day. Because I have no idea what the venue is like, I don’t know how difficult this will be. If it’s endless stair climbing like AFM, I don’t want to be stuck with the laptop.

Yes, I should have written all of this stuff down in LA, but I knew I would be staying at Richard’s mother’s condo again, and he would be my guide/ride.

So I put in a call to Richard and wait for him to return it. Even though it is early now, the shuttle bus doesn’t run from noon until 2pm (lunch break) and if Richard takes his time returning the call I might not be able to leave here until 2pm - wasting half the day.

Richard calls about an hour later - it’s at the Convention Center. Well, that makes sense. Maybe I should have just taken a cab there in the first place?

I get on the shuttle, get off downtown and grab Starbucks to go, then flag one of the millions of bright red Toyota 5 door taxis on the street. I have no idea how much this is going to cost me, but the *base charge* is $15 HK. The Convention Center is cross town, but I could probably walk it. The taxi driver zooms through traffic like manic (hell, he’s taxi driver) and we end up at the Convention Center... with $18 HK on the meter. I give him a $20 and a $2 coin... anything under $20 is a coin over here, and my pockets are filled with coins I forget to use.

Then I get lost in the convention center. It’s huge. Los Angeles Convention Center has 2 halls, this one has 7 halls just in one of the 3 wings. I have to figure out which of the 7 I need to go to. I actually follow signs and do okay - waiting in a very long line for my badge then another long line for my bag-o-crap. They give out "goodie bags" at these events, but there are never any goodies in them! This bag contains ton of brochures for products - commercials! I find the hall entrance, where they scan my badge and allow me to enter.


Though the convention center is huge, the FilMart is small. Just one hall - and it is split into FilMart (selling films), Location Expo (showing you places to shoot your films) and an Equipment Expo (like the old Showbiz Expo - all kinds of cameras and grip equipment and those cool RC camera helicopters). All in one hall. Unlike AFM where it is 8 floors of hotel suites, here we have your standard dinky booths. 2 chairs and a table. The first 4 rows are film sales, the rest is the other stuff. I find the Hong Kong Film Academy booth - which has 2 huge posters for my class and a stack of handouts for the Wednesday night "preview" - which is now "previews" - one session at 6pm and one at 8pm. I hope I’ve caught up on my sleep by then... tomorrow. Richard and his staff are there handing out flyers and brochures.

Next to the HKFA is my friend David from AFM selling his films. Next to his booth is a new company, and I know one of the three owners from IFP. We can almost shake hands without my leaving Richard’s booth - it’s that small. A handful of other AFM companies are there - and many are not. This event is *small*. I walk it in less than an hour - including locations and equipment.

There are ctually several events going on all at the same time at the Convention Center: FilMart, a Music convention one floor down, a TV convention one floor down from that, an arts funding event on another floor and the HK Film Fest has some seminars and screenings in another wing. Basically, everything entertainment is set up for the same week - this is a great idea. It also means that pop stars and bankers are on the escalator in front of you. Lots of different types of people.

I spend the rest of the day talking to David and Richard and Richard’s people and the IFP guy. I also talk to the salesmen from Shoreline about Blood Predator and Slaughterhouse. There is a convention center café where I guy a Coca-Cola for $12... HK. It probably would have cost $12 US at the LA Convention Center. Richard says that he will wander the convention center giving out flyers about the free premieres himself... but when he returns an hour later he has about the same number of flyers as when he left. I mention this to him and he tells me he is only giving them to people who look bored. Though, that sounds like everyone to me, I guess some people are less bored than others. I ask how many people are signed up for the class and the only answer I get is "More than last time" - well, I guess that’s good.

As the day winds down, David asks me if I would like to go to the Asian Film Awards tonight. He has two gold invitations, but isn’t going to be able to use them. Sure. There’s a reception with drinks and fingerfoods first - hey, I’m there! Richard takes the other invitation but tells me he’ll have to leave early. When they close the expo floor, we grab the invitations and head to the big theater downstairs. I had no idea how much trouble I was in for...

- Bill


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, the suspense..

Will our hero Bill make it through the Ninja and Tong that await him?

Will he be found sipping a Martell Cordon Blue by the end of the day?

Find out after the break ..

(read 'Soft Target' as you can probably tell, thoroughly enjoyable, will be interested to see the film now .. for me i think it will entirely depend on the casting of Yordan).


Bill... Funny stuff. Is the Filipina still making the morning coffee? Remember not to piss her off!

By the way... Did you know that The Secrets of Action Screenwriting is the most expensive screenwriting book there is on

Check out my site when you get a chance... LOL.


wcmartell said...

Thanks for reminding me - I need to come p with a fake name to sell a couple of copies on ebay.

- Bill

wcmartell said...

I think it's all about Yordan, too - the idea was to write a script that could star a strong silent action star - and have that be an important part of the character... then have a sidekick role they could cast an actor in (or a popular stand up comic type). That way the sidekick carries the acting duties while the hero can kick ass.

Nice if it has worked that way.

- Bill

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