Come rain, hail or shine Cinema Jam do their thing. This was my first time, and with London doing it’s classically British rainy thing, I arrived drenched, three industry friends in tow, to be promptly bustled up some stairs and into a crazy room filled with bean bags, high chairs, mason jars filled with generous helpings of wine, crisps and chocolate brownies. But I wasn’t there for these treats. No. I had come along to get amongst the underground action that makes Cinema Jam what it is. Actually, it almost feels more exclusive than they even mean to be.
Only industry professionals can come along and the criteria is strict (oooh and they also run some special events open to the public). But it works. What they have managed to create is a bespoke, playful environment full of people in the biz who actually are in the biz. And the atmosphere was charged.
The best bit was it didn’t feel like I was networking. Phew! I run a networking event so if anyone knows bad networking, I can tell you I do. I’ve been to my fair share where people try too hard and spend their whole evening giving me their CVs. Instead what delighted me about this night was I was just milling with my buddies on a Friday night, enjoying a brilliant movie (I’ll get to that) and being introduced to my mates’ mates. Essentially you’re making contacts that count because you’re just meeting people and there is no agenda. Everyone there just wants to watch a movie and then listen to the guys who cleverly made it happen. It’s a pretty simple recipe and brilliantly executed.
But I digress. Fast forward to the film and Q&A. The room was quiet as Jared, the founder, took us through the evening’s format and talked a little about Cinema Jam. He’s funny! He’s cool. There couldn’t have been more than 60 people in the room but the energy was electric. And the film was too. I was delighted.
Not having seen The Rise before I got quite a kick out of this passionate Northern heist…it’s one of my favourite genres so I was pleased they delivered. Screened on a massive projector at the front of the room it felt not dissimilar to my girly film nights I host occasionally in my living room. Only their screen as a little (a lot!) bigger. They followed the film up with a lively Q&A with Mark Foligno & Rowan Athale afterward and I am pleased to say these very down-to-earth gents kept it very real and truthful. All in all, I am hooked on everything these guys are creating. I mean both that director and producer I heard from, and the Cinema Jam team. I have already started opening their emails as soon as they arrive in my inbox. I’m itching to send another tweet of me, hanging with my cool new peeps doing what industry peeps do…sharing wine and good stories about great work. My recommendation – google these guys and get on board! Or just follow this link 🙂
p.s. remember Cinema Jam is the place for Directors, Producers and Film Freelance professionals.