Santa Barbara International Film Festival

santa barbara film festivalThis week I’m in Santa Barbara at the International Film Festival. After attending this event off and on since its inception more than twenty-five years ago, I decided that it would be fun to volunteer this year to see the Festival from a different perspective. Additionally, as an online marketer I am always interested in how people market themselves, their products, and their talents in a creative environment.

I have become quite a people watcher and observer of behavior since coming online in 2006, and this was an opportunity to do it in a setting that is both extraordinary and unique.

What I have truly been impressed with is the confidence and networking skills of people from diverse backgrounds, all the way from the volunteers to the press to the actors themselves. So many people are giving their all to getting the word out about who they are and what they care about to others who might be able to help them.

Today I spent time talking with Justin Schwarz, the writer-director of a new film called The Discoverers, about the importance of marketing when it comes to filmmaking. Justin has done many things well, including having a website with an optin form, a Facebook fan page for the film, and a Twitter account. I asked him if he had a blog, but there just wasn’t time for him to set up anything else while getting the film ready for the competition.

Marketing takes you from where you are right now to closer to where you would like to be, in lightning speed time. Having the confidence to share what you are doing with others will bring you bigger and better results that you could ever imagine. Looking people in the eye and asking them to get on board with your dream will put you light years ahead of most anyone else.

I think of the people I have known throughout my life who did not have the courage to go for their dreams. They believed that others were more worthy because they were smarter, better looking, had better connections, more experienced, or had more talent than they did. None of that matters when you believe in yourself and have faith in the possibilities that await you when you reach for the stars.

Successful people do not second guess the situation or the circumstances. Earlier this week it was announced that Leonardo DiCaprio had a scheduling conflict and would be unable to attend the Film Festival and receive the coveted ‘Riviera Award’. This was handled very quickly and by the next day he had been replaced with Quentin Tarantino, who would receive the same award instead of DiCaprio. Think about it; would you be as thankful and gracious if you were asked to be a last minute replacement for a prestigious honor such as this one? How you handle situations is a good indication of how you handle everything in your life.

My experience this week as a volunteer in the Festival’s Press Room is one I will treasure forever. I have met the most amazing people who are professionals through and through. They made me feel welcome from the very first minute I arrived, allowing me an inside look at their world and an opportunity to serve them in a small way.

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