By Brian Brooks | Indiewire September 22, 2009 at 3:59AM
The Independent Feature Project (IFP) and filmmaker social networking group, Shooting People, have unveiled a strategic partnership that both groups say will provide complementary memberships to each other's organizations. Taken together, both groups have a collective membership of almost 50,000 people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Programs and initiatives provided by each organization will become available for current members of IFP and Shooting People immediately, and will be available to new members who join either organization during the one year period of the agreement.
"Co-mingling memberships, and creating scenarios which support instead of duplicate services and programs have always been critical and are even more so today," commented Michelle Byrd, executive director of IFP in a statement. "As organizations, it is in the best interests of your members to be a proactive player in the business of collaboration. The notion of doing it all, and well, needs to be dismissed."
A sample of services that will be available to each organization's membership include a free year of membership to Shooting People for IFP members, while SP members will receive a free annual interactive membership with IFP. SP members will receive a free digital subscription to IFP's Filmmaker magazine, podcasts from IFP's conferences, access to its film industry directory and other social media tools in development. IFP members will be given access to Shooting People's nine Shooting People Daily Bulletins, use of its digital tools which enable members to post online profiles, access to its Independent Film Calendar as well as access to member only competitions, including its "Film of the Month.
In a conversation with indieWIRE this morning, Byrd - who announced earlier this year she is leaving IFP as its head at the end of the year, said the idea of cementing a formal link between the two started coming together during the Tribeca Film Festival after initial inquiries to expand the reach of Filmmaker. "I think some of the objectives to get the magazine out wider then lead to making the arrangement more formal," she said. "Shooting People is looking to expand in the U.S., and IFP has gravitas and credibility. The [arrangement] brings a different level of programming. For IFP, our digital components were a struggle for us, which [Shooting People] is good with, so it was a win all around agreement."
"The tough times that challenge those in the independent film industry, demand that organizations such as ours act decisively", said James Mullighan, Creative Director of Shooting People, from London. "Shooting People and the IFP have great synergy, and ideally complementary offerings. I am very pleased to be offering this to our Members, whose indie film making tool set is only enriched. It represents the building of a collaborative bridge across the Atlantic."
Founded in 1979, NYC-based IFP has a long history of official international programs and collaborations, including launching the first international co-production market in the US entitled "No Borders," the 15th edition of it running now through September 23 as part of IFP's Independent Film Week. Other official international partnerships and collaborations exist with the Rotterdam Film Festival's CineMart/Rotterdam Lab, Berlin's European Film Market, the Cannes Market's Producers Network, and the Asian Film Market's Pusan Promotion Plan.
Founded in November 1998, London-based Shooting People's network covers the entire United Kingdom. The group expanded into the U.S. in 2004 with operations in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Shooting People's 35,000-plus members create profiles, upload work and collaborate online. Over 300 films are cast and crewed each week using the service. Shooting People streams its members' films, and currently is hosting over 4,500.