New Mountaintown Film Collective reflects growing community of filmmakers, videographers
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Filmmaking can be an isolating process.
“It’s kind of a lonely craft,” said Greg Hamilton, Steamboat Springs award-winning filmmaker, producer, writer and director. “Compared to an office full of people, many of us filmmakers are flying solo and don’t have other colleagues to compare notes with, share ideas or give feedback.”
Discovering they faced similar challenges, Hamilton and Charlie Smith, another Steamboat filmmaker and photographer who is also a film and graphics teacher at Steamboat Mountain School, came up with the idea last year for a new cooperative of filmmakers — the Mountaintown Film Collective.
What: Mountaintown Film Collective meetings
When: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month
Where: The Ski Locker, 941 Lincoln Ave.
“Getting film advice from friends is one thing but getting film advice from other professional filmmakers is so much more meaningful,” said Ben Saheb, a Steamboat filmmaker known for his work with Rig to Flip. “We speak the same language, we understand each other’s struggles, and it is just so helpful to have a place to go to when you truly need it.”
The new group’s mission is to create an opportunity for filmmakers to share new work, receive feedback, connect with like-minded creatives and help one another find success in their projects.
Mountaintown Film Collective gatherings are held every fourth Wednesday, and so far, the collective has grown steadily from five people to its current 18 members.
While there is a Steamboat Springs Film Committee, with support led by John Bristol, economic development director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, the Mountaintown Film Collective is more “ad hoc,” said Hamilton.
“The big difference is that we’re a peer-to-peer group of working creative colleagues trying to elevate our craft and find the funds to do what we do,” Hamilton said.
The shared film experience of collective members ranges from films featured in over 60 major film festivals and over 200 years of combined film experience.
According to a recent survey the collective conducted, 60 percent of the group’s members said their connection to the film/video industry is best described as professional with it being their primary income.
“The quick takeaways — we’ve got abundant resources in this area, and we’re hungry to keep creating great work,” Hamilton said.
“Having this collective of professional filmmakers come together under one roof will help filmmakers in Steamboat Springs launch out of the starving artist category and hopefully become more self sustaining in this extremely important line of work that our community so badly needs,” Saheb said.
The meetings are open to the public and filmmakers of all ages are welcome. The collective has a Facebook page and is in the process of creating a website.
Hamilton said members hope to eventually offer events like a community film festival.
Interest in filmmaking seems to be on the rise, in part due to Steamboat Springs’ recent selection as part of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade’s 2018 “Blueprint 2.0” Film Festival initiative.
“I think it’s a turning point for the videographer and filmmaking community,” said Devon Barker, who is originally from Steamboat and is currently in Guatemala producing a short film, “Siglo,” about coffee growers.
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