Last night I attended the VIP Gala portion of The Next Cool Thing, a three day extravaganza displaying what Georgia's Interior Design community, inspired by the movies, as well as television, could dream up.
Impressively covering every inch of the 90,000 square feet of converted warehouse space, one could find booths featuring design elements influenced by classics such as Casablanca, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory and Ben Hur, as well as iconic characters like James Bond. Not to be excluded, recent releases including Black Swan and box office juggernaut Avatar were also represented. Adding a festive element and bringing a bit of movie magic to the night, there were actors, models and look-alikes walking the floor, taking pictures with guests, and performing mini-shows.
As an event intended "to showcase local talent and resources for the purpose of building the infrastructure for the growing film and television industry in Georgia," I think using the word success is underselling what was accomplished this weekend. Pulling together nearly two dozen sponsors and 300 exhibitors is no easy feat. And the result of all that hardwork--especially after TNCT had to move back a week, thanks to the recent snowstorm--was an energy, a vibe, and yes, even a sexiness, that was infectious.
I hope much praise is heaped on producers Higher Ground Events, To The Trade Only and Entertainment Design Group. They did an amazing job. And, as a member of Georgia Production Partnership*, I'm excited to see GPP playing such an integral role in reaching out beyond the film community to ensure others are benefiting from Georgia's 30 percent tax incentive.
Making a film requires a small battalion. Building up a film industry requires an army of creatives. This weekend demonstrated we've got that army, and they're ready work.
*In full disclosure, I also serve on the Membership Committee.