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Indie Filmmakers With Big Vision and No Money Now Have a Place to Go

By Nicole Bode | April 6, 2010 12:24pm | Updated on April 6, 2010 12:14pm
Dani Faith Leonard, co-founder with Alex Cirillo of the indie film Web site BigVisionEmptyWallet.com
Dani Faith Leonard, co-founder with Alex Cirillo of the indie film Web site BigVisionEmptyWallet.com
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Dani Faith Leonard

By Nicole Bode

DNAinfo Senior Editor

MANHATTAN — New York’s indie film community may not have as much cash to throw around as Hollywood’s blockbuster movie factory, but at least it has vision.

That’s the inspiration behind the new Web site, BigVisionEmptyWallet.com, an online forum that lets city filmmakers find local resources, get the latest industry news, and have a place to display their film clips. The site is set to launch May 1.

“There is always a need to build up the film community in New York City. We kind of get overshadowed by Hollywood, people seem to forget that there is a community here,” said actress Dani Faith Leonard, 25, who teamed up with filmmaker Alex Cirillo to launch the site.

The Web site BigVisionEmptyWallet.com launches May 1.
The Web site BigVisionEmptyWallet.com launches May 1.
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“We really want to encourage people to come here to make their next project and if they are here, to show them the resources they can use to make their project,” Leonard added.

Last year, the pair founded the film networking group Industry Power Play, which hosts monthly mixers, weekly film screenings and other forums for the city’s film community.

The new site is designed to help the filmmakers that they gathered through their networking sessions by giving them a clearinghouse of up-to-date information, they said. That could include everything from how to navigate the city’s rules and regulations to get a film made, as well as provide a list of recommended vendors who work in the city.

“Part of why we decided to do this is this information exists, but not in one place. It’s a matter of going to the mayor’s office Web site, to Google, to piece together from all these places to put a film together. So what we’re doing is a one-stop shop,” said Cirillo, 23, of Gramercy, who works as the office manager of Washington Square Arts and Films.

The pair said the city’s independent film scene is a team effort — or at least, that’s what their site hopes to help teach newbies trying to go solo.

“There are people who think that they can go for it alone,” Leonard said, “And they learn pretty soon that this is a collaborative industry, and they can’t do it alone or they’re screwed.”