So, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve been home from INFOCUS 2012 in Charleston, South Carolina. I’ve been busy at work trying to apply all that I learned and implement some changes! Not only am I refreshed, but also somewhat overwhelmed with new ideas (that’s a good thing). I’ve got some wise and exciting decisions to make for Bella Films in 2012… oh what to do first?? Okay, time to blog – yes!

It was my second year in a row of attending this amazing conference (first one held in New Orleans) and as usual, I returned home with tons of inspiration and education. But more importantly, I reconnected with my peers and friends and made many new friends as well, most of whom I will be in touch with and collaborate with one way or another throughout this year.

Last year, many of us arrived the night before Workshop Day and were scattered for dinner. This year, I noticed that many were arriving early again on Sunday, January 15th and that there was no official plan to gather all together. Sooooo, the meeting planner in me (my other career) kicked in full gear and I decided to organize a dinner gathering for us all at a local restaurant walking distance to our hotel The Francis Marion Hotel at Coast Bar & Grill. There were over 50 of us (about 1/4 of the entire conference attendees) who got to reconnect earlier than scheduled (every hour counts!). The excitement was intense as most of us exchanged hugs, (many of us who only knew each other from facebook) and shared stories of our road and plane trips to finally have arrived together! I personally had flown in with four fellow filmmakers from LAX and the time went by very quickly in flight.

The next day, there were optional workshops and I was signed up for Coach Matt Davis’ two-on-one coaching session with the beautiful Stepheny Keith of black sheep filmworks located in AZ. Stepheny and I are both sole (female) owners of our studio and have been in business about the same amount of time (18 years) so we had similar questions for Matt. Coach Matt has amazing organizational skills and marketing knowledge and we gleaned both practical advise and secret tips from him during our session.

The next day, the conference officially started and was awesome! Each presenter had something different to teach. Networking continued over late night pizza and karaoke that was off the charts. This group has a special camaraderie!!!

I decided to attend INFOCUS the first time because I wanted to learn everything I needed to know about my new dslr camera. Most of the attendees use dslr cameras and unlike any other video camera from the past, there is a steeper learning curve with these cams. For example, audio is a completely different approach: dslrs do not have great built-in microphones so we have to add separate recorders at an event. Adam Forgione of Pennylane Productions was an awesome presenter on audio and broke it down in an easy-to-understand way. In the last year, I have become pretty comfortable with my new camera but like most things in life, there are new products and new ways of doing things so it’s a constant learning experience to insure that I deliver a better product to my clients each year. Adam was just one of many presenters that I enjoyed. Ray Roman of Ray Roman Films especially blew my mind and was very helpful with ideas to me. The conference was a full 3-day sensory experience!

Here is a Same Day Edit, providing a glimpse of what the event was like. It was filmed by my good friend/talented event filmmaker, Jose Ortiz of Jose Ortiz Films. You’ll notice a “few” cameos of me in there too. Just proves I was there! Fun stuff.