Mike Camoin is the founding director of Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange, Inc. and host of the new series Check the Gate: One On One with the Northeast Filmmakers Lab. Check the Gate is giving cooped up indie filmmakers a beacon of hope in these unsure times. Chats with industry professionals about how to hone your craft, get funding, and stay creative are just a few of the topics available on Check the Gate.
Mike Camoin is a firm believer that emerging artists are an integral part to the future of the US culture and economy. He’s led the independent film movement in northeastern New York for 25 years. Co-founder of Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network, Camoin served as the organization’s first president (1995-2000) and now serves as the Founding Director of the Northeast Filmmakers Lab which launched Check The Gate in 2020. Camoin is currently developing the doc SCARED TO DEBT: America’s Student Loan Scam, Out of This League, a docu-series on the Atlantic League Professional Baseball, and as screenwriter, Off the Menu. He directed the short films “Ruler of Life”, “Crossing the Whitestone” and “Relax.” (Full bio below).
What is Check the Gate?
CHECK THE GATE is a weekly series hosted by Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange, a charitable non profit organization that empowers emerging filmmakers to complete and present their projects in a rapidly changing media landscape by leveraging world-class industry expertise through the Northeast Filmmakers Lab.
Catch the recap of the first 9 episodes here:
Mike and his team at North East Filmmakers Lab have not changed their mission during this difficult time, and found a way to support independent filmmakers during COVID-19. I had a chance to chat one-on-one with Mike Camoin about the new series and the feedback he’s received about Check the Gate so far.
The idea for Check the Gate was sparked when Mike thought about his role with North East Filmmakers Lab, and what the filmmakers there had appreciated the most about the lab. It was the one-on-one discussions that gave filmmakers a chance to engage with industry professionals. With this in mind, Mike started to line up guests and posted his first episode of Check the Gate.
Our advantage is whether or not we choose to collaborate.– Mike Camoin
With a full season of 10 episodes out so far, Mike has covered a variety of topics with industry professionals. Past guests include Corky Kessler, entertainment lawyer, Jess Fusselier, Senior Manager of research and education for Sundance Institute, Raindance Film Festival founder Elliot Grove, Josh Friedman, the CEO of the new hiring app Crew Me Up, and more. Guests have covered topics like how to hone your craft, how to apply for tax incentives for filmmaking, and how filmmakers can be proactive and find fundraising for their projects.
With each episode of Check The Gate going live on Facebook, filmmakers have been engaging with each episode and letting the team know how helpful these resources have been thus far, all from the comfort of their own homes! Viewers have a chance to ask professionals their most burning questions, and feel refreshed with a new sense of motivation after each episode.
In episode 7 of Check the Gate with Josh Friedman, how the world of filmmaking will change due to COVID-19 is discussed. Things like smaller crew sizes and having enough space to work and social distance properly will be huge factors. Funding also becomes a whole different ball game, with rebates and incentives being reduced, there are a whole host of obstacles indie filmmakers will have to get creative to overcome. In the meantime, there is so much you can do from home to exercise your creative muscles and hone your craft, as we see in each episode of Check the Gate.
Check out future programming and find out which talented guests will be next on Check the Gate through the Capital Cinema Cultural Exchange’s website.
More Opportunities for Filmmakers
Filmmakers can now apply to the Northeast Filmmakers Lab 7th edition on FilmFreeway.
Early bird deadline ends June 30th.
The Northeast Filmmakers Lab enters the 7th edition continually designed by and for filmmakers. If there’s one word that describes us, its “relationship,” if it’s two words, then it’s “break-through.” Modeled after Rotterdam, our intimate setting is designed to be supportive, friendly and offer direct one-on-one access to veteran industry experts, fundraising strategists, producers, entertainment attorneys, noted actors, casting directors, budgeting, marketing and social media specialists and more. We won’t skip a beat as we move into an all on-line forum via ZOOM where discussions will continue, audience engagement in open dialogue about the art, craft and business of filmmaking. Whatever the project, we have two main goals: (1) assist filmmakers complete their work-in-progress and (2) help you reach a wide target audience.
Mike Camoin – Full Biography
Mike Camoin is a firm believer that emerging artists are an integral part to the future of the US culture and economy. He’s led the independent film movement in northeastern New York for 25 years. Co-founder of Upstate Independents Filmmakers Network, Camoin served as the organization’s first president (1995-2000) and now serves as the Founding Director of the Northeast Filmmakers Lab which launched Check The Gate in 2020. Camoin served as the UPM for the 2016 Sundance Special Jury Prize winning As You Are, locations manager on We the Animals (Sundance 2018) and James Franco’s Pretenders. In 2019 he served as locations on director Alice Wu’s Netflix feature The Half of It. As a filmmaker in his own works, Mike is best known for his documentary series on Adirondack culture Inside the Blue Line, The Battles of Saratoga both of which sold thousands of copies. Camoin is currently developing the doc SCARED TO DEBT: America’s Student Loan Scam, Out of This League, a docu-series on the Atlantic League Professional Baseball, and as screenwriter, Off the Menu. He directed the short films “Ruler of Life”, “Crossing the Whitestone” and “Relax.” The latter made its Russian premiere in 2011 when Camoin was the sole American invited to an intensive 8-day producer’s lab in Russia, where the seeds for the Northeast Filmmakers Lab were planted. He resides with his wife, Linda, and two children in upstate New York.