NEW YORK — The team that brought Gotham the Tribeca Film Festival is throwing its weight behind a new consumer expo that will turn the city’s Javitz Center into a kind of Epcot for the movie business.
The expo is the brainchild of Tribeca Enterprises exec Gerry Byrne and Tribeca Film Festival co-founders Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff.
Dubbed “So You Wanna Be in Pictures: Behind the Screen Entertainment Experience,” the inaugural event is slated for November and will offer a mix of exhibits, panels and conferences, along with demonstrations from top industry talent ranging from screenwriters and cinematographers to directors and costume designers.
“We want to take the mystery out of the moviemaking process,” Rosenthal told Daily Variety. Hatkoff added that the show will be augmented by competitions such as a possible screenwriting program that will blend audience participation alongside the presentations.
Asked whether he’d be participating in the show, De Niro said he “might take a booth” at the Javtiz.
“This is a brand new business,” Byrne said, noting the for-profit concern will draw revenues from exhibitor fees, entry fees and sponsorship. Event will also have a large publishing component and media partners, said Byrne, a former Variety publisher.
While noting that the event will have elements of such big trade events as the Consumer Electronics Show or ShowWest, Byrne emphasized that “Pictures” is geared primarily toward consumer film enthusiasts or “prosumers,” offering a range of interactive experiences that will take people behind the scenes of how movies get made.
“It’s about how content they see is created, which consumers don’t normally get exposed to,” Byrne said. Thatinsider’s view will include a peek behind the process on TV music, video and computer games, animation and special effects.
If the Nov. 20-22 show is a success, backers may contemplate making it an annual event.
Management and marketing for the three-day show will be handled by the Infinity Expo Group, while Jack Morton Worldwide is slated to provide design direction and management
Always eager to promote efforts to feed Gotham’s $5 billion local film industry, Mayor Michael Bloomberg enthused about the trio’s efforts to bolster the city in light of the “tremendous competition from domestic and international locales for this business.”
De Niro, Rosenthal and Hatkoff launched the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002, blending traditional film festival stylings with a strong downtown consumer component. Byrne said the two events are entirely separate businesses, however, and will seek separate sponsorships.
Likening the effort to similarly consumer-focused auto and boating industry shows, organizers said the expo will give screened entertainment a similar venue to promote its technologies and strategies to the viewing public.
The American Museum of the Moving Image is also slated to be part of the expo, providing historical context on the biz.