Exeter Phoenix Digital Short Film Commissions

Exeter Phoenix Digital is launching three new Short Film Commission schemes for 2013. We are looking for proposals to shoot short, digital format films of 5-12 minutes duration. Films must be based on an original script or treatment but can be of any genre and are to be filmed by September 2013.

Exeter Phoenix Digital will award successful proposals a commission of £500, which can be used towards the film making process.

THE COMMISSIONS:

2013 DEVON SHORT FILM COMMISSIONS

Proposals are invited from individuals and groups who reside in Devon, UK and we actively encourage applications from students and first time filmmakers, as well as those with previous experience.

How to apply
Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013

All applications must be submitted using our online application process.
Download guidelines >>
Online application form >> 

2013 NATIONAL SHORT FILM COMMISSION

Proposals are invited from individuals and groups who reside in the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) and we actively encourage applications from students and first time filmmakers, as well as those with previous experience.

How to apply
Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013

All applications must be submitted using our online application process.
Download guidelines >>
Online application form >>
 

2013 CROWD FUNDED COMMISSION

The 2013 Crowd Funder Short film Commission will be a match fund award of £500 on the condition that the applicant can raise equal funds through Crowdfunder.co.uk. The applicant will be expected to create their own online campaign to raise funds of up to or exceeding £500.

How to apply

Submissions are invited from Monday 3 December.
Closing date – Friday 15 Feb 2013
All applications must be submitted using our online application process.

Download guidelines >>
Download tips to Crowd Funding >>
Online application form >>

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PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards - Accepting Proposals

PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards

Dear Friends, 

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new international documentary development fund. 

The PUMA.Creative Catalyst Awards are here to support the development of your documentary film idea and give you resources to shoot and edit your trailer. The award is open from now until March 2nd 2011.

With four open calls each year, there are 40 awards available of up to 5,000 Euros each. Awards are open to emerging and established filmmakers working anywhere in the world. 

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Indie Filmmaker Danny Lacey embarks on Live Broadcast to raise £2,000 in 24 hrs for New Movie

dannylaceyOn Thursday 20th May 2010 Leeds filmmaker and former radio presenter Danny Lacey will broadcast live and uninterrupted on the internet for a full 24 hours in a bid to secure £2,000 worth of funding towards his next short film project, LOVE LIKE HERS.

Danny has been planning his new short film for the last six months and charting his filmmaking adventure in intricate detail through his film blog, on twitter and in 1 hour live broadcasts online every fortnight. The budding writer/producer/director aims to rally support from viewers with his open and honest account of the filmmaking process and has set himself the ultimate goal of achieving Academy Award success in the short film category within the next three years.

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UKFC launch new £15m fund, appoints Wharton, Collins & Franke, confirms Innovation Fund

uk_film_council_logo
  • Biggest shake-up since UKFC's creation
  • £15m film fund open for applications today
  • £5m Innovation Fund confirmed for Autumn 2010
  • New online application system for funds 
  • An ambitious sounding 'web-based.. national filmmaking community' 
  • Producers to receive equity in UKFC recoupment
  • WT2's Natascha Wharton joins BBC Film's Chris Collins and Em Media / EIFF's Lizzie Francke on team

The UK Film Council today published its three year plan and launched its new £15m Film Fund to be headed up by Tanya Seghatchian. In developing the final plan, the UK Film Council spent three months consulting on the proposals, engaging with hundreds of people from across the film sector, facilitating more than a dozen consultation sessions and attracting almost 1,000 responses. The plan specifically:

  • opens up for business a £15m-a-year Film Fund (topped up further by film recoupment) for emerging, experimental and world class filmmakers;
  • ring-fences money for development;
  • confirms production companies will for the first time automatically receive a significant share of the UK Film Council’s recoupment from all feature film investments they are involved in, following State Aid approval of the measure by the European Commission;
  • sets up a think tank chaired by Tim Bevan to identify new policy initiatives to grow independent UK film companies of scale;
  • proposes a national web-based talent showcase, to be launched in Autumn 2010, to unearth fresh talent and to broaden the diversity, reach and the opportunities available to all filmmakers who are keen to engage with one another in a national filmmaking community;
  • confirms £5m is allocated to the new Innovation Fund, which will launch in Autumn 2010 (more details to follow);
  • provides £500,000 for film exports for each year of the plan;
  • confirms that 100% of recoupment from the Prints & Advertising Fund - which widens and supports the distribution of selected specialised films and British films - will, like the Film Fund, top up that fund’s budget.

Alongside this plan, the DCMS have been leading merger discussions between the UK Film Council and the BFI. These discussions have been underway since August 2009 and continue.

The new appointments to Tanya 'Harry Potter/Heyday Films' Seghatchian's team include: 

  • Lizzie Francke, former head of EIFF and BFI Governor, will focus on experimental feature length films, national engagement and showcasing new talent;
  • Chris Collins, executive for Pawel Pawlikowski's Last Resort, amongst others will focus on ideas for future film practices for both emerging and established filmmakers, from micro/low budget features and shorts, through to 3D blockbusters.

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iFeatures microbudget scheme now open for submissions

South West Screen and BBC Films have launched iFeatures, a new digital film initiative, open to writers, directors and producers from across the UK.

Headed up by Chris Moll who was behind last year's Digital Departures scheme ('Of Time and The City', 'Kicks' and 'Salvage'),  iFeatures aims to harness fresh stories, outstanding creative talent and innovative production methods to create 3 full-length feature films during 2010.

Following an open call for submissions that runs to 8th December 2009, iFeatures will invite 12 filmmaking teams to take their ideas through an intensive creative and commercial development process. From these, it plans to ‘greenlight’ 3 films into production next summer. Each film will be produced in and around the City of Bristol, and must be capable of being realised on a budget of £300,000. The completed films are intended to be released theatrically and to embrace the myriad opportunities of digital distribution – DVD, online and mobile. The BBC is the UK TV broadcast partner.

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More good ideas from the music industry : crowdfunding perks

josh-freeseFormer drummer of Nine Inch Nails' Josh Freese's offerings for his micro-presales / crowdfunded album has some great possibilities for filmmakers going the same route. "For £10,000, name film's villain after your high school bully, shoot tequillas on the beach on a full moon with Johnny Depp, get a song conposed and sung in your honour at the wrap party". [suggestions please..] (via IndieGoGo / Soundcheck)

$75,000 (limited edition of 1)

  • Signed CD/DVD and digital download
  • T-shirt
  • Go on tour with Josh for a few days
  • Have Josh write, record and release a 5-song EP about you and your life story
  • Take home any of his drum sets (only one, but you can choose which one)
  • Take shrooms and cruise Hollywood in Danny from Tool’s Lamborghini OR play quarters and then hop on the Ouija board for a while
  • Josh will join your band for a month … play shows, record, party with groupies, etc.
  • If you don’t have a band he’ll be your personal assistant for a month (4-day work weeks, 10 am to 4 pm)
  • Take a limo down to Tijuana and he’ll show you how it’s done (what that means exactly we can’t legally get into here)
  • If you don’t live in Southern California (but are a U.S. resident) he’ll come to you and be your personal assistant/cabana boy for 2 weeks
  • Take a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, go back to Robin's place afterwards and his wife will make you raw lasagne

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Short Completion Fund (2009/II) is now open for submissions!

 Individualproducers or production companies are invited to send a rough cut oftheir unfinished short film (up to 15 minutes in length) to Maya VisionInternational, along with a completed application form. The closingdate for applications has been extended, and is now 5pm, Friday 17th April 2009.

Ifyou don't have a rough cut by then, don't worry as the Completion Fundhas expanded to 2 calls per year allowing up to 14 short films to becompleted under the scheme each year. The first call of 2010 isscheduled to open later this year, but full details to follow in duecourse.

Full guidelines, forms and more information can be found at www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/shortfilms

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As crunch and piracy hits indies, micro-presales, crowd-sourcing and other options

vitascope.jpgAn article in the LA Times features news of a crowdsourced / micro-presales success story:

Actress-writer-producer Sybil Temtchine has raised about half of the $600,000 budget for her film "Audrey" from female business leaders. About a year ago, she sat in a Borders and collected the name of every famous female author who'd written a book that somehow touched on female empowerment, from Suze Orman to Marianne Williamson. She wrote to 200 of them, and sent a link to her short film "Piece A' Cake," which was the launching point for her proposed feature, a comedy about female insecurity.

About 75% of the women wrote back. Some sent checks and others introduced her to women's organizations like 85 Broads, which support women entrepreneurs. 85 Broads' founder Janet Hanson "blogged about us. It was the greatest blog, like only a mother would write," Temtchine says. An actress who has appeared in TV shows and films, Temtchine intends to play the lead and opted not to fill out the ensemble cast with name actors because that's a process that can take years. "I felt that this was a hard route, but no harder than waiting around for 10 years," she says.

A rare success story amidst many gloomier tales as indies deal with the quadruple punch of the credit collapse taking out gap finance and private equity, the shutdown of the studio specialty divisions, the collapse of pre-sales amid uncertainty around online rights, and stagnating DVD sales with increasing piracy. For an example of quite how much piracy impacts every level of the industry, not just just studio blockbusters whose income is guaranteed, Chris Jones' latest update on his ever-fascinating blog and video diary is revealing:

One other sign of the time also took place at Memorabilia. A guy I was speaking to said that he had Urban Ghost Story and really liked it. I asked which DVD release it was, and he said, neither, he had downloaded it illegally. Just plain came out and said it. I suggested he could now own his own legal copy and he seemed a little ‘stunned’ that I would be so direct with him. I didn’t push it.

We all know piracy is going on, at an incredible scale too, but to own up to the film maker that they downloaded their film, and then be surprised when the film maker gently suggests they should buy a legal copy tells us a great deal about the state of things. People really do expect music and movies to be free.

For (gulp) advertiser- and sponsor- financed films (see storybid - a new site specifically for this), as well as crowd-sourced films where the micro-funders all have an active interest in seeing the film viewed widely (ie for a campaigning documentary), not to mention films intended primarily to boost the careers of those involved; free, un-restricted file-sharing makes a lot of sense. The advantages of filesharing purely as cheap marketing is still open for debate. For those trying to produce their film so that can recoup its investment, yet who don't want to make a 90 minute Eurostar commercial, the options are currently stark.

piracy-probs.gif

As those who know anything about the film industry will realise - for independent, non-studio, non-mainstream films, income from theatrical and merchandise is virtually non-existant. A small independently written, published and distributed book can just about make it's author a living, while a band such as Radiohead can apparently make 70% of their income from touring. The same cannot currently be said for features - ie the non-piratable / non-digital revenues are tiny, while the cost of production is generally very high. To confound it all even further, to get a film on iTunes, the main digital store, at present seems very difficult.

Watching the fascinating Revolution or Reform debate between the Swedes behind the Pirate Bay and Pirate Party and John Buckman, whose Magnatune record label is pioneering the business use of Creative Commons distribution (and has just started a pay-what-you-want subscription service), my overwhelming sense was how films are more expensive to make than music - that a future where the only films made with a budget are studio blockbusters and sponsor-financed is neither culturally exciting nor a step forward:

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Of course, much of the file-sharing movement is linked to the open-source world, where GPL-licensed free software competes with the biggies (ie OpenOffice vs Microsoft Office, Ubuntu vs Linux, Gimp vs Photoshop) but people still make donations and pay small independent developers for useful little applications. All these files could easily be pirated but people pay enough to give many of these developers a regular income (ie Joomla than runs Netribution is free, but the comments module at the bottom of this page, and the community manager program are both things I paid for).

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Short Film Completion Fund (2009/I) Call for Entries Extended!

From Tamsin @ MayaVision:

uk_film_council_logo.gifIndividual producers or production companies are invited to send a rough cut of their unfinished short film (up to 15 minutes in length) to Maya Vision International, along with a completed application form. The closing date for applications has been extended, and is now 5pm, Monday 5th January 2009.

If you don't have a rough cut by then, don't worry as the Completion Fund has expanded to 2 calls per year allowing up to 14 short films to be completed under the scheme each year. The next call, 2009/II, is scheduled to open in February 2009, but full details to follow in due course.

Full guidelines, forms and more information can be found at www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/shortfilms

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