21 Minute Film School
Have you ever had a desire to make a movie? If so, set 21 minutes of your hectic life aside and read on!
I can't be the only writer who, after sitting through umpteen appalling movies, has thought, "Surely I can do better." By 1994, I was itching to write a screenplay, but a subject eluded me. Then I heard about Graeme Obree. This down-at-heel Scot built a revolutionary bicycle from scrap and washing- machine parts and became world champion, only to be banned by the cycling authorities. Instead of giving up, the amazingly determined Obree redesigned his bike and had another go.
I've worked as an actor on a number of film sets and with a wide range of directors and filmmakers. It's an exciting place to be and when you hit the scene right, there's no better feeling in the world; despite shooting out of chronological order and out of emotional continuity. Each day, each scene, each take, brings its own challenges for the actor - and when you're tackling these challenges with a good team of people who are all heading for the same goal it's a very rewarding experience.
When I lived in Oxford a decade or three ago, it would have amazed me to imagine that my modest street in the working-class neighbourhood of Jericho would one day witness scores of escorted tour parties earnestly retracing the murder investigations of Inspector Morse. But at last this sign of the times has gained a name. Set-jetting is defined as a passion to visit places you read about in books or see portrayed in films and television. Estimates vary on how widespread the fad is, but it's a fair guess that well over a quarter of us are influenced to some extent in our choice of holiday destinations by novels or screen presentations.
It's 3 AM in central London - dark and quiet except for the odd car and the hum of generators huddled round the outside of Westminster Cathedral. But here, inside, light is flooding in through the windows as though it was midday. And in the minds of the 150 or so people here it is midday and this isn't London, it's the Escorial Palace in Spain in the year 1588. King Philip II of Spain, the most powerful man in the world, is about to tell his ministers that he now has the right to invade England - the Spanish Armada is about to be launched.
Jon Williams and his creative team spent in excess of two years crafting their underground comedy Diary of a Bad Lad and a further year taking it through post, producing a film that many film luminaries have acknowledged to be fresh, original and different.
After getting endorsement for their product from people like Chris Bernard, Alex Cox and Nik Powell, you would think that getting it "out there" might not be too difficult. Think again. Jon Williams certainly did and when Netribution asked him, wrote this account of driving his film to market.
Jon's article makes it clear how just a few people hold a pernicious grip on UK film distribution and what an impenetrable cartel it has become. Diary of A Bad Lad is being distributed by WYSIWYG Films and is finally being released this autumn on the Digital Screen Network.
don't exist, tell your friends" spouted the t-shirt of Hugh Hancock
when I first met him at a Dundee hotel loby for a Scottish Screen new
talent event. Hugh, for those who haven't read James' Wideshot interview
with him, is one of the pioneers of the Machinima movement and through
his Strange Company (whose t-shirt he was sporting) has made 16
Machinima films. If you're new to the technique, Machinima uses video
game engines to allow people to quickly shoot 3D animated films - on
the fly and live - so to speak. A nice example is Hard Light Film's Deviation about an existentially challenged video game character.
Hugh is currently exec-producing BloodSpell, and has written an in-depth guide to the making of the film from development through to animatic, voice recording, editing, sound and screen.
How Do I Sell My Film Part One - DEMOGRAPHICS
Netribution and film distributors WYSIWYG have joined forces to present on-line WYSIWYG's essential Guide to Film Distribution.
We're both interested in building a strong industry for independent filmmakers. This means creating films that people want to see and buy. It does not mean sacrificing creative integrity, but it means business. To do the business with independent film.... Read On
How Do I Sell My Film Part 2 - Delivery Format
Netribution and film distributors WYSIWYG have joined forces to present on-line WYSIWYG's Filmmaker's Toolkit....
Okay. So you now know who will watch your film. Well, that means you can also estimate how many people you have as potential audience. That gives you an idea of how much money you can spend. It also tells you... but wait, how many people will watch your film? That depends on how you offer it to them. Let's look a little closer at delivery format.
"Most of the independent films that we have seen or heard about suffered from one problem: finance. Some have come and gone because the young independent producers have failed, and are still failing to source the big budget required for production."
Sound familiar to you? It certainly will if you are a filmmaker in Bulawayo. It looked strangely familiar when it caught my eye in Zimbabwe's Sunday News, so I had to read on for some further analysis of what is clearly as big a problem for filmmakers in Zimbabwe as it is anywhere - but this is Mugabe's country, not known to be a benign regime.