Considering they were two films that started off as experiments and were made for a bit of fun I couldn't be more pleased.
The festivals run from 4th - 10th June 2013. More news to follow.
Last month I got to opportunity to work with Rowland Kimber at Ivory and the guys at DLKW Lowe on a docu-style film for the fantastic charity Marie Curie Cancer Care.
We had two wonderful days (despite the weather) with the collectors from Bath and London who generously volunteered an hour of their time to help raise money and awareness for Marie Curie. Once shot and edited the lovely guys at Smoke and Mirrors (Dan Moran in particular) were kind enough to do us a grade. Watch it here
I can't believe Berlinale Talent Campus has come and gone. And what a fantastic week it was in Berlin. Seven days of lectures, masterclasses and partying... ummm I mean networking events that I'm only just getting over a week on.
Now in it's 11th year, the Talent Campus is such a well oiled machine, bringing together 300 incredibly talented filmmakers from 96 different countries, all run by people who welcomed us warmly to cold, snow covered Berlin.
My highlights of the week have to be the talk by Mr Robocop himself Paul Verhoeven, the Q &A's with Ken Loach ('Kes' & 'Wind That Shakes the Barley'), scriptwriter James Manos ('Sopranos' & 'Dexter') and Lucrecia Martel ('The Headless Woman & 'The Swamp') who's generosity with their experience, directing techniques and advice was truly inspiring and humbling, and the fantastically insightful masterclass with editor Susan Korda. If that wasn't enough the excitment continued with dinner at the British Council with Ken Loach himself and Valentine breakfast with world renowned director Wong Kar Wai ('In the Mood for Love' & 'Happy Together').
I couldn't say enough great stuff about Berlinale Talent Campus and the filmmakers I met and partied with over that week. If you have an opportunity to attend the Campus, don't pass it up. I'm just upset I can't do it again.
Happy New Year everyone. Lets give 2013 a good kicking hey!
This year already promises to be a good one. 'Where There's Smoke' is still going strong picking up another festival screening at the Akbank Short Film Festival in Turkey
In February i'm off to Berlinale Talent Campus for a week of networking and masterclasses with 300 up-and-coming filmmakers from across the globe.
And finally my new short film 'Something For Nothing' is finally finished. This film originally started off as an experiment to see if we could build a set in two days and shot the film in one. So, after dusting off a uber short script I had on the shelf which required only two actors and zero dialogue, away we went. The whole process is one i'd recommend to all filmmakers. There is a real lack these days of really short shorts. Most films on the festival circuit are ten minutes plus and you rarely see shorts under five minutes. I'm very intrigued to see how my five minute short film is received. They are either going to love its quiet simplicity of not. Only time will tell.
Also I'd like to take a moment to thank all the cast and crew for their incredible generosity. Like the title, so many people did 'something for nothing' to help make this idea become reality. I'm truly humbled by everyone's help.
Christmas has come early for me it seems!
I'm extremely pleased to announce that I have been invited to attend Berlinale Talent Campus #11.
The Berlinale Talent Campus is a creative academy and networking platform for 300 up-and-coming filmmakers from all over the world and I feel very honoured to have been selected. The programme will be announced in February 2013. For those who are interested more information can be found here.
I'm very happy to announce that 'Where There's Smoke' has been selected for the Bang! Short Film Festival in Nottingham; a festival very dear to my heart. It will be featured in the Main Event at the Broadway Cinema on 25th November at 8:30pm.
Everyone come along and support this amazing festival. Hope to see you there.
Just saw this wonderful review of 'Where There's Smoke' and the Five by Five exhibition it was involved in on Nottingham Visual Arts. Many thanks to Jennifer Gleadell for her kind words.
Click here to read. Its the second entry down.
I'm happy to announce that 'Where There's Smoke' has been picked for the official selection at the 10th Tirana International Film Festival in Albania.
The Tirana International Film Festival (TIFF) is the first and only international cinema festival of its kind in Albania and consists of 4 competitions:
1. Feature Film Competition
2. Short Film Competition
3. DIGIART, Television Short Film Competition
4. Albanian Short Film Competition
For more information click here.
Last week 'Where There's Smoke' screened as part of the 'FIVE by FIVE' exhibitions in Nottingham's Bonington Gallery (read below for more info). Here are a picture from the exhibition courtesy of it's curator Claire Simpson.
'Premature' by Gunhild Enger screening in main gallery space
This coming Thursday 'Where There's Smoke' is screening at the Alumni Filmmakers Exhibition at Nottingham Trent University currated by Claire Simpson.
The exhibition is part of 'FIVE by FIVE' which is a number of exhibitions throughout the year as part of a comprehensive programme of visual arts and design events. Exhibitors include national and international artists and designers, current students and staff from within the University and NTU alumni.
The Bonington Gallery (Bonington building) will screen my film 'Where There's Smoke' alongside two other films of my choosing. I have decided to screen the extremely funny 'Bear' by Nash Edgerton and the painfully true and beautifully performed 'Premature' by Gunhild Enger which just won the Grand Prix at Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival.
Please come along and support this great event.
It has been over two years since I finished my UKFC and Screen East short film 'Things We Leave Behind'.
So I thought it was about time that I dug out all my behind the scenes tapes and edit together a short 'making of' documentary. So if you would like a trip down memory lane, make a cup of tea, get comfy and click here
This Sunday was a very exciting day for me. I got to meet the super talented Mike Leigh, director of Bafta winning 'Secrets and Lies', Oscar nominated 'Another Year' and my personal favourite 'Nuts in May'.
This came about when I was asked by the lovely people at Greenhorn Film Festival to be a panel member on what ended up to being a lively and interesting discussion about film festivals.
The main aim of our panel discussion was to help encourage young filmmakers to start submitting their films to festivals and gain a general understanding of the way festivals operate and how useful (and sometimes not so) they can be.
Other panel members beside myself and Mike Leigh were directors Babak Anvari, Frederic Casella and Michael Davies as well as producer Gayle Griffiths and judge Kerry McLeod.
We are coming close to the end of our Summer Development for iFeatures2 and it got me thinking about what a huge change this process has had on the way I look at writing.
Being someone who has always written short film scripts, when confronted with the task of writing a 30-40 page feature treatment in 8 weeks I must admit I was slightly overwhelmed. But it's been the best thing I've ever done. Even if the learning curve was as steep as climbing the north face of the Eiger. It makes your head spin how much you have to think about. I believe I'm going to explode like Mr Creosote if I have to absorb another thing... even if it is "waffer thin".
It's challenged my perception on structure, making me really question what every scene is doing in my film. The moral being if it's not driving that story forward dump it. It has also shown me that you have to know every tiny detail of each character. You think you know your characters? Get yourself a script editor or an honest friend. I'm pretty sure there's something you've missed. The other big lesson for me that came out of this process is the characters should generally drive the plot, not the other way round. Something I'm now always mindful of when I write.
Anyhow wish me luck. We resubmit at the beginning of September. Fingers crossed they like it.
Since getting back from three wonderful days in Sheffield at the iFeatures2 workshops work hasn't stopped.
As well as working on my new short film 'Something for Nothing' and being interviewed by the great people behind the 'View of the Arts' blog (which you can read here), my main focus has obviously been developing 'Way Out East' with producer Zorana Piggott and Script Editor Ed Clarke. So far I've lost ridiculous amounts of hours delving deeper into our protagonist's character and injecting some of the lessons learnt in Sheffield to our stories structure. At times it can be soul destroying writing a feature film but its all worth it for that amazing feeling you get a breakthrough in your characters journey or solve the missing link to a section of your plot.
Me and Zorana are presently 4 weeks through our 8 week development period to create a 20-40 page treatment that we can pitch back to the panel in September. It all seems to be going well so far but I'm sure I wont feel like that when we receive our mid point feedback next week.
If you are interested in our project 'Way Out East' or any of the other 15 teams you can find more information here.
Due to the amount of time spent on my debut feature 'Way Out East' my new short 'Something For Nothing' has been on the back burner for a few months now. But yesterday I was able to find some time in the diary to finish the sound design with the uber talented Guy Landau. I was so conscious that the sound design had to be flawless in the film as it contain zero dialogue and Guy never let me down. Its such a beautiful mix and so natural and quiet. Exactly as I hope it would be. Just the grade to go and we can release it on to the festival circuit.
I couldn't be more pleased to announce that me and my producer Zorana Piggott have been selected for iFeatures2 Summer Development programme with my debut feature film idea 'Way Out East', a modern day western set on the east coast.
There will be two consecutive development programmes, first in the Summer for 16 projects, then in the Autumn for 8 projects, before 3 films are green lit in December 2012 with budgets of £350,000.
We obviously have a long way to go and competition is extremely high but that's all part of the excitement and we both feel very privileged to be in the final 16. The plan now is to work hard over the next couple of months developing the film further and hope to make the final 8 in the Autumn.
For those of you wondering what the film is about here's a quick taster of the general idea:
'To secure a better life for her son, Beatrise, an Eastern European immigrant, has to defend land that's rightfully hers, whatever the cost.'
Also you can read more about iFeatures2 by following the links below:
Read more on iFeatures2 site
Read more on Creative Englands site
Read Screen Daily article
More news to follow soon.
'Where There's Smoke' will be screening at the East End Film Festival on 4th July 2012 as part of the 'I Wasn't Expecting That!' programme at the Genesis Cinema @ 8:30pm.
To buy tickets to the screening please click here. Hope to see you all there.
'Things We Leave Behind' has been chosen by the BFI to feature on the new website 'The Space'. The Space is an experimental digital arts media service and commissioning programme that could help to transform the way people connect with, and experience, arts and culture. It's aim is to challenge artists, arts and cultural organisations to collaborate with each other and partners to capture and create a wealth of cultural experiences, drawing on the richness of the summer of arts in the Olympic year.
This new pop up service, which was launched in May will run until the end of October 2012. I'll let you know when 'Things We Leave Behind' will be up for all to see and hopefully enjoy!
'Where There's Smoke' has been selected to screen at the East End International Film Festival in July. The official program will be announced at the end of the month so when I hear when and where its showing I'll let you know.
Thought i'd do a quick update on the progress of my new short film 'Something for Nothing'.
The last week or so me and Tim Wright at Bruizer have been working hard on the edit and I think we are pretty much there. We are now getting ready for the sound design which hopefully will start in the next week or so.
I have also create a 'Something for Nothing' film page which you can see here.
I've shot a new film. Hurrah!!
Over the last three weeks, me, my super producer Zorana Piggott, my production designer Eileen Aldous and the guys at Bruizer have been manically trying to organise the shoot for my new short film 'Something for Nothing'.
It all came about like any good idea... in a pub. Andy Parsons and I were having a drink in the NFT bar when I mentioned how i'd like to shoot a really short, short film and how it would be fun to build and shoot it in a studio. Andy in true Andy Parsons style said 'Ive got a load of set walls at Bruizer we could use you know?'
A week later Zorana and I were in a room auditioning over 20 young actors picked by the fantastic casting director Katy Moylan.
After seeing some fantastic actors we finally went with Kieron Mulhall, a talented 18 year old actor from London.
Then came the next big task; designing and building a set from scratch in two and a half days with only 4 people.
On the first day it was pretty relaxed. We got up the main walls including building in windows and doorways and Eileen and I even went looking around a fantastic salvage yard for wonderful 70's furniture.
The final day of the build though was a bit more intense. We managed in 1 day to wallpaper all the walls, painted them, lay a floor, put skirting board on, build and kitchen and dress the whole set. It was like 60min makeovers without the team and annoying presenter. But somehow we did it. A set built in in 2 days!!
The next day I was aching all over but there was no way I was letting that spoil the excitment of shooting a film. Before I knew it I was in the studio at Bruizer surrounded by a talented film crew (and mates) who'd given up their Sunday so generously to shoot a film on a RED Epic with a full grip kit. What could be better?
It's moments like this that make me love short filmmaking more than ever. Everyone on the crew turn up because they simply love making films. It certainly wasnt for the money as there wasn't any! God my grip for the day Ian Ogden drove all the way down from Birmingham to Suffolk just to help out. How great is that?
Anyhow it all went amazingly well and in 10 hours we had shot the whole film. Now we just have to edit it. Happy days!!
You might have noticed that i've not updated my website for some time now and the reason is very simple. BT are the biggest incompetent company i've ever had the misfortune to deal with.
At first it always feels exciting moving into a new flat doesn't it? But the reality of it soon brings you down to earth with a bump when you realise how much shit you accumilated over the years and all the stuff you have to sort out like bloody internet. Anyhow I won't bore you with the details I'll just update you all about the exciting stuff thats happened so far this year.
'Where There's Smoke' has been going great guns at the festivals this year. On the 7th of January it screened at the Curzon Soho on Shaftesbury Avenue as part of the 'New Shorts 3: Fucked Up Love' programme at London Short Film Festival. It was an amazing screening with the cinema being packed to the rafters with punters to watch a strong programme of short films about break ups; hateful lovers; sham relationships, and unbridled lust. So after this very sad and sometimes depressing screening I found this article a week later to put a smile back on my face. The lovely peeps at 'View of the Arts' wrote this lovely review of London Short Film Festival and gave a nice mention to my film.
If you'd like to read the article you can find it here.
After LSFF 'Where There's Smoke' got invited to screen at two wonderful film festivals. Showroom Shorts in Sheffield and Salon des Refusés in London.
This brings us up to March with 'Where There's Smoke' screening right now in competition at the Academy Award accredited Bermuda Iinternational Film Festival and 16th Sofia International Film Festival. Ill let you know how it gets on at these festivals in the next couple of weeks.
Christmas has come early it seems!
I'm pleased to announce that my film 'Where There's Smoke' has been selected for competition at the British Shorts Film Festival, Berlin in January.
The festival runs from the 12th - 16th January 2012 with my film screening on the 13th January @ 8pm - Sputnik 1 - Sputnik Kino. For the full online schedule click here. Happy Christmas everyone. See you in 2012
My film will be screening as part of the'New Shorts 3: Fucked Up Love'programme, on Saturday 7th January, 2012 at 12:00 at the Curzon Soho. Tickets are available on the Curzon Soho website or by calling the cinema box office on 0330 500 1331.
Hope to see you there.
Now that the jet lag has finally subsided I thought I’d write a little piece about my trip to Seoul for the Asiana International Short Film Festival.
Over the years I ’ve been to many film festivals around the world but I'd find it hard to recall another film festival that is as welcoming, friendly and generous as the guys at Asiana International Film Festival.
If flying me all the way to Seoul and putting me up in a hotel wasn't enough, I was met at the airport by Soobin; my designated helper for my time in Seoul. After 10 minutes in her company it was clear I was going to be well looked after.
All the festival staff were as wonderful as Soobin and treated us humble filmmakers like royalty, supplying us with lots of amazing Korean food and drink including the morish Soji (Korean Vodka) which we all got a taste for. It was not long before us filmmakers were all stumbling back to our hotel at 4am most nights.
One thing that really struck me about Asiana Film Festival was how well organised and promoted it was. Both the screenings of my film 'Where There's Smoke' were packed out and the Q&A sessions after were, much to my relief, a lot of fun. Don't know what I was worried about!
The audience were incredibly passionate and engaged in every films and had well considered and sometime funny questions about the films. My particular favourite was being asked 'whether I found it hard acting as well directing in my film'. Brilliant! According to some I look a lot like my lead actor Lee Sellers. Who knew!
As well as attending my screenings I got to see countless other short films during my stay. It's really hard to pin point what my favourite film was so here are some of my highlights from the screenings I attended. 'The Factory' by Aly Muritiba, Blue Rinse by Matt Leigh, God View by Billy Lumby, the touching documentary 'Promise' by Jero Yun and 'Too Die By Your Side' by Spike Jonze.
I can't say enough good things about this festival and the people I met in Seoul. It's a beautiful festival, run by beautiful people in a beautiful city. I really hope I get to chance to return next year.... all I have to do is shoot another film.
I'm incredibly happy to announce that 'Where There's Smoke' will get it's Asian Premiere this November at the Asiana International Short Film Festival in Seoul.
I'm informed it will screen twice at the festival. Once on Friday 4th November @ 21:00 and again on Monday 7th November @ 11:00. The full programme in on their website for anyone interested in seeing who else is screening.
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