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Film Producing in Wales

Archive for October 2009

What Can a Slumdog Possibly Know?

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The Cardiff film festival that successfully picks the Best Picture winner at the Oscars every year is back for a, er, second year, and they’ve announced the full programme here.  Last year’s inaugural festival beat the hype with an early screening of Slumdog Millionaire, while this year’s closing film will be Bunny & The Bull. Probably not an Oscar contender, but a film that features a lot of stars of British TV comedy from Mighty Boosh director Paul King, so hopefully worth a look.  There’s also a programme of workshops and masterclasses, and other events.  Its focus is on the role of music within film, hence the festival’s title.

If you’re interested in how the festival came about, here‘s the original call out for ideas for the festival from the Film Agency for Wales, though to be honest, it doesn’t give too much away.  Apart from how much money was on offer.

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Written by Matthew Redd

October 30, 2009 at 10:48 am

Our Dream Was Short

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A quick festival update – 17 will screen at next year’s Swansea Bay Film Festival, hopefully I’ll be able to make it along to see the film on a big screen.

Clermont Ferrand, which I think is the world’s biggest short film festival, is now closed for entries, and you can see details of all the films submitted by looking through their web site (there’s a lot of them). They list all UK films by country, and there’s ten submissions from Wales, including Shed Convention from Big Font. Large Spacing producer Vivien and writer/director Paul. All the films submitted are available to view in the video library of the market during the festival, so even if you’re film isn’t selected for screening, someone might still see it and maybe even buy the rights. We’ve entered 17, and as this was the first festival I wanted to enter, I’m hoping we’ll be selected. I don’t think it’s really their sort of thing, but you won’t know unless you try.

I went to Clermont Ferrand in 2007 – it was the first film festival that I’d been to overseas and it was a great experience. Driving to the airport in a left hand drive Opal Zafira with a brutal hangover after the last night was a particular highlight. There are more shorts there than you can shake a stick at, so it’s worth going to just for the screenings. There’s other events there that were run in the French language, so I couldn’t take part, but if you’re interested in seeing a lot of the best short films from around the world, it’s the place to be.

Get a cheap flight while you can.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Student Masterchef – The Video

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The first in a series of videos highlighting the student experience to promote the forthcoming release of Big Font. Large Spacing.  Feel free to pass it on via your favourite social networking sites (click the ‘share’ link under the video) or email this link to your friends.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Good News For Short Film in Wales

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This week has seen the launch of the Digital Shorts Wales scheme. Finally, a new short film scheme in Wales with some decent budgets for the films, apparently between £7k and £13k. They’re accepting submissions from writer/director/producer teams, as well as individual applications from writers and directors. The deadline for applications is the 16th November.

There’s a lot of talent in Wales who have desperately needed this scheme for a long time, so fingers crossed that the finished films will reflect the potential of the people here. Get your applications in. There’s a mentoring element to the scheme that will hopefully be very useful.

On a side note, reading through the guidelines, I’ve noticed that “only original and newly-composed music or pre-cleared library music (cleared for all formats) can be used”. So take out that bit in the script where the protagonist drives down the street to the Stereophonics. Please.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 12, 2009 at 12:00 am

How Do I Get My Short Film Onto IMDb?

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17 now has its own title page on IMDb.

Having a page on IMDb for your film is essential – it obviously raises the profile of your film, but it also adds credibility to the project. IMDb is often the place that people turn to first for information on any film (feature or short), so you need to be on there. What’s the quickest and easiest way to do it?

It used to be a long and laborious task to enter the data onto IMDb, and with their strict criteria for accepting submissions, it could even be a total waste of time when your submission is rejected. Now, it’s quite simple. Register an account at WithoutABox, create a project for your film, and enter your film’s details. You can do this before your film has even been completed – of course, there’s still a lot of data to enter, but when you think that, in recent years, you would have to enter all these details separately every time you entered a film festival, this is nothing. If you’ve got good paperwork and the beginnings of publicity materials from your shoot, you should find this quite easy.

If you enter your film into any of the ‘IMDb qualifying festivals’ listed on the main page, your IMDb title page will be generated as soon as your submission is received, not when it is accepted. So, even if your film is eventually rejected by the festival, you will still get your entry onto IMDb. There’s a varied list of worldwide festivals – I entered 17 into the Swansea Bay Film Festival in Wales, a local one for us.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to get a discounted entry to a festival if you’re early for the festival’s deadline, but even if you don’t, it’s still incredibly good value for the amount of good publicity having the IMDb page brings you and your film.

Don’t forget, once all your film’s data is entered onto Withoutabox, there’s a ton of festivals you can enter with just a few clicks of the mouse, and some with very cheap entry fees. Pick your festivals wisely, and try and come up with a strategy that gives you the best value for money if you’re on a budget. Good luck.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm

A Film By Any Other Name

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As you may have noticed from the official website or from the IMDb entry, Avoiding Christian Bale is now known as Big Font. Large Spacing. The hope is that the new title will make it easier for the film to find distribution. Before we came up with the original title, Christian Bale was just a film star, and now he’s a film star also known for shouting at people and has been the subject of a variety of internet parodies and mockery. The rhyming of Christian Bale with FAIL suddenly took on a lot more meaning when he blew his top on set. I’m not going to discuss that event here, it’s old news.

New news is that we’ve had the cast & crew screening of the completed film. We packed out one of the screens in Cineworld, Cardiff and took over the bar. It was great to see (almost) everyone once again – a few people couldn’t make it. I find it quite hard to judge the film now, having read numerous drafts of the script and seen various cuts of the film at different stages. It’s good to know that I realised my ambition of producing a feature film before the age of 30, even if I only just scraped it in before the big 3-0. What next?

Written by Matthew Redd

October 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm