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Film Producing in Wales

Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Ride Ahead to Edinburgh and Assemble the Council

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If you’re living in Wales and you want to work in TV, this should be of interest to you.

The Network is a free four day TV Training event taking place at the Edinburgh Television Festival from the 25th August.  Previous speakers include Charlie Brooker, Russell Howard, Sharon Osbourne and Sir Trevor McDonald, as well as staff from Sky TV, MTV, Channel Four and ITV.

To apply, you must be aged 18 or over on August 24th 2011.  If you’re from Wales and you want some hints and tips on how to write the best application you can, then drop me an email.  This is a great chance to learn a lot about the industry and meet a lot of people.  All you would have to pay for is your travel to and from Edinburgh itself – everything else is covered as part of the event.

Apply directly to The Network here, the deadline is the 15th April, so get in soon!

Written by Matthew Redd

April 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

Without Me, There Wouldn’t Be Any Paramount Studio

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I was in London last week, spending the week at the UK offices of Paramount Pictures, something that had been arranged for me after I went on the Marketing & Distribution course at Media Business School in Spain. I had a ton of meetings and learned a lot about theatrical distribution from the studio perspective – which really put what I learned on the course into context.

I haven’t got a lot of gossip to share (and I had to sign an NDA anyway), so this isn’t going to be the place to find inside information on what’s coming up in 2010, and if you were expecting the scoop on the potential Star Trek sequel, look elsewhere. I’m very grateful to everyone at Paramount for being very generous with their time and for explaining everything in such detail, and to the Media Business School for arranging it for me.

What I do with this new knowledge, I haven’t quite worked out yet. Looking over my notes from the week, I’ve realised just how much I’ve learned, and while it will obviously help me to develop as a producer, I need to see how I can put this into some sort of practice from 2010 onwards.

Written by Matthew Redd

December 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

An Early Christmas Present

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Aron Cynan & Iwan John in Rhestr Nadolig Wil

Rhestr Nadolig Wil has won Best Drama at the EA Bafta Children’s Awards.  It was the first production I worked on when I was on a CYFLE traineeship, which feels like a long time ago now.  It was first broadcast over Christmas last year, no doubt S4C will dust off the tape and give it an airing again this season.  Congratulations to Boomerang and everyone involved in the production.

Written by Matthew Redd

November 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm

Sound The Horn and Beat The Drum

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I haven’t got much to say about this article, apart from that it’s an interesting profile of Hollywood producer Ryan Kavanaugh.  Is he a new breed of producer, or just the modern equivalent of the movie moguls of the past?

It was EAVE in Wales week last week, and thanks to Anne-Marie at the Film Agency for Wales, as I was able to sit in on a few sessions.  The most interesting thing I learned is that many European producers see the UK as a difficult co-production partner because of the amount of red tape and hoops you have to jump through in order to unlock the finance for your project, and that one of the stumbling blocks are the huge legal fees incurred because of this.  If Wales is to develop a real feature film culture, something that we’re told is actually happening, then perhaps we need to consider how we can break down some of these barriers, even if it means lobbying government for change.

It was good to meet other like-minded people from Wales at EAVE, and also some from overseas.  I loved seeing how passionate people are about both crunching the numbers and telling stories they truly care about.  After all, even Ryan Kavanaugh cares about having a good script.  Maybe.

Written by Matthew Redd

November 25, 2009 at 10:33 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

What’s It Like Then, Spain?

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I’m back in Wales, having completed the Marketing & Distribution 2009 course at the Media Business School in Spain. The week was a lot like being in Cannes – early starts, late nights, a fair bit of alcohol and a lot of talk about the film business. To say I enjoyed myself would be an understatement, and in many ways I didn’t want it to end.

The quality of the speakers on the course really was incredible. As well as this gentleman, there were other speakers from the studios and top indie distributors from around Europe, and marketing experts from agencies. There was also one of UCI/Odeon’s bosses and a frankly hilarious bloke from a Spanish TV station. Screen Academy Wales do a great job in putting on masterclasses with industry speakers, but this was a whole new level – not least because of the intensive nature of the sessions.

Meeting the other participants was more than just a bit of networking – everyone was very friendly and a lot of fun to be with, and at times I felt like I was hanging out with old friends. It’s easy to enjoy yourself eating out in a place like this.

The View from the Restaurant

They also have a good range of after dinner spirits to send you over the edge. Not off the balcony, thankfully.

I completed the programme by making a presentation of my own marketing and distribution plan for Ang Lee’s new film. I will be keeping an eye on how it does at the UK box office, just to see if Focus Features hit the figures I projected in reality.

Now I have to take my new found knowledge and apply it to my own career. Thanks again to Skillset for the funding, and to the people behind the course for making it such a great experience from start to finish.

Paramount Pictures Senior Vice President of Distribution (Europe) Buys Me a Drink

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A snappy headline I’m sure you’ll agree, which sadly doesn’t reveal the entire story – there was a group of about ten of us, and I failed to make eye contact while saying thank you, so it wasn’t quite the successful event that the headline conveys. But this is a course about Marketing & Distribution, so I’m putting a positive spin on things. There are just 23 people on the course in total – Ronda in Spain is a great looking town, but we all seem to be stuck in the hotel conference room most of the time. We start at 9:30am and finish at 9pm every day, so it’s a heavy workload with a lot of information to digest.

People from all over Europe are here with varying degrees of experience in the industry – producers, distributors, PR people and many more.  The course leaders themselves are hugely experienced, with three of Paramount’s top men leading the sessions so far. It’s been insightful learning about international distribution, studio-style. Will attempt to coax more free alcohol from industry players in due course.

Written by Matthew Redd

July 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm