Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘cardiff

Love is a Doing Word

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Another new microbudget scheme has been launched, this time just over the border.  iFeatures, a partnership between  South West Screen and BBC Films,  is looking for projects  that  have  a Bristolian vibe and can be made for around £300k.  The web site is actually very informative and is definitely one of the most comprehensive I’ve seen for a scheme like this – but somehow I missed the roadshow in Cardiff when it came around.  I actually have a couple of projects that could really work for this, so I’ll be putting an application together for 85 Films.

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Written by Matthew Redd

November 4, 2009 at 7:45 pm

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.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 30, 2009 at 10:48 am

What’s Wrong With Your Scars, Sarah?

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A quick advert for a film event in Cardiff that’s worth buying a ticket for. There’s going to be two screenings of Summer Scars, the fourth and latest feature film from Julian Richards at Chapter next month. There’s some more details and a link to buy tickets online here.

Julian is a widely respected filmmaker originally from Newport, who now also runs the quickly growing sales agency Jinga Films, and so has a wealth of experience and knowledge of the world of low budget film and how to survive in it. Both screenings will be accompanied by a Q&A so you can pitch your questions to Julian.

As an added bonus, the screening will also feature the short film Gone Fishing by Chris Jones of Living Spirit Pictures, well known as one of the authors of the Guerilla Filmmakers series of books. I believe that Chris will also be taking part in the Q&A, so there will be two filmmakers who know the British microbudget world inside out for you to quiz. This is a must attend event if you want to learn about the craft.

I’ve nothing to add, other than Summer Scars features the acting talent of Christopher Conway, who was our lead in 17. Here’s one of Garfield Richards‘ promo shots of Chris for 17.

Christopher Conway

Written by Matthew Redd

May 13, 2009 at 7:45 am

If We Knew What We Were Doing, It Wouldn’t Be Called Research

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Back with Avoiding Christian Bale, and we held our third and (most likely) final test screening this week – I definitely think it’s a better cut than the one we had at the previous screening. Bosses from Boomerang were there, which was a little nerve wracking as it was the first time they’d seen the film, and as they’re the ones who put the money into it, we want them to be happy with it. Vivien will soon be moving to Spain to take part in the Media Business School’s Mega Plus programme, so I’ll be running things at this end for a while on the film, but the majority of the work behind the scenes is done now. Distribution-wise, we’ve had interest from sales agents and distributors, but until we complete the film there’s not much more to do there.

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As with previous screenings, the majority of people we chose to attend the screening were members of our target audience – people aged 18-30 who have graduated from university or are still studying. People aged between 15 and 34 make up 59% of the cinema audience in the UK (some info on this is here), and fairly recent research suggests that 37% of people aged between 25 and 34 in the UK have graduated from university. This suggests to me that an awful lot of cinema goers in the UK can relate to the student experience, and seeing as our film is firmly entrenched in that culture, we should have a market to aim for.

What this also leads to me wonder is why we don’t have a thriving ‘college movie’ genre in this country. Despite being pretty hard to watch, the 2007 British comedy I Want Candy actually grossed £730,452 theatrically in the UK after opening on 250 screens, so there’s a recent example of the genre working successfully here. So why don’t we have more of these films being produced here?

Paying Peanuts, But Getting Mwnci

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The line up for the films in competition at Cannes was announced today. I don’t think I’ll make it to Cannes this year – I was lucky enough to have my two previous trips paid for, the first after winning a pitch competition at the Screen Academy and then last year’s trip paid by CYFLE as part of my film traineeship. I never took too much notice of the films in competition in honesty – I was more interested in checking out the market, the pavilions and the various events that go on. Anyway, this year’s competition sees entries from respected Europeans including Pedro and Ken, and also the latest from Quentin – let’s hope it’s a return to form after the miserable Death Proof, which had only one scene that I’d consider vintage Tarantino. The full list of competition films is out there if you google.

Next week, I’ll be at Mwnci in Cardiff for the online edit and grade of my short film ’17’, a revenge tale set in a tough South Wales neighbourhood. Time has flown – we actually shot the film in September 2007, but the week following the shoot was my first week as a CYFLE trainee, and I’ve worked solidly since, so getting the time to finish the film has been difficult. Jamie (the writer/director) moved to London soon after the offline edit (he’s currently working on this), and we didn’t actually have the money raised to finish the film until August 2008, thanks to a bursary from the Screen Academy Wales. Kate @ Mwnci has shown us a great amount of support and I’m truly grateful.

We did have time to complete the sound mix late last year, thanks to a great deal from Curig Huws at Streetlevel Studios. I can’t recommend Curig’s services for your audio post-production highly enough, he’s more than happy to advise you on what you might need and how to make your budget work for you. If you’ve got a short in the works, give him a ring.

So, this time next week, I should have the short completed in glorious HD. Then we hit the festivals – we’re too late for Cannes now, but there’s lots more coming up.

Ruthlessly Extreme, Relentlessly Upsetting

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As promised in an earlier post, here are the details of the final free masterclass being held in the Atrium later this month. Some of the guests as yet to be confirmed, but definitely amongst them will be James Watkins, writer/director of the British horror/thriller (?) Eden Lake (not the James Watkins who used to play trumpet and incite football violence onstage with Shootin’ Goon). No, this James Watkins is a film professional and also had a hand in the screenplay for My Little Eye, the Hollywood debut for Wales’ talisman director Marc Evans.

Eden Lake was produced by the recent Oscar winner Christian Colson, alongside Richard Holmes, who has himself lectured at the Screen Academy previously. Hopefully, Richard will have time to return for this masterclass as he’s well worth listening to. Like the two previous events, the masterclass will be preceded the night before by a screening of the film, which received positive reviews. I’d imagine it will do well on DVD though, and it’s available to rent now.

This all happens on Fri 24th/Sat 25th April in the Atrium, Cardiff. More info should soon be online here.

Written by Matthew Redd

April 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm

West is Best

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The Western Mail is reporting that “Pembrokeshire could star in last Harry Potter film”,  which might be the sort of breakthrough performance the county needs to establish itself among the A-list of Welsh actors.  In other film news vaguely linked to West Wales, the SSAW are running a free ‘masterclass’ this weekend with many of the people behind Abraham’s Point, a film in which Mackenzie Crook, of ‘The Office’ fame, travels from London to West Wales in the company of a clock.  I’m yet to see the film, so I’m glad that the masterclass will be preceded by a screening of the film itself this Friday night.  It all takes place in the Atrium in Cardiff, more information is here if you’re interested in going.

We held a test screening of Avoiding Christian Bale last weekend.  The results are being analysed and there will be a new cut of the film completed in the coming weeks.

As expected, there hasn’t been much movement on the job front as yet, but it’s early days.  A relocation to West Wales is not on the agenda.

Written by Matthew Redd

March 18, 2009 at 11:25 am