Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘Chris Jones

We Should Come Up With Some Kind of Strategy

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It’s taken the same length of time some people take to make a feature film, but finally 17 is complete and DVDs have been sent out to those who took part in the production. Now, though, the film takes on a new life – a year (or so) on the festival circuit. The thing is – where to start?

Submitting to festivals is faster and easier than it ever has been, thanks to web sites like Short Film Depot and Without A Box. Our budget for festival entries is small to say the least, so we have to choose wisely.  Thankfully, quite a lot of festivals are still free to enter, and so will only cost you a DVD, postage and the time it takes to complete the entry form, which might only be a few seconds if you’ve already submitted the film’s information via one of the submission web sites.

We’re focussing on festivals by using a simple criteria.

  • British festivals – we’ve made a film that might work best with a British audience.
  • Festivals with a student competition – Jamie and I were both postgraduate students when we shot the film, and it was produced as part of our courses, so we qualify.
  • Festivals with themes that relate to our own film.  We haven’t made the Karate Kid Part II, but our film covers youth violence, bullying, coming of age, confrontation and revenge among other themes.
  • How much is it to enter?  We’re on a tight budget, so we need to be convinced it’s worth entering a particular festival as the entry fees will mount up quickly.

As always, you need to be up on festival politics, and it helps to find out which festivals are ‘hot’.  You might want to find out which ones might qualify you for the Oscars, just in case…  If you’re interested in how to make a successful short film, then a great case study is Gone Fishing directed by Chris Jones.  Pick out the story of the film from Chris’ blog.

If/when we get accepted by a festival, it will be a real validation of our work.  It wouldn’t hurt to win an award, either.

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Written by Matthew Redd

June 11, 2009 at 5:49 pm

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