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Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘Film Agency for Wales

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

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

Um, What’s a Marketing Report?

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Next week, I fly to Spain.  I’m going to be a taking part in the Marketing & Distribution training programme at the Media Business School.  It’s a week of intensive learning about all the different facets of theatrical distribution, and a great chance to network and meet new people from all over Europe.  Only 25 people are accepted onto the course every year, so I feel pretty lucky to be able to be there.

I have to say a big thank you to Skillset, who are funding the vast majority of the course fees and travel for me.  They have a great scheme for providing funding to freelancers and companies in Wales, which you can read about here.  If you’re working in the industry and want to learn about something new, or just enhance the skills you already have, then it’s worth looking into this funding as it’s out there to support you.

The last few months have been quite varied for me.  I still have scripts in development with a couple of great writers, and I’ve been paying the bills by working at quite a few different places, including Boomerang and the Film Agency.  I’m not sure where I’ll end up next – I have to make a few big, grown up decisions over the next few weeks.

Written by Matthew Redd

July 3, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Five Completely Unrelated Pieces of Information

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I haven’t had time to update this week, and as of tomorrow I’ll be offline for a while, so here’s a short post to keep the blog awake.

  • Screenwriters take note – if you have a feature screenplay, you’ve got a few days before the deadline of Final Draft’s Big Break contest, and if you have a TV script, then there’s a few weeks to polish it before the Peter Ustinov deadline.
  • Hollywood is awash with superhero films at the moment, but here‘s a trailer for one you won’t be seeing in cinemas, or anywhere else for that matter.  Digital is making anything possible.
  • From Hollywood to Wales, for Shannen Doherty at least.  Good luck to the Welsh filmmakers behind this – this project has been around for a while and it looks like it’s getting off the ground.
  • The Film Agency for Wales is still looking for applications to co-finance a short film scheme in Wales.  They have £50k on offer – I don’t know if they’ve had (m)any tenders, but let’s hope so, as Wales needs more than just It’s My Shout for short film directors to find their voice.

I’ll be back next week.

Why Are You Trashing My Scene?

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As anticipated, the forthcoming London Olympics will have an effect on the British film industry – Screen International is reporting that the UK Film Council is facing a $33m (£22m) cut in lottery funding over the next five years. In Wales, the Film Agency has already had a 21% cut in funding, attributed to various factors, including the London Olympics and declining sales of lottery tickets, as previously reported in Screen.

But it’s Easter, and instead of doom and gloom, here’s an egg-related piece of footage to cheer you up. I’m not an actor, and to prove it I even have an ‘E’ grade at A level Drama (though the highest grade anyone in my class received was a ‘D’ and the teacher mysteriously ‘retired’ that summer), but for some unknown reason, I was the first choice to play Derek Entwhistle, host of the Armchair Shopping Network, in Avoiding Christian Bale.

Paul has uploaded some of the footage, much of which will make it into the final cut of the film, displayed on a televsion screen in the background of a couple of scenes.

Watch it here. Feel free to laugh with me, or at me. Happy Easter.

Written by Matthew Redd

April 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Welsh Students in Meeting Deadline Shocker

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Despite a reputation for being lazy drunkards, at least a small percentage of the student population in Cardiff have been hard at work writing about the film industry in Wales, and Cardiff specifically, recently. Take a look at these two articles –

Capturing Cardiff by Matt Tozer features interviews with Antony, Karl Francis and serial concept pitcher Iwan Benneyworth.

Melanie Hall’s Lights, Camera, Cardiff! discusses the recent Soundtrack festival and ‘Valleywood‘, and includes interviews with Penny Skuse from the Wales Screen Commission, the Film Agency’s Keith Potter and the delightful star of Avoiding Christian Bale, Amy Morgan. A choice quote from myself also makes it onto the page.

Both articles are worth reading – the post-graduate journalism course at Cardiff has a great reputation and these articles show why.

Regular readers will be glad to know that Role Models is definitely worth watching if you’re a fan of the current wave of American comedy led by Judd Apatow and others.

Use The Short, Luke

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This is a trailer for a short film that was written and directed by Matt Freeth.

Matt and I have known each other for ten years, having met while we were both studying film at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Despite some great staff, the course didn’t really capture my imagination and while Matt went off to direct music videos, I ended up in the exhibitions sector of the film industry, which means I was an usher in a multiplex. I then launched a music business, which I’m sure I’ll mention again in future posts.

This is Matt’s first short film with a decent budget, backed by the UK Film Council’s Digital Shorts scheme. There’s no scheme like this in Wales (though that might change in the near future) and the demise of Sgrin has left It’s My Shout as the only company producing a range of shorts each year. In Wales, the Film Agency’s remit is to support features and not short film, which is intended to increase the range of feature films being developed and produced here, and ultimately foster Welsh talent. While short film is a great way to learn your trade, there’s a very limited market for the film as a product, despite the digital revolution and new channels of internet distribution.

I don’t have a problem with the Film Agency’s position on short film, and as the agency’s work continues, I’m certain its policies and work will have a lasting positive effect on the Welsh film industry. But I’m glad that short film schemes do exist in the UK, and that the talent of a close friend of mine is being nurtured by one. Check out the trailer.

Written by Matthew Redd

November 7, 2008 at 3:22 pm