Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘networking

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

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

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

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

It’s a Hard Way to Earn an Easy Living

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If you’ve written a feature length screenplay and need some feedback to help you write the next draft, you’re in the right place.  I’m now offering script reports to writers for a very reasonable (some might say cheap) price.  All the information you might need is on my Script Reading Services page, and you can also email me with any other questions.

The masterclass on Abraham’s Point was really interesting.  The film’s writer/director, Wyndham Price, was extremely honest and open with everything, and many of the things he said really hit home with me.  He’s passionate about what he does, and it’s hard not to admire his persistance and dedication to film – he spoke about everything from struggling to make a living to his own self-doubt and personal frustration.  The panel discussions weren’t without humour either, mostly thanks to the chair Ed Thomas and also Wyndham’s own fondness for using expletives to illustrate a point.

The ‘hard way to earn an easy living’ line is often used in poker circles to describe the life of the professional gambler, but you can apply it to anyone trying to maintain a career in the ‘creative industries’, particularly film, as to many people outside of the industry, the media looks glamorous and not really ‘real work’ (and sometimes they might be right).  It ties in nicely with the old ‘time is money’ cliche as well, because in order to find the time to write or shoot short films, you’re probably going to have to work a day job and your spare time becomes so valuable because of its limitations.

If you’re an aspiring writer, you also need time to develop your own style, to mature as a writer and thus ‘find your voice’.  I wrote a screenplay when I was 18 – the only one I’ve ever written (it’s not very good, as you might imagine).  I think you need to live some life in order to have something to say, and at 18, I didn’t know an awful lot about anything.  Sometimes I doubt I know much about anything now, and it was reassuring to hear at the masterclass that I’m not the only one who feels that way.  In an industry that is so hard to break into, you need to do it because you love it, persevere and keep believing in yourself.  It might take a long time, so be prepared and be pro-active.

There should be another session with filmmakers in April, I’ll post details here when they’ve been announced.

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