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Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘Screen Academy Wales

My Camera, It Doesn’t Know How To Lie

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Here’s the new trailer from SSAW – Skillset Screen Academy Wales, edited by Ewan Jones-Morris.  It’s compiled of films made with the support of the Screen Academy between 2007 and 2009.  There’s lots of footage from 17 included, check it out.

Written by Matthew Redd

December 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm

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.

You Just Can’t Stay Seventeen Forever

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17promo1

’17’ is finished. The short film that I shot back in September 2007 has now been completed, and I’m about to run off a load of DVDs to send out to the cast & crew, along with my thanks for their patience. I’m sure a lot of them had written off the prospects of seeing this film a long time ago.

The online & grade in Mwnci went as smoothly as I could have hoped, unfortunately Jamie couldn’t make it and so I took Matt with me. There were a lot of problems of our own making, ranging from missing footage to incorrect timecode (and everything in between), but Al did a fantastic job with the grade – the film now looks as bleak as its dramatic content. It’s a tough film to watch, but hopefully for the right reasons. There’s kids getting up to some pretty nasty things, it’s no American Graffiti.

There’s obviously things in the film that I would change, but considering we completed it nineteen months after we shot it, I’m very happy with the final result. A lot of the plot is based around happy slapping, and while we’ve lost an element of topicality as these days it’s knife crime that occupies British youth, it’s still a relevant parable on the cycle of violence that asks questions about today’s society.

The picture is of Christopher Conway, the lead in the film, taken by our stills photographer Garfield Richards. Chris did a fantastic job alongside Sean Bridgeman, Erin Richards and other great young actors we met at Atsli Casting. There’s also a strong performance from Gavin & Stacey’s Margaret John, in a role that’s in huge contrast to her recent TV comedy appearances, opposite Cardiff theatre legend Michael Kelligan, both of whom were an absolute pleasure to work with.

Some stills from the film soon. I’m off to copy some DVDs and finish typing in the information into shortfilmdepot.

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