Alexzandra Jackson (October)
Last month, we had Alexzandra Jackson talking to us about the BFI Network film funding and her job as the newly appointed BFI Network Talent Executive for the Midlands.
She delivered an insightful presentation and Q&A, and ignited a lot of excitement and positivity in the room for the future of our local film community. If you have any questions regarding her presentation or the information she provided, please feel free to drop us a reply to this email.
Monologue Jam (September)
Back at September’s Tweetup, we hosted the second annual ‘Monologue Jam’, which showcased some of the best performers from around the Midlands. With approximately 150 people through the doors, 24 performances and a set by DJ Emilio Pastore, it was certainly a night to remember!
We saw a joint win from Morgan Delahayes and Michael Dardy!
Followed by runners up Dylan Knight, Adam Morgan and Bess Lacey!
And we’d like to give a big shoutout to the rest of the actors, as every single performance was fantastic:
Paul Carter, Alice Willows, Luke Willis, Claire Waterall, Michael Ashanti, Aleksandra Dolna, Kyle Chaplin, Lucy Wakefield, Brogan May Piggot, Chris Conway, Lorien Tear, Natasha Walsh, Olivia Sikora, Billy Harris, Dayo Oye, Chloe Crump, John McGettrick, Lorna Spencer, Alexander Clark, Danny Shooter and our golden ticket winner, Aston Brain!
Q&A with Wellington Films’ very own Rachel Robey
This month we are excited to announce that Rachel Robey will be joining us for the Q&A!
Rachel is a Nottingham based film producer and founder of Wellington Films, known for her work on multiple award-winning short films as well as features such as London to Brighton, Calibre and The Levelling.
Prior to the Q&A, we’ll also be having a 30 minute speed-networking session which has always gone down extremely well in the past. After the Q&A will be our monthly ‘Pitch Up‘ where people will have the opportunity to pitch themselves or a project to everyone in the room.
NOTE: To take part, you must put your name into the hat upon entry.
BFI NETWORK – Funding
SHORT FILM FUND
The Short Film funding programme supports projects with directors based in England and is run in partnership with the BFI NETWORK Talent Executives who work with filmmakers on the delivery of funded projects.
This fund is for fiction shorts, in both live action and animation. We want to support short films that:
- bring exciting new voices and bold narratives to the screen;
- provide space for experimentation and idea-testing;
- advance the careers of the filmmakers involved through showcasing their abilities to the industry and the public.
For more info and to apply click here.
If you’re a new writer with an exciting, bold idea – particularly if you’ve not yet teamed up with a producer – this is the fund for you.
‘New writers’ are people who have not yet written a feature film script that has been produced and distributed. This fund is also for producers and directors working with new writers.
It supports people at the very beginning of their development process to produce an initial treatment and related materials. Successful applicants will receive a grant from the BFI together with oversight from a BFI NETWORK Talent Executive to support them in creating the documents.
For more info and to apply click here.
Film Hub Midlands – Pitch Pots
We want to create opportunities for audiences across the Midlands to engage with the widest range of film and in as many places as possible so our Pitch Pots are here to help.
This fund is open to exhibitors throughout the year. It will close once the available funds have been awarded. We anticipate awards up to £1,500.
You must be a member of Film Hub Midlands to receive our support, you can register now.
The Art of Screenwriting: A Practical GuideA practical, skills-based guide to screenwriting, taking you from your initial idea to a finished, short film script over the course of eight weeks.Price: £96 / £80 conc. / Members £72
Tutors: Kenton Hall
This course will run on Tuesdays, 12 Feb – 2 Apr 2019, from 7pm – 9pm.
You must be 18 or over to attend.
MyPhoenix Members & Friends – please book in person or phone Box Office (0116 242 2800) to get your member discount.
The Art of Screenwriting will provide a practical, skills-based guide to screenwriting, taking you from your initial idea to a finished short film script over the course of eight weeks. Experienced writer Kenton Hall will cover all aspects of screenwriting and working in the film industry, enabling you to take part in the full script-to-screen process. Using a combination of digital presentation, lecture and short film, writers of all levels of experience will be encouraged to develop, pitch and refine a short film script, while developing both their craft and industry knowledge.
visit their website for more information.
Two Day Meisner CourseThe Meisner Technique is a powerful tool for any actor whether you’ve been in the profession for years or are just getting started. It was created by Sanford Meisner to tackle the two main issues he knew actors struggled with the most:
1. Being stuck in your head (which subsequently leads to…)
2. Struggling to listen, truly listen.
The technique works through a specific set of exercises which help you to observe accurately and respond richly freeing up your impulses and bringing you into the present moment.
During this two day workshop, we’ll be exploring Meisner’s famous Repetition exercises which are the building blocks to the rest of his technique.
Stephanie is founder of the West Yorkshire Theatre Network and Both Feet Acting which offers Meisner based training to both emerging and professional actors. Her work with the Meisner Technique has taken her all over Europe. She has also worked at theatres across the UK country as a Performer, Venue Technician, Stage Manager, Assistant Director and Director. She recently directed Laura Wade’s Colder Than Here and Sue Townsend’s Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes.
Email The Actors Workshop to find out more and book a place.
If you would like to send any opportunities, castings or jobs. please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 25th of every other (even-numbered) month. This is a bi-monthly newsletter, so the next one will go out at the end of October.
WATCH SOME FILMS
Best Friends Forever
Directed by Liam banks, Super Freak Media
Best Friends Forever is brilliantly shot and builds up tension right from the get go.
Directed by Charlie Delaney
Trentside is set in Nottingham in the 1990s with the skateboarding scene as its backdrop. The film is a tasteful blend of three genres: Drama, Thriller & Psychological Horror.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE EAST MIDS
Five Lamps Films
Open Mic Night for Short Films
Submission deadline: Friday 16th November 2018, 23:59
Event: Tuesday 27 November 2018, 20:30
Venue: QUAD Derby, DE1 3AS
Beeston Film Festival
Short Film Festival
Submission deadline: Monday 31st December 2018
Event: Tuesday 7th – Sunday 10th March 2019
Shooters in the Pub
Event: First Monday of each month, 19:00
Venue: Broadway Cinema, NG1 3AL
Midlands Movies Film Awards
Submission Deadline: Friday 21st December 2018
Event: Saturday 2nd March 2019
FILMMAKER OF THE MONTH
This month we caught up with Sophie Black, founder of ‘Triskelle Pictures‘. Sophie is a passionate director, making some amazing work right here in the Midlands!
(Photography: Rei Bennet)
How did you get into filmmaking, and how was Triskelle Pictures born?
I actually got into film relatively late. I come from a creative family, but growing up in a sleepy town in the nineties, we didn’t know anyone who made films, and we didn’t even own a camcorder (I got my first camera, a high-8 camera, for my 15th birthday). I never even knew filmmaking could be a career option.
I founded my production company, Triskelle Pictures Ltd., in 2007, initially so that I had a branded signature for my own work. 10 years on I’m so happy to say that I have a dedicated, hard-working team of people who’ve also made films under that label, and I’m proud of all the projects we’ve done together. You can find out more about the first decade of Triskelle pictures in my latest blog post.
You’ve taken on a few different roles behind the camera over the years: costume, production design, producing and directing. What do you find most stressful/enjoyable/fulfilling and why?
I always wanted to direct, but I also wanted to work my way up, and learn employable skills along the way. I didn’t want to lead a crew until I knew what it was like to be a crew member myself.
Nothing gives me more satisfaction than directing. It is stressful, because you have a hundred people asking you a hundred questions every day, and you need to be a clear, decisive voice amongst the crowd.
What are you currently working on at the moment?
I’m currently in post-production on The Poison Ivy fan film, which was a childhood dream come true! It’s being looked after by some very talented post people right now, and due to come out around April next year.
You’ve had many crowdfund successes, what advice would you give to someone crowdfunding their own project?
The first tip is a biggie: you need to have a hook. You need to know your campaign, like your film, will have an audience. That way you know you’ll have people who will be interested in your campaign from the get-go. A person can be a hook. Get an influencer. Celebrity endorsement will always help your campaign, whether the celebrity is someone involved directly in your film or someone who will shout about it on social media.
Your films vary in themes but often have a fantasy feel to them. Where do you get your ideas from? Are there any main inspirations or influences? Are they based on real life experiences, dreams or something as simple as the news? We’re intrigued!
The majority of my early films were exaggerated interpretations of my own experiences. I was a very awkward teenager, and my films gave me a way to channel all the things that were going on inside my head. I still try and put a bit of myself in all my films – even if it’s just a line of dialogue which quotes something I’ve heard or said myself at some point.
Your films have all been on the festival circuit at some point. What are the best film festival experiences you’ve had?
I’ve done Cannes and Raindance in the past, which were both massively eye-opening for different reasons. If I have to pick my favourite festival memory, it would be Night Owls’ premiere at LSFF. It was shown on a HUGE screen in front of so many people, and every film shown around it was of such an amazing quality.
What would you say it’s like being a filmmaker from the Midlands rather than London?
There’s plusses and minuses. A lot of the jobs or training schemes I apply for are based in London, and I need to take the travel into account.
I love the local filmmaking community. There’s a lot of a buzz about the local scene – which wasn’t here when I first started making films – and I think a lot of that is down to places like The Quad and Antenna (and Tweetup, of course!).
The talent here rivals the talent in London – it might even surpass it – we just need more eyes on the Midlands from higher up in the film industry.
Do you see yourself staying here?
For the meantime, definitely. As I said, I love being part of the local film community, and most of my regular collaborators are here (the others are just a train ride away!) so I don’t feel the need to search elsewhere.
How do you manage a work/life balance?
This is such a hard one, but it’s so important. I don’t think I’ve quite got the balance right; I rarely take days off or spend time with my family and friends; I don’t always remember to exercise or cook proper food. I think every creative worries that if they stop pushing themselves for one minute, they might miss an opportunity.
What do you hope to be working on in two years time?
I hope to be closer to my goal of making Night Owls & Early Birds – or at least, I hope to know more about what I have to do to get the film off the ground.
Is there something you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out?
Unfortunately, this industry is cut-throat. It is getting kinder, slowly – but sometimes people will stab you in the back, and when you’re starting out, you won’t always predict who those people will be. The thing to remember is this: the key to success in this industry is the relationships you make, and people who are only in it for themselves will ultimately finish last.
What advice would you give to a film maker about to start their first project?
Go for it – but make sure you’re totally in love with the idea. You need to feel desperate to get on set and shoot it. If you’re not thinking about it every day, or if another idea has caught your attention, then you won’t be able to stay focused for the long haul.
Love it or leave it, and do something else instead!
Midlands Movies is looking to spotlight your project!
At Midlands Movies you will find all the latest movie news from the region and get the latest insights about the film industry from their extensive local coverage.
With an engaging social media community, Midlands Movies dives into the pool of local movie talent and acts as a place for filmmakers and fans to work together to promote the region’s film creatives.
From the annual Midlands Movies Awards to regular themed film events, Midlands Movies supports artists from all genres be it drama or documentary through to action and adventure. From shorts to features and working with festivals, local film groups, cinemas and much more, Midlands Movies wants to hear from anyone from the region with an interesting view to share.
As well as filmmakers, Midlands Movies also welcomes film writers with a host of opportunities to submit features, reviews and interviews and cast their creative eye over the best of the Midlands.
If you would like to submit a film or project, or just want to flex your writing muscles then please email at email@example.com for further info.
And check out the official website at www.midlandsmovies.com
FILM & TV TWEETUP IS CHANGING
We are re-branding! This means we are changing our name and will have a whole new look! There’s also so much more that we aim to be doing by this time next year. If you have any queries about this, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTE TO OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER
Got a project that needs help? Know of an opportunity? Something going on in the community?
If you want to contribute to the next bimonthly newsletter, please submit your story to email@example.com by 25th December 2018