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Film of the Month: March’s Top 10

Posted March 24th, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

The presence of Clerks creator Kevin Smith as March’s patron has stirred up some fiery and fierce competition in Film of the Month. SP’s social media has been going wild with filmmakers promoting their films on the leader board – which is exactly what it’s all about.

Not only is there the opportunity to win stuff, but entrants can get that wonderful thing called ‘feedback’ from leading industry figures and other filmmakers. Helping with the improving and bettering work as creatives – awesome stuff.

So here’s a little bit more about the finalists and their films:

1. Thus – Joseph Steele

Thus

Steele’s debut, zero-budget short That’s why they call it art landed him in court after the 2009 premiere was shut down by the police. Since 2009 Steele has produced a number of unreleased, zero-budget glitch films. Thus marks a new direction in his work as a film maker, and an attempt to make a total work of art. It is the product of 3 years of test shoots, draft scripts, fund-raising, filming and music composing.

Steele’s work as an artist centres around experimentation with explosives. In 2013 his work was discovered by accessories designer Lulu Guinness leading to a collaboration featured in Vogue, the Evening Standard and the Huffington Post. On top of awards from University and a year long financial sponsorship award Steele has been nominated for an Association of Illustrators award for a mural commissioned by Sage Software.

2. He Took His Skin Off For Me – Ben Aston

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If Ben were better at it he’d still be performing puppet shows with his grandmother, instead he now makes movie-films and dreams of the day he can make his glorious return to marionette theatre. His shorts have played at Sundance, BFI LFF, Fantastic Fest and the nicer parts of the internet. He shot He Took His Skin Off For Me in his house and set up a Kickstarter backed one-time SFX workshop in an abandoned retirement-home down the road to make it happen.
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3. Nobblycarrot7 – Ben Mills
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Nobblycarrot7 is a 15 minute film written and directed by Josh Allot and starring Verity Mullan-Wilkinson (Best Actress – British Independent Film Festival) as Ruby, a young girl who’s learnt the ways of the world through Youtube tutorials and spends her days hiding behind her computer screen. When she falls for online DJ Vinyl Lionel (Laurence Williams) she has to shut her laptop and go meet him for real.
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4. Glasshole – Jonathan Brooks
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Jonathan has written and directed a number of successful short comedy films. First Press (co-directed with Mat Laroche) was shortlisted for the Virgin Media Shorts in 2011. The Devil’s Apricot won Judges Commendation at the Reed Short Film Awards 2012 and both the Picturehouse Picks Award and Runner Up Best Short Film at the Cofilmic Film Festival 2012.
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Glasshole is about technophobe Andrew who, reluctantly, tests out a pair of Goggle Glasses with friends at his local pub. His curiosity soon returns sinister results as he is visited by a strange paranormal entity called Steve. This short horror comedy addresses the potential supernatural dangers of wearable technology.
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5. Cupid Dot Com Dating – Michael James Dean 
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Michael James Dean is a young filmmaker who has worked on several short films both in front and behind the camera. He founded Posh Dinosaur Productions and Cupid – Dot Com Dating is the second film of Michael’s that has reached the final round of Film of the Month.
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Cupid is the first episode of an Original Series from Posh Dinosaur Productions currently available via their YouTube channel. Funny, awkward, loveable and exciting Cupid is a heartwarmingly funny comedy that will keep you coming back for more.
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6. Breathe – Toby Meakins
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Toby is a multi-award winning director who makes commercials, brand films and viral content but loves to make ghost stories whenever he can.
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Breathe is the story of a ghost you can only see when you hold your breath.   It was shot in London across a couple of very cold January days by a lovely cast and crew and has travelled to film festivals all over the world.  It was made a Vimeo Staff Pick and a Short of the Week.
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7. Howl – Jamie Sims
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Howl is a short psychological thriller about a Primary school teacher struggling to protect a new pupil from a strange man who lingers at the playground fence. The film hopes to regenerate interest in the horror/monster genre through combining metaphorical parallels between a common evil within society (child abusers/paedophilia) and a traditional creature of nightmares. Using this, the film explores both adult and child fears.
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8. Darjeeling – Jamie Montgomery
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Darjeeling is a thriller that encourages the audience to look beneath the surface and question the importance of our decisions in life and how precious our time really is.
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Two men share an evening together over a pot of Darjeeling tea. Having not seen each other for some time they discuss family, travel and share old memories, but underneath every conversation lies a truth, one rarely seen. Is time running out?
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9. One Final Question – Corry Raymond
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One Final Question is about a 20 something girl working at a call centre by chance cold calls her estranged father; realising this, the girl is confronted with the pain of his abandonment and the need to understand. Under the bizarre circumstances they are reunited, the girl attempts to probe into her father’s life and to ask a question which could potentially heal both their pain. The short is on an exclusive showreel, selected by Blackmagic Design, to showcase outstanding creative work shot on their Cinema Cameras.
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10. Order of the Ram – Jamie Montgomery
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Order of the Ram follows Mary, a young, well-spoken college girl who is well liked within the small town she resides. Suddenly her life is turned upside down when she awakes, bound within a dense wood, to find herself staring into the eyes of “Mother”. On the surface Order of the Ram is a throwback horror movie paying homage to cult horror from the 1970’s, but underneath the film explores the idea of blind belief within religion, the extremes one will go in the name of god and the horrifying effects extreme belief can have on the innocent who encounter such people.
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Good Morning, Austin: Mayor Peacock

Posted March 23rd, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

As the sun sets on SXSW 2015 – we look back at some of the highlights.

Here’s some more from Chris and Ben’s time in the deep south, their screening of Nina Forever and when they met the ruler of the roost…

Good Morning, Austin: Dog and Daisy

Posted March 19th, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

What a year it’s been at SXSW – and it’s not over yet! There are a couple of Shooters on the ground in Texas who you might recognise, two of them being the Blaine Brothers (Chris and Ben), who’s first feature Nina Forever premiered at this year’s festival.

We asked them to keep a video diary of what they were getting up to, here’s some of their first ramblings

 

Guest Post: FilmDoo’s Poster Picks

Posted March 19th, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

SP have come on board to support FilmDoo’s Poster Creativity Competition because, lets face it, it’s all well and good to make a film – but how do you make someone want to come see it? The FilmDoo team have selected a few entries to give you a little inspiration.

Submissions are continuing to flood in for FilmDoo’s Poster Creativity Competition. To celebrate the new partnership with Shooting People, we’ve chosen a few of our favourite entries so far, and compared them against the original artwork…

poster taxiThe original theatrical poster that accompanied Taxi Driver and Maxime Damo’s 2015 reboot.

Our first choice, with a decidedly Shooting People colour scheme, comes courtesy of Belgium’s Maxime Damo, whose simple yet stylish approach to Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver (1976) created an excitable buzz in the FilmDoo office. Considering the stature Taxi Driver holds in cinematic history, Maxime has chosen an understated approach. The strip down the middle of Maxime’s poster eludes to the pattern that has become emblematic of New York city’s taxis yet it also evokes imagery of a zip; as if behind this poster lies the cinematic tour de force that cinephiles have come to know.

poster godfather

Marie Bergeron’s submission for the FilmDoo poster competition can be seen on the right, whilst the original is positioned to the left – One of our team was reminded of the Ferrari logo meeting a sticky end.

Secondly, the team at FilmDoo went for another of cinema’s greatest films, FrancisFord Coppola’s The Godfather. Just as the aforementioned original poster features its main protagonist as the main focal point, so does the original for The Godfather, as can be seen below.

Visually striking, Canada’s Marie Bergeron’s adaptation of The Godfather’s poster differs greatly from the original. Undoubtedly, Marlon Brando had the power to dominate both the moving image as well as the still, yet Bergeron’s take on the poster takes us right into the heart of the film itself. By referencing a particular scene from The Godfather, Marie contradicts the themes evident in the original. The beheaded stallion comes to symbolise the depraved lengths at which the Corleone family were willing to go to cement their family’s standing and obtain whatever it was they desired.

poster blue 1A lesbian embrace in the original poster for Blue is the Warmest Colour, left, whilst Sara Suttle’s more organic entry, right, centres on sexual and emotional awakening

Step forth Sara Suttle from the USA, whose almost surrealist take on Blue is the Warmest Colour thoroughly delighted the FilmDoo team. Released in 2013, Abdellatif Kechiche’s female focused erotic drama had the majority of its audiences in raptures at its mature handling of sexual themes, and Suttle’s entry perfectly exemplifies the same sense of intrigue, the hand seemingly reaching out towards sensations both emotionally and sexually-charged, here depicted by flowers.

So far FilmDoo has received over 400 entries for the competition, and there are manymore favourites we’ll be revealing to you in due course. But in the mean time, head on over to the competition page to check out the prizes and jury panel. If you have an eye for movie poster art, or know somebody who does, get involved.

#FilmmakersTell: Charlie Lyne

Posted March 9th, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

Making your first feature film is no easy feat. Since there isn’t a direct route to take to come out on the other side unscathed and on top, taking on a feature can seem like quite a daunting prospect.

Luckily for you, Shooting People members are willing to share their experiences to give you insights on the reality of filmmaking – from development to distribution.

Charlie Lyne is a filmmaker and freelance journalist. He directed and edited his first feature, ‘Beyond Clueless’, which is out today on VoD and limited VHS release (very retro).

He learned a lot about the process of filmmaking, self distribution and some of the little things that you might completely over look until they come back to bite you…

The chirpy and psych tune accompanying the video is ‘Stranger on the Corner’ by ‘The Plastic Dots‘ – check them out on Soundcloud.

Nina Forever – First Teaser.

Posted March 3rd, 2015 by Ben

Yes, That Kevin Smith: Film of the Month

Posted March 2nd, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

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Iconic writer, director, producer and podcaster Kevin Smith is gracing us with his presence and acerbic feedback this month as Film of the Month patron.

Kevin made his iconic film debut at Sundance with ‘Clerks‘ (1994), filmed at the convenience store where he worked outside of working hours. Other films in the shared canon of the View Askewniverse include ‘Chasing Amy’, ‘Dogma’, ‘Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back’ and most recently he has released the horror flicks ‘Red State’ and the Gumtree-inspired ‘Tusk’.

Also an avid podcaster, Kevin hosts several shows under the banner of his podcast network Smodcast. He’s currently preparing ‘Yoga Hosers’ and ‘Clerks III’.

If you have a short which you think Kevin will love, log in and submit your film. If you’re not a member and dying to get in on the action, sign up. We don’t bite…

 

A Contemporary Take on Film Editing

Posted February 2nd, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

UPDATE: Past the deadline? DON’T PANIC! Due to popular demand, Pond 5’s Public Domain Project creative challenge has been extended by a week. The deadline is now March 9th, so you have a whole other week to email kelie@shootingpeople.org with your name and link to your submission.

Don’t worry, you won’t  have to get your hands on a Steenbeck for this editing challenge.

Pond5 is launching their new ‘Public Domain Project’ and it’s pretty snazzy. A library of royalty free content designed specifically for media makers, including over 10,000 video clips, 65,000 photos, endless sound recordings and 3D models.

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With Shooting People and Soho Editors, Pond5 are granting four filmmakers with copious amounts of credit for their site and places on some of London’s most elite editing courses.

Sign up to Pond 5 for free and create a 1-2 minute film that tells a compelling tale of ‘Journeys and Hidden Treasures’ using any of the free clips available to download and any of these 50 free music tracks. Then, upload your film to a video platform, (ie:Youtube or Vimeo) and email kelie@shootingpeople.org with the link and your details.

The Pond 5 youtube channel gives you a snapshot of the media you can explore…

The 4 winners are in for a treat:

Top prize is $2000 Pond5 credit to spend on stock footage and a GoPro camera.
– 2nd – $500 credit and one of any Soho Editor’s 3 day courses of your choice.
– 3rd – Soho Editor’s free 12 month license to take the ‘Inside The Edit – The Creative Editing Course’.
– 4th – $500 Pond5 credit.

The Deadline is 9th March, so start piecing together your journey jigsaw for an opportunity to delve deeper into what Pond5 have to offer & learn more about editing from a reputable organisation.

Learn a bit more about Pond5 & Soho Editors…

Pond5

Pond5 is the world’s most vibrant marketplace for media makers, offering the Web’s largest collection of royalty-free stock video footage, as well as millions of photos, illustrations, music tracks, sound effects, Adobe After Effects project templates, and 3D models. Disrupting the traditional stock agency m odel with an open, dynamic marketplace, Pond5 invites media makers from all over the world to submit their own content and set their own prices. Contributing artists earn 50% on each sale—significantly higher than traditional players.
Submissions are curated by the Pond5 team, and made available for immediate preview, purchase and download. All content is licensed under a simple royalty-free license that provides customers lifetime, worldwide usage rights across all media.

 

Soho Editors

Soho Editors are Europe’s premier talent and training provider to the creative media industry. For over 18 years Soho Editors have been supporting professional creative organisations and individuals to realise their full potential.

 

Inside The Edit

Inside The Edit is the world’s first creative editing course. This highly specialised training program has been developed over three years by a prime time editing team working at the very highest level of television. The Creative Editing Course goes way beyond basic editing theory. You will learn hundreds of structural, journalistic and creative techniques used in documentary and entertainment television. From the fundamentals to the highly advanced. No other course provides you with professional level theory, raw footage to practice on and a guided tour through the creative editing process.

 

Film of the Month: January’s Finest

Posted January 27th, 2015 by Kelie Petterssen

This month’s patron is American Screenwriter and Director, Desiree Akhavan. Best known for her web series ‘The Slope’ and more recently, her 2014 feature film debut ‘Appropriate Behaviour’. She won the Grand Jury Prize for Appropriate Behaviour at the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

This month’s top 10 continue the comedy streak, with some quite notable short filmmakers in the running. Voting ends midnight on Saturday, so make sure you take a look because members would appreciate your feedback.

1. Moments – Chris Cronin

Moments

 Moment’s is a love letter to all those Disney classics that used the power of dance to express powerful emotions that couldn’t be described simply with words. With the collaborative team that created ‘Sophie’s Fortune’ it didn’t take long to hit the ground running with orchestrating such a large concept. Set to the backdrop of a modern romanticised London and utilising talent from the West Ends ‘A Chorus Line’ we were able to, in a short period of time, create large scale dance-set pieces in some of the most beautiful yet hidden locations in the centre of London. – Chris Cronin

Chris is a multi-award winning director who founded Genesis Flux in 2009. His first professional film, ANTE, garnered international acclaim, accruing overwhelmingly positive reviews and taking two international awards for best thriller and best short. Since then he has directed the action/adventure epic Sophie’s Fortune has had an amazing response upon release leading to three awards at Portsmouth International Film Festival including Best Comedy, Best Director at Filmstock Film Festival along with many others.

In 2015 he has already won Best Director for the 48FilmProject for ‘Unkillable’ and was invited to attend the awards at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles.

2. Ben Aston – Russian Roulette & Dinner and a Movie

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Ben has two films in the top 10 (popular guy)

If Ben were better at it he’d still be doing puppet shows with his grandmother, instead he now makes movie-films and dreams of the day he can make his glorious return to marionette theatre. His shorts have played at Sundance, BFI LFF, Fantastic Fest and the nicer parts of the internet.

3. Hidir Ergonul – Oven

Oven - Screenshot

 I recently started Film School in London and this was the film we created as our first assignment. The concept was relatively easy to come up with, however making it come alive was hard, like how on earth are we going to show animals coming a live in a oven. We planned for 3 straight days on how we can put a camera and something to blow feathers that would fit into a oven without it appearing on camera. Luckily I was working with a great team and we come up with something that actually worked, which was simply a GoPro, blow dryer, tubing and a lot of duct tape. Props to George Ellsworth for making it happen. – Hidir Ergonul

4. Michael Garrett – Cave Unicycling

Cave Unicycling3 -M and K Garrett

My sister and I work making promo videos for small businesses, but every now and then the opportunity for a fun project comes along and we have to take a little time off from real work and invest in it. This one was in the form of a gloriously red-haired, unicycling cave-enthusiast friend of mine. We saw a photo of him on facebook on his unicycle, in a cave, and my big sis said “there has to be a documentary about this ludicrous sport”, or something along those lines. A few months later we were in the caves of Wales, breaking all of our camera equipment in the damp and mud. The film that resulted from this adventure went on to win the “KMF Short Film Award” and was shown on Channel 4’s “Love and Adventure” programme. – Michael Garrett

5. Liam Sanderson – Challenging Behaviour

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The first day at a new school is never going to be easy. Miranda is the new girl who is quick to realise some of the students are mysteriously going missing. Suspicious Miranda soon uncovers a conspiracy leading all the way to the top… Is the school’s new head teacher behind the disappearances?

Challenging Behaviour was a summer film school project at Wales High school in Sheffield. The cast is made up entirely of actors from the school and a dedicated team of students helped with various production duties behind the scenes. Liam Sanderson supervises Media Production at Wales High School in Sheffield. He makes short films in his spare time.

6. Tom Coombe – Delayed

Delayed

I have a strong passion for story telling through interesting and complex characters. I love to work with actors and bring together a storyline which gives audiences an emotive reaction. As a writer and director, short film is a fantastic way for me to express my ideas, through the screen, in the the hope that I can connect with people watching. I’m happy with the way ‘Delayed’ portrays honesty and like to think it gives audiences the chance to decide for themselves what happens to the characters once the film ends. I’m very pleased I’ve entered ‘Delayed’ into Shooting Peoples Film of the month as its given me the chance to connect with many talented people and view some other fantastic work. – Tom Coombe

6. Lily Smith – Days

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Days is a short film about grief based on the real-life experiences of writer/director Lily Smith when she lost her father four years ago. Through a series of bizarre vignettes and candid talking heads, Lily explores some of the stranger sides of grief and loss, bypasses a pretty intense Gazza obsession, and arrives at an uplifting, positive dance party-themed resolution with her feelings. 

Lily Smith is a writer and a director of music videos and short films based in London. She writes about funny things and sad things but is best when she’s writing about funny-sad things.
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7. Michael James Dean – Part Two: Breaking Boundaries
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Breaking Bounds

Breaking Boundaries was Part Two in a series of short films following Artist Bananajims, a young exciting artist. The series follows jim as he creates a new unique piece of art. The series focuses on the process Bananajim takes and explores his feelings about Art in themodern age. In Breaking Boundaries Jim inks and colours his artwork.

Michael James Dean has been a filmmaker for over 4 years having studied as an acting and appearing in various projects on stage and in front of the camera. In 2011 Michael founded Posh Dinosaur Productions an Independent Film Company creating new, unique films. Through the company Michael has produce, written and Directed short films from comedy to factual and has continued to move from strength to strength using his experience as an actor Michael creates dynamic and interesting films that focus on the heart of the story.

8. Paul Craig – Another Secret

Another secret

A family torn between Love, Race and Religion. Tensions are boiling. The divide between traditional and modern values are tested. Esther brings the truth to the Friday night Sabbath meal.

Give these guys your feedback. They’re doing great things and would love to hear your thoughts on their latest projects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catch Up at Shooters in the Pub

Posted January 25th, 2015 by Xenia

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Hi Everyone,

This February 9th we’ll be meeting up at The Arts Theatre Club 50 Frith Street, London, W1D 4SQ from 6.30pm onwards.

Come along for some networking drinks, free nibbles and to catch up with the new Shooting People team Anna Bogutskaya (Partnership & Membership Manager) and Kelie Petterssen (Content Editor).

They’ll be at the event to talk to you about what Shooting People has to offer this year, as well as to answer any questions you might have about the organisation and to find out what you would like to see Shooting People doing more of.

Shooters in the Pub is a free monthly networking event that is open to anyone interested in or working in film, and is regularly attended by a mixture of film creatives: actors, writers, directors and more. Shooters in the Pub takes place in London and at various venues across the UK, to find out when your next local meetup will be keep an eye on the Shooting People calendar. You can let us know if you’re coming along by joining the Shooters in the Pub London event group here.

See you there,

Xenia

Shooters in the Pub & Kino London event

Shooters in the Pub & Kino London event

‘Shooters in the pub is a great way to meet others who are trying to make it in the film industry and share ideas, as well as colloborate. I always leave the event with an optimistic attitude and a good number of business cards.’ – M.K. Ceesay, Director at ZigZagZig.

‘What I love is the opportunity to meet so many directors and filmmakers – in a relaxed environment. I enjoy swapping stories and tips with other actors but what I find most helpful is being able to meet the people who can actually cast me in their projects.’ – Diana Atkins, Actor