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Too much talk, but no action on making movies

I think there's too much talk on here about making movies than actually doing it. I guess those who are actively working haven't got time to bitch and moan about the industry. Think about it: why are you paying £25 a year just to moan? There are free film forums and Mandy to find working actors and crew.

So let me lay down a challenge:

Host an unofficial 48 Hour short film challenge in your home town after the World Cup.

I live in Croydon, South London.

Any member of SP who lives in or around Croydon, contact me so we can make a themed short. Email me water49uk *at* I'm a runner and production who'll work with nearly anyone.

This 48 Hour short film challenge applies to every town in the country.

  • Pretty sure there's a lot of film making of all sorts and across all genres going on amongst the 40,000 members here Matthew. One ought not take ones own case for a generality. Even amongst the handful of members who regularly chat here there's production going on. So whilst some do seem to struggle uphill despite their wisdom, experience and skill, they too ought not take their own cases for a generality.

    There's always reasons for success as there are for the lack of it. Circumstances, attitudes and how one engages with ones reality etc., etc.

    Making almost any sort of film that aspires to some sort of viability, whether it be financially or at least critically within an audience that extends beyond ones friends and relatives, is usually demanding in terms of time and resources. Mostly such films are not born of committees and groups, they might arise only after those who have the creative gumption have created their project in their heads and probably on paper too. Rarely is it a democratic undertaking.

    10 months ago
  • I'm working at the moment. Still have time to chat on SP. I quite enjoy it. :)

    10 months ago
  • Hi Matthew,
    I'm sorry but berating and disparaging the productive filmmakers that kindly take time to altruistically respond to requests from members needing help and advice to their production problems somewhat smacks to me of biting the hand that feeds, personally I select what to read and then what to potentially respond too, after reading negative or needlessly critical comments of this forum I choose to forthwith cease to read or consider responding to future postings by those negative contributors. I counter challenge you to use your time and energies to make some films, promos, adds etc and to then start contributing positively to this forum. Shooting People is a unique and remarkably inexpensive resource for filmmakers, may I please suggest that you, therefore, nurture it before deriding it.

    Regards Ray Brady

    10 months ago
  • Ray Brady - You've got experience and seem to be working, that's good! By the tone of your comment, I thought you were a lawyer! If you don't want to respond anymore that's fine, since this is the first time I've heard of you!

    10 months ago
  • Hi Matthew, whilst I understand your sentiment, and indeed have been way too busy to be reading anything SP related for months and months, I still renewed my membership on the off chance that it might come in handy. And here I am today, caught procrastinating...

    I understand the frustration with which you regard "moaners" on here but here's the thing. Sniping at them and challenging them to make a film in 48 hours achieves exactly... not that much. I've just (by just I mean in the last few years) made a feature, which is just at the end of it's cinema run, won 9 festivals and is now released on Hulu and Amazon and other platforms. That film, just as John pointed out, was not even remotely a democratic little idea, and sure enough no-one thought it would be possible to make it. What I'm trying to say is, films, especially feature films, take time to make, and need big ideas, and someone behind them that won't take 'no' for an answer, like ever. It's not a competition who can make a short the quickest, it's about your vision, and your ability to put a team together to then implement that vision. So I'd challenge you to write something you want to make, something you care deeply about, and then convince others to care for it as well. That's how you'll make something you'll care about. Not in 48 hours. It takes as long as it take. And if you feel discouraged and dare I say, lonely in the process, this is the forum to shoot the shit with others. Oh and by the way, that feature I just made was initially sort of crewed through SP, athough more a case of an SP member recommending someone who wasn't on here but that's beside the point. Sorry about this long answer. This was my one annual SP procrastination :-)

    10 months ago
  • Alot of us on here earn a good living from the film industry and find Shooting People invaluable. The Editor on my last film I met on here, I've made real world friendships with people I've met on here. It is a very diffcult industry to make headway in and it is not for everyone. Someone far cooler than me once said 'if you can do anything else other than work in movies, do it, if not -- you're a filmmaker.' A

    10 months ago
  • Calm down Matthew. Films are not made by issuing challenges. It’s a friendly, if there’s no money, collaboration. I stopped making shorts for the simple reason that I now know that I can. The next step is a movie. Then you need lots of money. ( I want to pay everyone so don’t tell me about no money movies) I would recommend you re read your posts. Do you really think anyone needs a runner with that sort of attitude?

    10 months ago
  • Oh dear, your getting a rough response Matthew, probably rougher than you deserve. We do love you really and you do try and contribute positively most of the time. To live and learn is what we all have to do.

    From what you've revealed about yourself over time it seems you live in the outer lands and don't travel easily; is that right? Being to restricted to local spheres might be your main challenge.

    May all your aspirations flourish dear chap.

    10 months ago
  • Hey I don't mind. I'm coming at this from an outsider's perspective. I've always been an outsider. I've always thought if you had enough money you could make people work with you. I just don't like to know there are so many talented people on this website, but we talk so much instead of generating projects.

    Before this I used to try to get involved with film schemes, but they always applied to under 25s. Why are there no film schemes for over 25s? And I've been to networking nights where people just talk to the friends they came with or less than 10 people turn up!

    Chris Jones of Living Spirit pictures has made two films by group contribution drawing together on UK talent contributing for free on unique joint projects. We should try this. No reason why SP can't have a film division.

    10 months ago
  • Do we talk so much instead of making films? There's no evidence to support that statement other than a very few people here who might struggle overtly without any success. I can only repeat Matthew that there's lots of productions underway here on SP. How does one get involved with those productions? By being very proactive and by being valuable, even if only at beginner level.

    SP is not just about making movies or low value shorts that are extremely unlikely to have any meaningful traction with audiences beyond the insular and nepotistic; and that includes film festivals that have far less effective gravitas than laurel leafed motifs on presentation art work tries to suggest; and that so often exceeds the actual presentation of the product it's selling.

    Factual and documentary production can and does include many of the creative facets applied to movies and can provide valuable lessons that inform any film making genre and aspiration. At the level of financially viable business models they offer a far greater opportunity for distribution and reward at lower risk and much higher value for budget resources.

    It often seems to me that young, and often not so young, aspirants who've entrenched their aspirations in becoming movie producers and/or directors and nothing else will do, are either hugely talented, independently wealthy, extraordinarily lucky, have nepotistic connections or are naive in the face of all that empirical data provides.

    Wanting something is not enough.

    10 months ago
  • I think the current subscription charge is £30.00, Matthew. and bitchin' is what messageboards is fer; so here's to digital grousing! You know, sometimes I wake up in the pixelated aether, and...

    10 months ago
  • Hi Matthew,

    I think a lot of people from the SP community do constantly make films, but as yourself and others have stated some people are just too busy to be posting often here. I am sure there are people who do have consistent work and post a lot, but there will be some, like myself, has work on but even if I had time to post often, I probably would not, as I am just not a posting on online forums/sites kinda guy.

    There are however some people here who may come across too assertive or negative in their approach whether they are realizing it or not. If there is nothing nice, or constructive that they will pay attention to say, I think why to bother.

    As SP is a community I would be very hesitant about being too boisterous and simply throwing opinions around casually, as the film industry is not huge and pretty well tied together, and people will remember these names. Maybe SP is the place to do this, but personally, but I think it shouldn't be.

    From my experience, taking a positive attitude to the film industry is the first step to succeeding in it. There WILL be times of multiple setbacks, time wastes, failed projects, cluster fucks of epic proportions, but try and take those in your stride and learn from them.

    So, good luck trying to get people in and around Croydon to start a 48-hour challenge. I think this is a very good way to get people together and help the community, and something I would love to see more people doing, but calling them out on it with an attitude 'make a film rather than moan about it' should not be the way to approach this.

    Hope that helps

    10 months ago
  • So I actively work in film and events, it is my whole living. Sometimes I'm quiet and will happily sit and chat with any shooters who buy me a coffee, other times I'm insanely busy or offshore and touch in occasionally. Either way, I'll support anyone making a short if they are committing to do the work themselves and not just looking for someone to do the boring bit!

    That said I did run a 24h competition widely promoted as a part of a film and arts festival local to me - I got sponsored prizes worth about £1000 of VFX software. I got three entrants, only 2 films returned, I couldn't even give away all 3 prizes and returned it to the sponsor. Won't bother again.

    10 months ago
  • I am working and also like posting when I have time and reading posts because I am always learning. John is right getting a film made requires massive luck, nepotism or independent wealth and it is daunting because it’s so hard to break in to this industry. BUT perseverance is key. Never give up, make films by collaboration, keep offering your crew or cast services to others. Take another job to run alongside your dream job so at you can afford to make your films. Look I am defo well over 25 lol! Have been working so hard for 6 years. Made 11 short films and about to do 2 features this year. In my fifties if I can do it so can you I started out with everything against me but being driven and having a cheerful non moaning demeanour gets you a long way.
    I also recommend massive efforts to network The Media Lunch Club and Cannes helped me. But don’t expect immediate results. I met a USA producer 2 years ago at Cannes, only now we are doing business and he is working on getting me a very good budget for my feature . So it is a long game.

    10 months ago
  • Just a note on why I don't like those 48 hour contests. They create unrealistic expectations on the part of clients, backers and non-filmmaking friends and family members. Some people seem to think that "creativity" is done with magic pixie dust.

    (Like almost all of the writing jobs on here, even the paid ones, work out to less than minimum wage when you consider the time really involved.)

    When you are producing a film, it take time, as others have said. Not just raising the money, but writing, rehearsing, setting up, prop creation, blocking, editing, colour correction and so on. For some reason, people who understand that theatre, game creation, construction and web design take time don't understand that it also applies to filmmaking. (I guess the building codes don't allow a 48 hour construction contest.)

    Also note that web designers, fast food workers, rubbish collectors and others talk about their clients and work sometimes in the break room. And yes, they'll often talk about the state of their industries. (There is confidentiality, of course, so people usually aren't named.)

    As a kid, it really used to annoy me when I learned that teachers gossiped.

    10 months ago
    • That said, you can make a start in 48 hours. Film a parade, write a short for a contest, apply for funding, apply for a job, break down a script, post a job. Draw a storyboard. Draft a business plan.

      10 months ago
  • Hi Mathew. Im in Croydon.let's do it

    10 months ago
    • I was so intregued by your iconoclast and emphatic response 'val' that I had to visit your profile. It figured. It's the sort of thing that delights bored conspiracy theorists, troll hunters and amateur psychologists. But only if it's not puff pastry without the pastry and has some sort of substance, even if only eccentrically. Stir it up 'val', give us a new angle on the topic. It's been quiet here lately.

      10 months ago