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Shooting People
Shooting People

Newsletter issue 103

We're dedicating this first issue of 2017 to celebrating the many successes of the SP membership over the last year. SP is a community of filmmakers that depends on the efforts, advice and support of other filmmakers and film fans. Thanks to all of your hard work over this year, and the ones before it. Keep it up, and tell your friends about us.

We're dedicating this issue to celebrating the many successes of the SP membership over the last year. SP is a community of filmmakers, that depends on the efforts, advice and support of other filmmakers. Join Shooting People during January and receive 15 months membership for the price of 12 (£39.99, which is just £2.60 per month).

SP at the Oscars

SP at the Oscars

After countless SP member nominations over recent years, at the 2016 Academy Awards, we finally had a winner in our community. Benjamin Cleary took the Oscar for Best Live Action Short for his Matthew Needham starring film Stutterer. A deserving victory lap for an excellent film that has gained a number of plaudits, and demonstrates a bold new voice who'll go onto great things.

Rent or buy the film here, and check out Ben's previous and future projects here, and some of his other recent successes.

First Shot to Feature

First Shot to Feature

We supported Jameson's First Shot competition again this year, giving filmmakers the chance to make a short film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal with the assistance of Dana Brunetti's Trigger Street Productions and all the resources that provides. We held a Q+A with UK winner, SP's Kat Wood's Home at the UK JFS premiere to learn about her experience and prepare for the next JFS.

Amongst developing various shorter projects, Kat is working on a feature, a Sci-Fi set in the North East of England.

First Features

A number of SP filmmakers made their first feature this year, often to considerable acclaim. Our apologies for not being to mention them all, but here's a taster of some of the bigger breakouts.

James Spinney and Peter Middleton debuted their hugely well received feature Notes on Blindness, an inventive visualisation of the audio diaries of a theologist losing his sight. Another Doc/Fest favourite, George Amponsah's powerful doc about the friends and family of Mark Duggan and their efforts to receive justice for their murdered friend, The Hard Stop.

Rachel Tunnard released her excellent feature Adult Life Skills, an extension of a popular short that won several BIFAs late in the year. As did Jane Gull with My Feral Heart, a touching, mature work featuring a lead actor with downs syndrome; Jane Linfoot with The Incident, which premiered at Edinburgh before being Bird's Eye View's first distribution effort just now; and Esther May Campbell, who released her well received debut Light Years.

Alice Lowe released her genius horror comedy Prevenge, about a murderous baby who encourages her mother to go on a killing spree, from inside the womb. Starring Lowe and her unborn daughter, the film premiered at Venice to raucous reception. It's out in the UK in February.

Community Focus

Across the board, SP'rs helped each other out, something that was visible in our Q+As. Screenwriter's discussed getting representation, their process, background and progress. Cinematographer's talked the viability of shooting on film, quite a lot. Actors talked about working with directors, and directors talked about working with actors. A post Brexit industry was speculated at length, as was the general mood. New means of distribution were speculated upon, as was new forms of storytelling. Something that makes SP unique is that our membership runs across the craft, making us a place to meet filmmakers in any field, whether actors, cinematographers, gaffers, makeup artists, writers, producers, composers.

Earnest Thanks

We set up ‘Film of the Month’ (FOTM) so that SP members could get feedback from key filmmakers and industry folk, and use these reviews to promote their work.

Film of the Month judges over the last twelve editions have included: master documentarian Louis Theroux, who needs no introduction; Luke Moody, BRITDOC's Head of Film who recently became the Director of Programming for Sheffield Doc/Fest; the wonderful Pegah Farahmand, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4's Random Acts strand; prolific, deeply cinephilic critic and filmmaker Mark Cousins; director of breakout horror smash The Witch, Robert Eggers; multitalented Brit actor, director, writer, comedienne Alice Lowe; esteemed video artist turned feature director Omer Fast; Palme d'Or winning arthouse maestro Apichatpong Weerasethakul; film industry hero and Director of Film at the British Council Briony Hanson; and Birdman screenwriter and all round hotshot Alexander Dinelaris.

This wouldn't work without the time the community spends to watch and review the great films we receive. Take a look a some of the past winners on our Vimeo channel.

Shooter Shorts in '16

Shooter Shorts in '16

To close out the year, we select some of our favourite Film of the Month winners. Bold, striking animations like Anna Ginsberg's Private Parts, Ross Hogg's Scribbledub, Rob Savage's brief, impactful Absence, social realist dramas like Aaron Dunleavy's Throw Me To The Dogs, or Jimmy Dean's Charity, an inventive oddity by Luke Kondor, Keith. Insightful docs like Alice Russell's Men Buy Sex, Daniel Ali's The Journey of a Stateless Man, Tal Amiran's Seven Days a Week, and Chloe White's The Long Haul

Kickstartin'

Kickstartin'

This year saw the launch of our partnership with Kickstarter. We'd like to take this moment to look back at some of the most notable projects of the year. Firstly, Noor, from Oscar nominated director Ashvin Kumar, which raised over £70,000 as one of our first projects. Also, Sky Neal and Kate McLarnon's Even When I Fall, a terrific, socially engaged doc about a Nepalese circus, then more recently, Ollie Watts' short addressing older people's loneliness, Ferried, and Katie Pow's Welsh creature feature The Truthful Phone, and Dan Schoenbrunn and Vanessa McDonnell's crazy omnibus The Eyeslicer. In 2017, we're looking to connect more great filmmakers with Kickstarter's Outreach team, to launch projects in the best possible way. Let us know what you've got planned.

New Year Notes

Some quick points as the year opens. Tomorrow (10th Jan), we're at the Hackney Attic at 7pm for our first event of the year - SP RESOLUTIONS. Join us and a host of great filmmakers for drinks and discussions to start the year right. RVSP.

Then, on Thurs (12th Jan), as part of the LSFF, we're hosting a panel session on funding with friends from the BFI, C4 Random Acts and Film London, Where's The Money?. Tickets available, or get the industry day pass.

Lastly, 11th Jan is the deadline for applications for the Pears Film Fund, two pots of £10k in short film funding for film ideas that engage with Jewish themes. A great fund, open to all. Submit ideas quick.

As you can see, despite wider turmoil, SP's community has had a productive year. Collaboration is our ethos, and only together can we improve things, both on and off the screen. SP is a community of filmmakers, that depends on the efforts, advice and support of other filmmakers. Join Shooting People during January and receive 15 months membership for the price of 12 (£39.99, which is just £2.60 per month), and help make this year a better one than last.

As you can see, despite wider turmoil, SP's community has had a productive year. Collaboration is our ethos, and only together can we improve things, both on and off the screen. As you know, SP is a community of filmmakers, that depends on the efforts, advice and support of other filmmakers. Thanks to you all for working with us over the year, and let's help make this one a better one than last.

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