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A female filmaker's perspective

@luminofilmsofficial / luminofilmsofficial.tumblr.com

Misogyny

It’s unintentional sometimes because it’s conditioned into us all. We must fight to call out this behaviour. I fight against it myself but here are a few things that are against the equality of women. There are many more.
Men who say-
“A woman can never be as good in business as a man.”
“She’s good at business for a woman.”
“Bloody women drivers”
“I better ask the price because if he sees a woman coming he’ll up the price.”
“When I come in from work I like my dinner on the table”
“I don’t know how to change a nappy”
“Can you iron this for me, you’re good at that sort of thing.”
“She got the part(in a film) because she has big tits.”
“She’s as ugly as hell, far too old (a dog or minger) in a film or théâtre role. These jobs have nothing to do with looks but are all about talent.
“I don’t like tennis but I want to watch Emma Raducanu”
“She’s let herself go” when they are paunchy, with toothpick arms and balding themselves.
“With that outfit on she asking for it”
“She wants it, look at the way she’s dressed”
“ you’d do this for me if you loved me”
(Odd sexual request)
“My last girlfriend did it”
Sex is not all about pleasing a man but should be equal pleasure worked out together. No-one needs to do anything they don’t like or makes them uncomfortable. No one should be emotionally blackmailed into performing for a man. He is not in control. His needs are not above yours.
Then there’s the insistence in society that women must be shaved or waxed, genitals, legs, underarms, while men do not have to do it. This has been fuelled by the rise in porn watching, where women remove all body hair. Porn is misogynistic. Of course sex is part of life, but women are more than a sex object. Sounds obvious but by perpetuating these things nothing changes.
There’s the move for women to wear makeup, have cosmetic surgery in order to look more attractive. Fine if you enjoy that but being forced into it by media coverage and pressure is wrong.
There’s a trend for women to be stick thin with boobs. Women come in all shapes a sizes and should be neither too large or too thin for health reasons. All these body types should be celebrated.
Some women feel they can't be natural anymore and can be tempted to use fake filters on photos for social media.
These are all misogynistic traits and we as women need to call them out or change ourselves.

A List Actors

A LIST ACTORS - now all film production companies know that attaching an A list actor gives you a much better chance of getting funding. This is because the A lister is thought to be able to attract audiences and therefore make more money for the investors.
What is an A lister? The real A* A listers like Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Jennifer Lawrence etc have an imdb rating of less than 1,000. These stars are very hard to attach to your work, unless you have an amazing CD, you have a multi million pound budget already in place, you are friends with one of them, you are adapting a best selling book that they and their agent love, you are a Hollywood or equal studio.
Imdb rating go up and down according to awards, popularity of films they have been in, number of people looking at their profile, media articles, broadcast interviews and so on.
This is why it's important to be on imdb, to work on raising your profile and have a photo on there, no-one important is going to look at your profile without a photo.
So next the A listers who are between 1-5,000 are the ones people may get if the project is right and they are considered to be able to carry a film. Internationally known actors on that list are better than just British ones. There are quite a lot of stalwart British actors in this position but they are not know in USA where the biggest market is.
Profile actors between 5-20,000 are also good and next up to 40,000. You have to keep at it though it's relevntless as you very easily slip into the millions if you are not active, but having a past history of starring in good films helps to keep your profile up there.

Breaking In As A Film Maker/Actor/Writer

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I can only talk about things from my perspective and I have no definite path as I am still myself trying to "break in". Everything is stacked against you in the industry. People who fund films of any decent budget want certain things, things they can be sure will bring them a good ROI. Commissioners for streamers and broadcasters do not usually want to take a chance, they want film makers to have a solid back ground. They want actors who have a profile as that will sell the film or tv show.

1. Actors - It takes a long time to break in to BBC productions, top broadcasters in America, good features, streaming tv shows. Why is that?

Because a Director or Casting Director wants to know they have perhaps worked with you before and can guarantee you will be reliable, nice to work with and talented, plus good box office. This can be done to a certain extent by audition but if you work with an actor once and they produce a good performance you will tend to use them again. Plus they ask their sales agent and certain actors can as it's said carry a film. That is people want to watch it solely beause they are in it and this makes money.

New actors always copmplain they dont get a chance but this is just the way things work. They need to try to get small roles first, prove them selves then progress to larger roles in major productions.

Of course Casting Directors look at a lot of new comers, so here I think the way to get in is to have a good pro active agent putting you up for jobs. Young boys trying to break in statistically have the best chance if they are talented of course as there are fewer of them and more jobs for them.

The other way is to just try to work your way up, take no pay roles for students if you think the script and set up are professional, take roles on short films and hope they will get you awards and noticed. This can lead to bigger roles and eventually large supporting or lead roles.

Network at film groups and film festivals. Alwats have your card with a photo of you at the ready to hand to a potential employer.

Gatekeepers here: Yourself, agent, casting directors and Directors.

2. Script Writers - It also takes a long time to break in. The first thing to do is put your scripts into film festival and other literary competitions, then this may attract the attention of a literary manager or agent . You can pitch live on places like Stage 32, Raindance evenings etc but you have to pay for this like you have to pay for film festival entry.

You can approach certain production companies directly but for that you dont send your whole script you send a paragraph about yourself and a paragraph synopsis about the film story. Then they might ask to see the script , then they might ask for a pitch deck.

What is in a pitch deck? It may have a longer synopsis of the story, a description of the characters and perhaps an imaginary wish list of actors so the producer can see how your mind works. A bit about your self. Some illustration; digital art or poster.

If you are a writer with a production company you need to approach funders.

When it says Amazon or Netflix Original material it is not from an obscure writer that has been plucked from nowhere. I listened to a man who works for Netflix and mostly it is someone who has started filming or has a pilot and then they fund the rest if they like it.If you send your script to Netflix un solicited it will be trashed. Only go through an agent.

3. Film production companies- You must forst start with one or more short films that make a splash and get you noticed. Its a calling card. So with that film you need to get selected and awarded at the highest type of film festical you can. Most are great but there are BAFTA and Academy accredited ones that carry more weight.

Buyers even of short films and funders on the lookout frequent ff like Sundance, Cannes, Venice etc. It is considered there are 7 top festivals and then a strata of the next top etc. They are very competitive to get into.

You can go straight to a feature film but its harder if you have to rely on funders to back you and you have no money yourself. People need to believe in you and want to invest in your work. The same applies. You need to enter film festivals and try to gain attention. If you are very lucky you will get a distributor who sells your film to a great streamer and this also gets you noticed.

Funding is very chicken and the egg, you need a couple of profile actors attached in order for the film to be funded. However the agents of profile actors want the film green lit or a pay or play contract or money up front. Usually you haven't got that when it's needed. Casting Directors also want money up front to cast profile actors and they can do it better than you usually. It's all very chicken and the egg.

So when you are starting out you need to approach actors and agents yourself and just keep trying. You need to pick scripts and stories that may bring attention as well as money. Its a hard slog. If your first feature gets into somewhere good, gets a good deal through a distributor the second film is easier to fund. You begin to build a track record.

There are several types of profile actors who will do a cameo role for you or even take the lead. Profile Actors on the way down, actors on the way up , rising stars, you need to get in quickly, be able to spot talent. Also ex soap stars who have just left a soap are often available and bring cudos with them.

So good, actors, good, script, great crew and you are ready to pitch this to funders, then once made, you pitch to distributors or better still get their interest from the beginning.

Then the whole process starts again and you slwoly increase your budget 100,000, 250,000, 500,000 £1 mill and so on. I'm still working on it!

www.luminofilms.co.uk

How to crowdfund successfully

I’m not sure I can be called an expert but I seem to have cracked the formula to crowdfunding for film. I’ve had in the past 4 failed crowdfunds. That is they did not reach target and I wanted to know why.
I knew there was a formula and a winning formula to reaching your target goal and I think I’ve cracked it. I just completed my 2nd successful crowdfund for film funding. The first one I raised over £16,000, this one I raised over £10,000, both reached their goal.
So I am saying I reached it but it was really we reached it because one of the most important tips to success is having a team behind you.
The first and foremost thing you need to do is have a social media presence. Then you need to start to build the excitement and give information about your film at least 3 months before your launch. Start posting about it. Small bits of information every other day.
Pick a team of associate producers who will also be reposting and sharing your posts as well as making their own.
I have made 2 webinars on short film funding. One on general ideas to help fund your film and one on crowdfunding.
On these I go into many more tips and tricks. I have successfully funded 16 short films and 1 feature. Learn how do you won’t fail like I did at first.
Our crowdfund for Memento Mori Portrait film though it has reached its fund goal is still open “In Demand” on indiegogo. As our final goal fund is higher than our crowdfund goal we aren’t still seeking further monies and indiegogo allows you to do this. At the same time we are applying for grants.
If you care to look at https://igg.me/at/mmportrait there are still perks on there to claim and you can also make donations.
I am also available to talk at any gatherings or film clubs about crowdfunding for a small fee that always goes back into making more films.
Enquiries at info@luminofilms.co.uk

HARD SLOG-CROWDFUNDING

I’ve crowdfunded before and it’s been a success. In fact I’ve been pleasantly surprised we reached over target last time on our historical drama 40% over target.
I have attended various crowdfunding for film and just crowdfunding courses and invested a lot of time and some money into trying to get a winning formula.
But this time it’s a lot slower. I am trying to analyse why?
So we built up the story before on social media. We got a team behind it. We offer up good perks, we post about it every day. We’ve even had podcast and fb and YouTube tv interviews about it.
So is it that I as a straight, Christian woman am making a story about gay men that people query? Is it that there is deep rooted prejudice still to this day about Jewish or gay men? Is it the story that people are not connecting with?
Let me just say I have made about 20 films both short and feature, winning 41 awards and the writer of this script, a gay man has received 7 awards for the script and is shortlisted for another. Is it because people are short of cash? Is it because people are all crowdfunded out for film?
What shocks me the most is that gay men themselves are not supporting us. It’s their story. At least they say they want to watch it, but to support it being made very few have given even the smallest donation.
Let me however say that we are near to 50% of our target and some people have been so incredibly generous. From the smallest donation to larger ones.
Film makers do not make huge amounts of money from short films. They are unlikely to make any money at all. However what they can do is to entertain and inform you with their creation. And use the short film as a calling card to try to get funds for a feature film.
So 10 days left. If you think we will do you proud and make a good film for the passion and love of it over 3 days please click on the image below. If there is something you think we could improve on to get more support let us know.

https://youtu.be/8UckSEN0yVk These gritty and moving paintings by Simon O’Corra will feature in our film Memento Mori Portrait. To own one of these paintings valued by an art dealer at £5-700 after the film wraps please purchase the one of your choice. 3 are available as a perk on our crowdfund. A piece of art that shows the suffering of gay men in Nazi German and a reminder of the ordeals endured. Own a piece of history! Click on here and scroll through the perks. https://igg.me/at/mmportrait

https://youtu.be/8UckSEN0yVk These gritty and moving paintings by Simon O’Corra will feature in our film Memento Mori Portrait. To own one of these paintings valued by an art dealer at £5-700 after the film wraps please purchase the one of your choice. 3 are available as a perk on our crowdfund. A piece of art that shows the suffering of gay men in Nazi German and a reminder of the ordeals endured. Own a piece of history! Click on here and scroll through the perks. https://igg.me/at/mmportrait

OTHER WAYS TO HELP US MAKE MEMENTO MORI FILM

An lgbtq film that has a theme of coming through adversity and enduring love. https://igg.me/at/mmportrait

Perhaps giving a donation is not possible right now.

Can you contribute by:

1. Sharing our posts on social media: Here are the links. When you check your own posts please look at ours and like and share when you can.

https://www.facebook.com/MementoMPfilm

http://www.twitter.com/luminofilms

http://www.instagram.com/luminofilmsofficial

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jane-sanger-8abb0651

http://www.pinterest.co.uk/luminofilmsofficial

http://www.tumblr.com/blog/view/luminofilmsofficial

https://www.luminofilms.co.uk

2. Is our LGBTQIA theme close to your heart? Perhaps you are in that community or have a friend or relation who is? Do you know a charity or group that might sponsor us and give out information on our behalf?

3. Can you sponsor a much bigger amount or all the amount needed for our target? We can include your name and business on our credits and a shout out to over 60,000 people on social media.

4. We need 6 stripe pyjama outfits, can you sew one or more of these with a cap? Material will be provided. We are not looking for expensive costume hire places at this time.

5. Are you a prop maker who could either make the wooden back carriers or boulders from resin that look realistic but are not as heavy to carry as the real ones?

Are Women at a Disadvantage in the Film World?

As a female film director I have rarely found any problems or disadvantages. I have dealt with 3 or 4 misogynist and just condescending men, but also two obnoxious women and as an older woman I am able to put them in their place. Possibly this relects life in all types of industries? I don't know.

However statistics do show that particularly Women Directors, writers and cinematographers are at a disadvantage.

The fact is that I do employ more women in my crew teams as I think a 50/50 balance is more healthy. I don't want to oust men from either crew roles or cast roles, so I try to balance everything.

If you would like to receive my monthly newsletter please sign up and click here for opportnities for cast and crew and film news. http://eepurl.com/hIUv21

1) Women account for 50% of moviegoers. (MPA 2019)

2) On the top 100 grossing films of 2019, women represented:

  • 10.7% of directors
  • 19.4% of writers
  • 24.3% of producers
  • 70.4% of casting directors

3) On the top 250 grossing films of 2019, women comprised 6% of composers. This represents no change since 2019. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

4) Kathryn Bigelow and Chloé Zhao are the only women to ever win the Academy Award for Best Director. Only seven women have ever been nominated (Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, Sofia Coppola, Bigelow, Greta Gerwig, Zhao, and Emerald Fennell).

5) In 2018 “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for the Academy Award for Cinematography.

6) 43 of 2019’s top 100 films featured a female lead or co-lead. (Inclusion Initiative)

7) 68% of all female characters were white in the top 100 films of 2019. 20% were Black, 7% were Asian, and 5% were Latina. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

8) On the top 500 films of 2019, movies with at least one female director employed greater percentages of women writers, editors, cinematographers, and composers than films with exclusively male directors. (Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film)

9) DIVERSITY SELLS:

  • In 2018, films with casts that were 21-30% minority enjoyed the highest median global box office receipts. In 2019, this honor went to films with casts that were 41-50% minority.
  • Films with casts that were 41-50% minority were released in the most international markets, on average, in both 2018 and 2019.

10) During the 2019-2020 TV season:

  • Women accounted for 30% of all creators, directors, writers, producers, executive producers, editors, and directors of photography working on broadcast network, cable, and streaming programs
  • The number of women creators (28%) marked a historic high
  • 94% of the programs considered had no women directors of photography, 76% had no women directors, 81% had no women editors, 73% had no women creators
  • 20% of female characters were Black, 5% were Latina, and 8% were Asian

SH0WREELS

What is a showreel? It’s a selection of small clips put together to form a short video to show off an actor’s skills and to attract Casting Directors and Indie Directors to cast an actor in further roles. It’s one of the two most necessary and important tools an actor can have. The other one is good headshots.

I admit that when I first started out making showreels I made a few errors. I shot and directed myself but I soon learnt that it’s easier and makes a better product to have an independent cinematographer and sound person. I can edit but I also now use independent editors. The end product becomes more and more polished.

The ideal length for a showreel is 2.20 mins but can be up to 3 mins max. The first scene shown should be the most dynamic as CD’s will switch off early otherwise. You have to remember they are seeing so many of these.

If you are an experienced actor, after the end of any film you have been in you make a request for footage and should be sent the film or clips of footage as eg maybe some of the footage gives the plot away and they won’t want you to have that.

However if you haven’t yet done much then a showreel from scratch can be very useful. It’s made of dynamic scenes and put together gives the illusion you’ve been in a lot of things and also shows your skills.

Some more experienced actors chose to do 1 scene rather than 3 to liven up a showreel or to show a type, emotion or character that they feel they have not yet been given the chance to play.

Our scripts are either specially written or taken and adapted from literature and are about 1 to 1 and a half pages long.

We have also decided to specialise in period showreels given the rise in period drama productions on streamers and in film. Each showreel workshop has a different theme, like Victorian, Medieval, Roaring Twenties. We provide a period correct location, costume, hair and makeup. It’s great fun and the scenes produced here are stand alone scenes that have been entered to film festival and even won the participants best actor awards. They can also be cut into an existing showreel.

Take a look at our latest showreel dates. Maybe book yours up. They do get booked out pretty quickly. More details on www.luminofilms.co.uk/workshops

Please look on Pinterest too and follow us there

Last but not least please give a like on this post below.

MAKING MONEY FROM SHORT FILMS

All film makers start out on short films. They’re affordable and can vary in length from 30 secs to 30 minutes, though the most common ones are 10 - 15 minutes long.

Short films can pack a punch with themes, genres that catch the audiences eye and are impactful and watchable.

The average budget is £5,000 but you can make a short on nothing, just you and a camera or a few hundred. But maybe you've got profile actors and crew involved, fancy locations and set and you maybe even need £50,000+.

As much as filmmakers like to say that they don’t do it for the money, and that it’s about expressing their creativity, there is of course, with any profession, a financial drive.

Your film has taken disproportionally hours, days, months to make and it’s unlikely that any beginner film makers have budgeted in even minimum wage for the amount of work they have done. This is all part of their passion, their creativity, their desire to get a story out to a wider audience. So financially it’s usually a short term loss.

People will tell you it’s a calling card, a way to practice effects and methods of film making in short form. It can be a proof of concept to help raise funds for a feature or tv pilot. But we all have to sustain ourselves, to live. I have personally made 14 short films and learnt from them all. They have helped me to make my first two features.

So always budget a small wage in your short film for you as producer or director. You need some sustenance and also budget in something for entrance to film festivals and competitions.

So how does one make money from a short film? Well in this article we’re going to go over some of the main ways that indie filmmakers can profit off their film.

YouTube & Vimeo

Sites such as YouTube and Vimeo are becoming more and more popular every day, as huge media corporations and mainstream artists begin to settle on the platforms, especially YouTube. These platforms are free to upload to and get your film monetised.

Every time a viewer clicks on your video, an advertisement will play. Advertisers will pay to have their brand/product shown in front of your video, in this case, your film.

On YouTube, they will take ~68%, and you’ll get the other 32% of that money. If you get say 10 views, that’s practically nothing, maybe about $1. But if you get 100,000 views, you could earn anywhere between $500 to $2,500, depending on the content of the video and the audience who watches.

You see, YouTube can cut your pay on videos that go against their TOS (Terms of Service). According to their TOS, “Racial slurs, derogatory content, and mean or hateful content directed at an individual or specific group of people are not safe for monetization.

So, depending on the content of your film, how much money you make will differ from other short films on the site. For Vimeo, it’s similar. Vimeo hasn’t the same audience numbers as YouTube but they also offer Vimeo staff pics which carry qualifying BAFTA points.

Film Festivals

You can win BIFA, BAFTA and Oscars with a short film but that a one in a few million chance. Of course then your film will be of interest to a few streaming channels for instance BBC broadcast Silent Child an Oscar winning short.

While film festivals are a great way to distribute a film and get it known by the general public and folks working in the film industry, it’s probably not your best bet at making money out of your film…but it’s always a possibility, there are lists of festivals that offer cash prizes. Prizes can be $1,000 to. $50,000. The Iris Prize in UK offers £30,000 to the winner and to be streamed on Ch4. Now as we said previously, film festivals are a complete gamble; you have no way of knowing that you’re going to win these cash prizes. To be honest most people have an inflated idea of the quality of their short film.

SELF PROMOTiON

Especially for a premiere, if you have hyped up your film on social media before, during and after you film it then you will have a potential audience that’s excited to see it. You can do a premier where you will have to give free tickets to cast, crew, investors but you can sell further tickets to make money. Now the film venue may cost and that way you can make a more glamorous event but you can hire screens and projectors and hold it in your home or a church hall. That way you can also sell drinks and food to make a little more cash and make a profit. Think carefully though on premieres, will people come outside the big city to a country venue? So if you have it in a city venue maybe the ticket price pays for the venue but hold a raffle to make a small profit. Also do a Q and A to make it more of an event.

To cover costs of a fancier venue you could share with other film makers to film say 4 shorts for an hour, split costs and profits.

VOD (Video on Demand)

One of the best strategies when it comes to trying to make a bit of cash off your short film is to try and sell it to a video on demand service. This is really only likely if you’ve won a prize or been accepted to a major film festival where your film has caught someone’s eye because all VOD companies will have scouts at film festivals.

Netflix very rarely ever purchases or produces short films, and chances are they’re not going to start buying out hundreds of them tomorrow, so you’re better off looking somewhere else.

Amazon has a separate section attached to their main platform, Amazon Prime, known as Prime Video Direct, which specialises in hosting independent films, including short films. With Prime Video Direct, you’ll earn money through,” a revenue share for rentals, purchases, monthly channels, or ad impressions—or any combination of these options”. Amazon have a particular format where you have to provide subtitles to get on Amazon Prime.

ShortsTV is a renowned streaming company that buys and licenses short films from filmmakers around the world and plays them on their cable network channel (in addition to streaming them online) and can pay up to a couple of hundred dollars per short, usually somewhere in the range of $200-500. They also run a competition to find new shorts - details on film freeway.

This platform often own the exclusive rights to show your film, which means, if you decide to sell your film to ShortsTV, you can’t sell or play it anywhere else. It can only be shown on their channel. You should only really sell your short film to ShortsTV after it’s been shown at film festivals or local theatres, as otherwise, you’re limiting the exposure your film will get in the early day of its run.

Pay-Per-View

The final method of making money off of your short film is to make it available online through a payper-view site.

Pay-per-view is a great way to profit off your film; viewers pay a one-time fee (sometimes recurring based on the platform) to unlock your film and can watch it from the comfort of their own homes, almost like a home cinema. This method is great because unlike other methods of monetising your videos such as YouTube, you are guaranteed a set rate of money per view you get.

Yet, like with VOD platforms such as ShortsTV, you should only make a film pay-per-view after it has done the film festival circuit, otherwise, people will be deterred from paying for a film if they’ve never heard anything positive about it beforehand. I did hear that one film maker accidentally titled their film like a famous music band and in searching for that band people watched his film by clicking on it by mistake at first, then being intrigued and finishing it.

There are plenty of great sites that utilise the pay-per-view system, such as MUVI, Boomstream, and Patreon, Amazon, The Smalls etc

Some platforms will only allow the viewer to watch the film once after purchasing, but others, such as Patreon, will allow the viewer to watch it as many times as they like as long as they keep their subscription.

Whichever you choose is ultimately up to you but it’s probably best that you choose a site which lets the viewer watch the film more than once, and this will do wonders for the longevity of the film’s popularity.

Good luck, anything is possible if you work hard enough at it.

THE NIGHTRIDERS PILOT FINISHED
We have finished the filming of the pilot for our period drama tv series and will be pitching it to hope to get it commissioned. Set in 1714 The Nightriders is an 8 part TV series. A thrilling drama about Barbary Pirates, a missing squire's beautiful daughter, set in 1700's West Country, Morocco, W Indies and America.

Victorian Children Showreel Scenes

We make period showreels and very proud to show the good acting, fab costumes and great locations for these little scenes. This always increases your chances of getting cast in period work.

I love hunting out the locations, finding the costumes and organising the scripts. Such fun.

Source: youtube.com

Links

Please look at my links and see if we can hook up on here or else where.

https://linktr.ee/Luminofilmsofficial

I made my first feature film

The making of #Swiperight took from conception to getting it signed with a worldwide distributor about 7 years. Never ever think I’ve written this great script, I’ll get money and people will invest and I’ll make it. It’ll be hot and I’ll get loads of money. Uhuh! No! Maybe 1 in a million does but it’s normally a long, hard slog to make your creative vision work.

So how did it all start? My husband had a new client to his accountancy bunsiness. Eight years ago I first looked at Ricky Hall, the model famous for his cool looks and covered all over in tattoos. Not so unusual nowadays but back then he was the first and one of the foremost models who looked like that. I was fascinated, middle aged, middle class woman, sheltered background. Wow, he looked dangerous and scary, though in fact he was kind and polite.

So I started my story based on him as this good guy everyone thought was bad and about this good person who everyone thought was good but was really bad. Anyway that’s how it all started.

It went through many, many script changes and ideas, and people commented always thinking they had better ideas than me, and sometimes they had, but you also have to learn to reject and have confidence in going with what you think.

So now about 2 years later I had the script and started to cast it and also to try to get money. I wanted £150,000 which at the time was the level that investors could get tax breaks on the government SEIS scheme. What rookies don’t realise is that making films cheap and that is cheap, no investor thinks they will get their money back and so they would rather invest in a film worth $1 million, because they think it has a chance.

Next you need some well know or profile talent as that is what sells the film eventually. So I started with Jack Brett Anderson, famous at the time for being in Wolfblood and he accepted a lead role. Then I got Toyah Willcox and also Sophie Ward for cameo roles.

So a few people I know put in a little money and a ton of people promised money, but it never materialised. Niavely I thought that if people said they would invest, they would, but much is all talk. Nearing my funding goal I won a place in Berlin for Funding the Gap which means someone will step in to fund the last money needed.

I decided to film all the flashbacks which included the incredibly talented Toyah and part of Sophie Ward’s scenes, a true professional.

However Brexit happened and investors pulled and Jack dropped as he had other projects. I had, had several so called producers. But I have to warn you, you are not really paying them so they don’t really work like you do and they are at the lower end of the scale like you are so you are very lucky to find anyone who is really dynamic. A lot of older men big themselves up to look important and fool you into thinking they have commections, buut they have no more than you. 

I wrote to maybe 100 funding bodies and individual investors and got nowhere. So then I had to think of another approach and a producer who also owned a post house, Andrew was interested in my project and we struck a deal, whereby the film tax credit would be paid to him for the post work. This is pretty normal , but you have to find a person or company interested and believing in your work.

All the time I was learning what to do and what not to do.

So Andrew and I came up with a plan, re cast and set about filming the remainder of the film. Editing followed rather slowly due to Lockdown and we finally got there with a really scary, horror, thriller.

A big distribution company have taken it up and we are just waiting for the final draft to sign this week..

So interested to see what happens next.

There’s a lot more to the story in the ups and downs of producers and funding but we’ll leave that to another day.

Snob value

There is incredible snobbery in all areas of the film industry:

Actors and actresses. the higher profile you have the more special treatment you get and the more sycophants and hangers on. A high imdb rating gets you the most prestige. How do you get one? Be in well rated films, be popular in press and media, work with other famous actors. It’s all a sham as those names are treated as products that make themselves and others like film makers, producers, look good by association.

Then there is the films you have starred in shorts are not regarded well unless they have won a BIFA, BAFTA, OSCAR, Iris Prize etc, web series are the next off the bottom, pilots that don’t make it into series and low budget features and tv programmes on BBC100 or ITV-Be. Reality and soaps are considered the lowest of the low, but they sure do pay the bills and get you onto and into other things.

Then there are the agents and Casting Directors who won’t even talk to you if you are aspiring or trying to improve, they think they lower their own tone by “stooping” to help you. Your script never gets shown to the actor you want to entice but just gets trashed.

Funders are flaky, investors promise the earth then back out. This is not just my own experience but bunches of other colleagues. Producers tend to lie and exaggerate to impress you. It’s hard to find a good one.

Certain monthly film festivals and low competitions for scripts and short films are not well regarded, but they should be. Winning something is better than nothing. I want to state here for a beginner film maker (8years) who wants to improve and make the grade 95% of a film makers life is being rejected by these jumped up parasites who send you thinly veiled waspy comments or emails whilst pretending to be polite. 5% is winning some sort of accolade or competition and that is what makes it all worth while.

Film making is not for the faint hearted.

#filmmaker