I attended a funding seminar aimed at us struggling short filmmakers. It was free! Love free stuff, especially when it’s advice by those in the know to us little people, who are desperate to know.
I’d decided to walk. It will be a while before this filmmaker is arriving anywhere in her own car…or even a taxi…or even the bus with Boris putting up fares all the time. I’ve become stingy – plus, a bit of exercise is always good for the soul. 50 minutes and 3 miles later, my super Clarkes and I arrived at our destination. I just can’t power-walk in anything else.
I don’t get out much, so to discover the free event had a free bar and food was almost too much excitement to bear. Great – my round everyone!
Onto the speakers. We heard about the importance of a good script – get the typing right before you shoot (yay, we can do that for free), then some words about funding…basically the outlook is bleak. There were some pots last year, and a couple this year but not many and who knows what will happen next year, or the rest of this year after tomorrow’s election results – erm, ok thanks. I suppose, in fairness, this chap was in a difficult position giving such a talk on the eve of an election that closely followed the meltdown of global banking. Tricky job, finding funds when cash is in short supply – and who can forget the huge arts/film funding slashing under the last Tory government. Eek!
Next, distributing shorts is apparently possible, the odd one has been known to make some money. Well, this is a bit more like it. Stirring stuff. Light at the end of the tunnel. Admittedly, no one’s going to get rich here, but maybe I’ll at least be able to get the bus home, I thought gleefully as I clutched my free glass of wine. Following that was some compelling instructions on branding and building your audience. That’s good to know as I feel I’m spending an awful lot of time on the internet at the moment, blogging and doing my best to be a virtual social butterfly – please be my friend, join my group, read my blog, subscribe to it, add comments (preferably nice ones) and donate to my film – I don’t ask much. There just aren’t enough hours in the day! Good to know I’m on the right track.
That was pretty much that, an informative insight with all bases covered, a view shared by the last speaker as well apparently, who had definitely visited the free bar, confident in the knowledge he would have nothing else to add, such was the calibre that had gone before. I think he mentioned something about going to festivals and boxes of films lying about on floors, but I couldn’t be sure.
What did I learn? That I haven’t chosen an easy road, but I just don’t want to get off it. It’s a busy, crowded road but I’m lucky to be on it with 3 talented, resilient, committed friends – who also appreciate free stuff at free seminars. That there is only a teeny, tiny number of women getting films into festivals, and that number needs to rise. That we need the support of others – and therefore need to support others. And finally, that if the Tories get in, all is lost! I comforted myself with another trip to the free bar and some complimentary olives and crisp. There, that’s better.
It’s just turned 10pm, the polling stations are closed and what will be, will be!