This weekend I went to the BFI Future Film Festival. It wasn't the same as last year. In a good and bad way.
Last year I was inspired. The workshops were really useful, one being about blogging (hopefully it is noticeable on here) and another about writing about film, presented through the amazing Little White Lies magazine. The highlight of the day last year was definitely seeing Dexter Fletcher's Wild Bill. Last year felt positive.
This year, less so. I had booked all my workshops backwards as I started with a screening of 'Strings'. The BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) award winning debut feature film from Rob Savage, oh and he made it when he was 18 years old. He had help with funding from his local council but had raised £2000 first. To anyone younger, this story is inspiring, but to, the old person in the audience I felt way behind and out of sync. And yes being 23 is old compared to the rest of the audience who were either still in college or first year of Uni.
The first itself was shot well for a first time director with no training, as he said, the crew and cast learnt on the job, you couldn't tell. I didn't like the story. About young college students and how they cope with love and relationships. I thought it a little self indulgent, but in my defense, I made a comedy of sorts for my first film, so the drama might not have had the same effect on me.
The middle part of the day was a workshop run by Cascade. This workshop focused on pitching ideas for films, an area I need all the help I can get on. My ideas tend to be off the whole and difficult to explain so watching 8 budding producers pitch their films to an panel of industry professionals was fantastic. 7/8 of the pitches were dramas/thrillers and 1 was a comedy. I have to say the guy to pitched his 'coming of old age' comedy about an old man who loves film noir was the best idea. I really hope one day I see on the big screen. The others, I'm sorry to say, either made me feel uncomfortable or bored. They always say your first feature should not be drama, but that's what they were pitching. I didn't know it was a competition as well but I wasn't surprised when the 'charmer' of the group won the prize, two day course at MET Film School. The panel couldn't stop saying how charming he was. His pitch was of a story we've all seen/heard before though. I took down plenty of notes, main ones were, 'be charming, don't read off the paper and be male'. Sound harsh?
The last workshop of the day, before I sliced my thumb on a door, was about developing your short film script with Euroscript. This was also very useful, but only at the end. When I sat down I was a little disappointed to find out that this was basically what I had learnt at Uni. It's sounds big headed but I have written short film scripts, unlike most people in the room. I am assuming here though. Our workshop leader, Gabriella Apicella, was brilliant. She reminded me of Miranda July but less weird. She is the co-founder of Underwire Festival which promotes women in the film industry which is always a plus in my books. She read my script (the one on my FICTION page) and gave me some pointers. It was a great workshop, despite my moaning. I also had a look at Euroscript as well. If anyone out there is interested in writing scripts and things I recommend you look them up.
Although it wasn't like last year, I still really enjoyed myself. The event is excellent but I think its more of a younger person's land.