The British film industry contributes a huge amount of money to our economy. In fact, it's worth around £4.6bn and is one of an ever-shrinking number of industries in which we are up there with the biggest and best around the world. You need only look at the phenomenal media interest in the latest Bond film to see how huge British films are. Skyfall has smashed UK records to give it the biggest opening weekend in 007 film history.
While the recent investment of £500m from the British Film Institute is welcome, more needs to be done to identify and nurture young, talented filmmakers.
That is why I am heavily involved in Collabor8te, which is a project made possible thanks to the involvement of Nokia, which works with young film-makers to support, ecourage, and in fact discover new talent in the British short film industry.
The scheme is now entering its second year and we are already working with some exciting young filmmakers to develop scripts and secure financing to turn dreams into short films.
This year 12 selected scripts will be developed by my company, Rankin Film Productions, with eight then commissioned for production. These short films will be showcased on the international film festival circuit and then broadcast on Dazed Digital. It is a real bonus that great that technology - offered by companies like Nokia - is so easy to get hold of and is making filmmaking accessible to everybody.
Since the government made the frankly frustrating decision to shelve the Film Council in 2010, a lot of would-be filmmakers have been left in the wilderness to fend for themselves without any mentoring or financial support. I'm worried that this could lead to a lot of potential young filmmakers giving up on their dreams and of us, as a filmmaking nation, losing talent.
This is another reason I would encourage others in the industry to step up to the plate to offer a lifeline to hardworking and talented artists and offer support to schemes like Collabor8te.
Collabor8te aims to build filmmaking teams by giving opportunities to new talent while encouraging them to learn from more experienced industry professionals. From new writers learning from seasoned directors, to fresh acting talent being captured by renowned photographers, we want to provide support and opportunity. In doing so we hope to nurture homegrown talent and help them to establish themselves internationally.
If the gap isn't bridged by industry experts who are willing and able to offer support, encouragement and, let's face it, financial support to aspiring young filmmakers, in the current economic climate, we can't expect that the government are going to be able to do so and it would be a travesty for anyone, whether they are actors, filmmakers or photographers, to have to give up on their dreams because nobody was there to lend them a hand.
Having been in this industry most of my adult life, I've learned that the things that really move people and make a difference are founded in superb and original ideas that come from passion and life experience. Great films start with bright ideas, not thousands of pounds worth of camera equipment. These days, filmmaking is not just within the grasp of the rich and famous, nor is it reserved for film studios, elaborate sets or big budgets. Anybody can shoot great quality video on your mobile phone, wherever you are, whenever you feel like it. That means as an industry, we need to create real opportunities for talented individuals with their mobile phones a shot at realizing their own potential.
I will be writing a weekly blog for The Huffington Post UK giving you an insight into what I am up to, my current work with my new magazine The Hunger, which will cover fashion, film, music and art as well as issues relevant to the film and arts industry in the UK. Technology plays a huge part in all of my work, so I am proud to be partnering with Nokia on the Collabor8te project and will be showing readers just how you can use every day mobile technology to your advantage to get ahead when working projects.
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