A couple of months back we launched Year 2 of Collabor8te, now in partnership with Nokia. While we've spent much of the last two years building up the scheme, a unique platform for emerging filmmakers, I wanted this post to look at another fundamental area of supporting talent: exhibition.
Sunday marked the Closing Night Ceremony of the 10th London Short Film Festival (LSFF). Run by festival director Philip Ilson, LSFF champions the best of emerging British filmmaking talent by screening over 300 films and hosting numerous industry events across the capital in an effort to engage young talent.
Since launching Collabor8te in 2011 we've held events at numerous festivals around the country, but were especially proud to give audiences a sneak peek at three of the films from our Year 1 slate at LSFF this year. Last Thursday at the Institute of Contemporary Arts we showed previews and behind the scenes footage from Irreversible (written and directed by Lewis Metcalfe), The Hungry Corpse (written by James Pout, directed by Gergely Wootsch), and Liar (written by Rory Stewart Alexander, directed by Martin Smith). It was a great night with filmmakers coming down from Edinburgh and Manchester to join a panel and speak about their experiences making the films last year.
One of the key points made by each of these emerging talents was the importance of getting out there and creating - just getting stuck in - and not just waiting for things to be handed to you on a plate, that's not how it happens in any industry, let alone the notorious world of film. Each filmmaker started young, experimenting with whatever camera they could lay their hands on, creating great results and realizing their visual style.
As Collabor8te moves into Year 2, and grows due to our partnership with Nokia, this is very much the ethos we hope to encourage in budding filmmakers - utilise what is to hand, whether it be an old camera or the one in your smartphone.
In December 2011 directors Hooman Khalili and Pat Giles showed just how ingenious the humble smartphone can be when they made the film Olive, the first feature length film shot on a mobile phone to be given a limited cinema release. It starred two-time Oscar nominee Gena Rowlands, and was made independently without any studio or corporate backing. It was shot on a Nokia N8 with a specially mounted lens, and is a testament to what can be done with technology that we're all carrying around in our pockets. And hey, everyone's got to start somewhere!
Since then, Nokia have continued developing the cameras in their phones and now feature a 'floating lens' to counteract unwanted shaking without the need for a tripod or super-quick shutter speeds.
It's also important to remember how many ways there are to get your work seen these days. Cinemas and festivals form a key audience but online platforms allow you to reach a diverse audience and get your work seen and known immediately - it sounds so obvious but the power of social media is almost unrivalled. None of the above requires a big budget or expensive and inaccessible equipment. By using your mobile phone camera you can just as easily start to show off your talents and skills and begin to make a name for yourself. And with numerous opportunities for exhibition online, you are afforded the opportunity to meet other filmmakers and engage with people making films just like you - something Collabor8te wholeheartedly embraces.
Our call for scripts for Collabor8te Year 2 closed with over 1,450 submissions at the end of November. And by the end of this month we'll announce which projects have been selected for the Year 2 development and production slate.
Check out shortfilms.org.uk for highlights from the festival. Rankin Film Productions are proud to have had 3 shorts in the official selection ('Rachael', 'Ablution', and 'Shoot Me!'). And special congratulations go to Nicholas Abrahams, whose film 'Ekki Mukk' starring Aiden Gillen, won Best Film and picked up the £1000 prize.
To find out more about Collabor8te go to collabor8te.com/