‘Alpha Female’ is the brand new video from UK band Wild Beasts, produced by APA member Rumble and directed by Sasha Rainbow. We chatted with Sasha to find out where the concept came from and what inspired her to shine a light on the skater girls of Bangalore.
Casting Networks: Where did the inspiration come from for the music video concept?
Sasha Rainbow: For the Wild Beasts music video, I directed I tried to pull apart the song title Alpha Female and think about what it really meant. I wanted to use the video as a platform to celebrate women boldly going against the grain through affirmative, inspiring action, by following their passions; in this case, through skateboarding. The core message for me is ‘big change can start with just one person.’ The Holystoked Skate Crew and the girls that I worked with are an inspiration that cuts through age, gender, and class barriers. I wanted to commemorate this incredible moment in India.
Last month Manchester Actors Platform saw the return of #MAP48 for its second outing after a very successful 48 hour short film competition last year.
Casting Networks speaks with MAP and the team behind the Best Film winner “Am Dram.”
We would also like to congratulate LouLou Dayeh and Will Huntington, the winners of the Best Actor and Best Actress award, each awarded with a 12 month Premium account with Pro Services.
Casting Networks: Where did the idea for MAP48 come from?
Manchester Actors Platform: MAP48 sort of arrived many years ago as a crazy idea I had in London. Everyone had heard of the ‘24 Hour Plays’ and ‘Play In A Day’ type competitions and events, but there was very little out there for films. When I moved back to Manchester it was clear to see there was a massive film community from indie, grass-roots film makers to established teams. Having done a bit of filming myself and enjoyed the challenges of it, it seemed like a good time to complete the initial planning stages and get the beast up and running. The beauty of it being that, as was proven with thee awards this year, experience isn’t essential. This was key to us in structuring the event. Because some people have access to all the quality gear, we couldn’t let that mean that they were a shoe-in for taking Best Film, so we ensure that the decisions made are not about where the film is in HD! We also want to encourage people to try out new skills—this year, Best Writer and Best Director both went to people who were doing it for the first time!
This week Casting Networks caught up with the folk at Outward Film Network (OFN), a Midlands and London based filmmaking organisation that boast support for low and no budget filmmaking. Their remit is to support all those filmmakers who can’t reach the general population because they just don’t have the funds or support. What a great idea. So here we talk with one of the founders, Matthew Simmonds, about what they offer, how they can help actors and filmmakers, and what’s coming up for OFN.
Casting Networks: So can you tell us a little about Outward Film Network and how it came to be?
Outward Film Network: The Outward Film Network was setup to support, produce, and promote films shot on a no/low budget. Heading Outward is Matthew Simmonds, David Woods, and Phil Slatter. We’ve been making movies (short and feature) and writing about film for over fifteen years.
Outward looks to embrace an approach to making film that’s often considered as being amateur or “student” filmmaking. We don’t think it’s beneficial to be catagorised, we can’t afford to compete with indie films (20k + budget), and to be catagorised as amateur creates an even greater disconnect. Influenced by movements such Dogme 95 and mumblecore, we like to discuss and make films that don’t fall into the “indie” or “industry” category.
Have you ever been on set and realised how much waste there is, that perhaps you should be making more of a conscious effort to recycle? Being green when it comes to media production is never straightforward, but there are ways you can help the environment – both obvious and not so obvious. Ad Green is a new initiative set up by Jo Coombes specifically for commercial production. We spoke with Jo to find out more about Ad Green, where it came from, and her hopes for the future.
Casting Networks: When was the moment you first stepped back and realised how incredibly wasteful and un-green the commercial industry was?
Jo Coombes: I first came to the realisation that I didn’t like what I was contributing to at the start of 2014. I’d read some scary articles about climate change, and couldn’t help but think I was contributing, simply by doing a job I loved – production managing on advertising shoots. The amount of waste we create in the name of being creative is obscene, but at the time I wasn’t sure what I could do about it. It wasn’t until a few months later when the niggling feeling got too much that I decided I should find out what related industries were up to, and whether we could apply what they’d learned to advertising production.
So many actors now are multi-talented actors, writers, and directors producing their own content. But once you’ve made a short film, how do you get it seen? The festival circuit can be a bit of a nightmare with literally hundreds and hundreds of festivals to choose from. We chat to Zachary Jones, founder of the super cool online submission platform FilmFreeway.com about how they help streamline the process.
Casting Networks: Firstly can you tell us a little about FilmFreeway and how this film festival site was started?
Zachary Jones: FilmFreeway is now the world’s #1 submission site across all metrics including: most active users, most international web traffic, most film festivals, most Oscar-accredited film festivals, as well as the easiest, most convenient and reliable way to submit to film festivals and creative contests. We created FilmFreeway so that filmmakers and other creatives would have a free and easy way to discover and submit to thousands of festivals around the world in a single place, as well as provide festivals with advanced software and tools to make their jobs of managing festivals easier and more efficient than ever before.read more
The musical festival season is upon us and horrendous stories of toilet nightmares and not washing for 3 days emerge. We read a lot of reports in online magazines and newspapers regarding how to prepare in advance for surviving the festival season – what to do if you over indulge in beer and the standard good hygiene codes and conventions.
However, it’s not just music festivals where one needs to plan ahead regarding looking after yourself as the same thing kind of applies to film festivals too. Whenever I’m going to a film festival I always prepare a key packing checklist.
For anyone who knows me, perfume is my vice. I get through around 2-3 (large) bottles a month of Britney Spears’ Midnight Fantasy perfume. Also, to be honest, during a festival it’s more. Since I’m out for 12 hours or more per day, I constantly need to freshen up, so I always take about 2 bottles with me.
Below are the key items on my list. You will more than likely already have some of these on your list. However, if you don’t, feel free to include them, as they may come in use! 😄
Tom Paton’s impressive directorial debut, titled ‘Pandorica,’ revolves around the leadership trials of the “Varosha Tribe.” Eiren, Ares, and Thade are all in line to lead the next generation of their people. They journey out of the safety of their home toward a dark forest miles away, with the tribe’s current leader, Nus. Here they will take part in an age old tradition where Nus will choose his successor. Only one of them will return as leader, but who will it be?
‘Pandorica’ is an edge-of-your-seat action/horror that keeps the twists coming thick and fast. Paton took time out of his busy filmmaking schedule to speak with Casting Networks, and answer some questions about his debut film.
Casting Networks: Pandorica is an epic achievement, both on and off screen. You came up with the idea, wrote, and shot the film before delivering it to UK cinema screens in under 12 months! Was it always your plan to make the feature film that quickly?
Tom Paton: To answer your question simply, yes. I was working on another movie I had written that was doing everything the traditional way – higher budget, Hollywood sales agent, all that jazz. The film got stuck in development for two years and during that time I learnt a great deal about the movie industry. My dad always told me that if you want to be noticed, then you need to approach an old idea from a new perspective, and so that’s exactly what happened. I formed The Film Label with Nick Sadler and George Burt, with the idea being that we would co-opt the digital record label model for creation and distribution of music, and plug it into indie film, i.e. made for a small amount of money in an exceptionally fast amount of time, and released using new age outreach like social media and cross pollinated marketing with brands/people with existing followings. Pandorica was written shortly after as a method of proving the model worked, and so here we are, one year later, with a theatrical release in the UK and the worldwide release just around the corner.
Dr. Rob Speranza is a production manager, line producer/producer, and co-founder of the South Yorkshire Filmmakers Network (SYFN), a not-for-profit organisation that promotes and enables film-based networking and filmmaking activities in South Yorkshire.
His credits include the feature films Dementamania, Inbred, Entity, and Small Creatures. Recently, he co-produced the feature film Arthur and Merlin, which involved many SYFN members and was partly shot in the South Yorkshire region. Casting Networks interviewed him to find out more about his organisation, and the opportunities it affords filmmakers.
Casting Networks: Tell us about SYFN and what was the initial aim at the outset? Over the years, has the aim of the network changed?
Rob Speranza: The SYFN is a not-for-profit organisation that helps filmmakers from all over the region. It says ‘South Yorkshire’ on the label, but really we help people from all over the country, but, yes, with mostly films that are shooting up North. People come to us with all kinds of needs. Equipment, locations, crew, cast, script help – whatever they need. We seem to now be the largest filmmakers’ network outside of London, with about 1900 people today in the network. We started with only about 7 people hanging out, talking about films, and filmmaking in a pub about 14 years ago, so this of course took some time!
Women in Film & TV (UK) is the leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK, and part of an international network of over 10,000 women worldwide from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry.
We sit down with Natalie Samson, Head of Awards & Events, for a round of “Five Questions With…” to find out more about this brilliant organisation.
1. Each year you run a mentoring program open to women in the UK. Over the years you’ve had some wonderful success stories. Why do you think programs like these are so important for women in Great Britain (or even across the pond)?
I’ve actually been on the mentor scheme myself which is how I ended up working for Women in Film and TV (UK). I couldn’t rave highly enough about this scheme and think they are incredibly important for anyone. The WFTV (UK) scheme is aimed at mid-career women and Nicola Lees who runs it is brilliant, she has an uncanny knack of knowing what you need before you actually know you needed it.
I recently got a call from Directors UK, a fantastic organisation I’m a member of, telling me I had been selected to take part in a week long course training in multi camera Directing at ITV, at Media City in Salford, Manchester. The course and our expenses were fully funded by Creative Skillset. I readily accepted the place and was intrigued and excited to get started. I had previously only ever Directed single camera on drama and used two cameras very occasionally when shooting my latest documentary Still Loved, so I was keen to get stuck in and learn a new skill.
The course leaders were Kay Patrick and Ian Bevitt, two long standing Directors on Coronation Street, as well as many other programs. We were being trained to work on Coronation Street, using their house style, which I soon realised meant much more than using 2 cameras at a time! We were introduced to our 1st AD for the week, Woody Wade, and all the Heads of Department and Producer of Coronation Street, a really lovely, friendly bunch of people. They each explained their own roles and how things work on the show. We looked around the studios and galleries to see other Directors at work and get an understanding of the work flow and speed with which it is all put together. At the end of the day we were given our first script of the week, which we had to go back to our hotels and study ready to hand in our plans for the first shoot.