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.
After yet another smashing night of Manchester ADP’s supremely popular event ‘Scripts Aloud’ I’ve spoken to four of the key players: Jaki McCarrick, writer of the engaging and heartbreaking Bohemians; Kyle Walker, the sole performer in the emotional journey that is My Man (written by Kenton Thomas); and the two wonderful women who make all of it possible—Hannah Ellis and Diana Atkins.
We asked each of them the simple question:
How do these ADP read throughs benefit you?
Diana Atkins – Producer
Producing ADP is such a buzz. It’s really lovely to be able to create opportunities for people to do what they love. To see all the hard work come together at each show always leaves me on a high (I usually can’t sleep that night!). I’m an actor too and producing ADP has opened doors that probably never would have been open to me before.
The main thing for me is the community that it’s created. I’m relatively new to Manchester, and it’s been a really great way to make friends and get to know other creatives. ADP really does feel like a big family!
In class, I often refer to voice & accent work as the dance of the tongue. As an ex dancer, I like approaching sound correction as a series of muscular exercises preparing you for your text. Essentially, the voice is muscular, rather than a disembodied sound that happens to come out of your mouth somehow.
An accent requires a precision and placement where the facial muscles and resonance completely changes. Even your natural speaking voice will be far more developed by doing your breathing, release, and resonance exercises along with some tongue twisters. And all of those are muscular exercises.
Certain authors are very challenging with sound combinations. The goal is not only to get the sounds correct but also getting the thoughts flowing easily off the tongue as if they are your own. The change of rhythm and placement of certain sounds can be as difficult as moving between a waltz and a foxtrot and as awkward as watching a ballet dancer try hip hop.