Today we were lucky enough to attend a selection day for the Show Me The Money film funding course provided by First Light. First Light is a nationwide organisation offering support and assistance to filmmakers aged 5 to 25 through training, developing their creative and technical skills. The Show Me The Money course is a four day residential opportunity during Birmingham’s Flatpack Festival designed to develop participants’ knowledge of film financing models, understand the vagaries of distribution and other handy tidbits. We applied as part of a team with the exceedingly talented filmmaker Lauren Hatchard, a woman described as leading a new breed of film talent by the Birmingham Post, pitching a current project we are working on and explaining how the programme will benefit our career development. We were fortunate enough to be selected alongside fifteen other writers and directors from around the UK in today’s assessment day to determine whether we had what it takes to make the most of the four day course.
Within the gorgeous surroundings of Birmingham’s Fazeley Studios, a converted chapel in the previously-industrial-but-rejuvenated-with-the-invigorating-waters-of-the-arts Digbeth area of the city, we engaged with our peers in fun ice breaking exercises (getting film folk to talk to one another can be a Herculean task) and role-playing activities. A particular highlight was assuming the role of a department head on a low-budget production, one with a series of problems facing that department that must be resolved to your satisfaction by the end of the production meeting by discussing it with your colleagues. As well as offering a vital reminder of how important communication is in this business, it allowed us to get to know one another much better than such opportunities ordinarily afford. And at the day’s conclusion, we were faced with a one to one interview where the organisers could gauge our passion and enthusiasm for a career in film, as well as hear more about the film project we pitched with our application.
Whilst we cannot reveal the project in question (we’d love to, but it’s not ready to talk about yet, honest!) it is one that is very dear to our hearts. Another short film, it offers much greater scope than many of our past pieces, including on the visual side, and has an emotional hook that is a significant development in our projects. It’s also really sweet and you’ll love it! The interview went extremely well, where we were able to give a strong account for the project and ourselves as filmmakers. Although we will have to wait a week to discover if we have been granted a place on the course proper, we are confident we have given the organisers the best possible impression of ourselves and how much the opportunity will drive our careers forward. If nothing else, rarely in an interview does one get the chance to perform a vocal impersonation of Margaret Thatcher and to be met with receptive laughter! On top of this it was immensely gratifying to meet so many friendly, warm and gifted fellow directors and writers. With any luck we shall see more of them very soon, either on the course or out there in this crazy world of film.
We will let you know in due course whether we have been selected for the next stage. Until then, check out our previous projects at our Films page