The Chair Leg Thesis for Success in Creative Endeavours

What do you need to find success in creative endeavours? It’s the greatest puzzle and most asked question by people trying to break in to the creative industries, or to remain working in them. Here’s what I think it takes: 1)      Talent – I do believe talent is a thing, a natural predilection towards a field or skill, whether it be a particular way with words, a specific way of looking at the world, or expressing it. You don’t have to be a genius in your field, but it helps to have an elevated ability in an area.


Webseries: Relationshit

Relationshit is a comedy series by filmmaker, dog lover and online stranger-friend Ivy Jelisavac. It is about three housemates, trying to find love, and ending in a comedy of dating errors. Each episode is around 10 minutes long, and is now available to watch on Amazon Prime and Vimeo. I was particularly impressed that the budget for all eight episodes was a mere £4000, something some filmmakers allocate for one short film, often to then end up with something less accomplished than Ivy’s series. Happily, she wrote about how she pulled off this feat. Ivy is already in pre-production

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg in anti-Netflix crusade

When Steven Spielberg made comments last year about Netflix, deriding their movies as ‘TV Movies’, deserving of an Emmy rather than an Oscar, I called it a Cult of Cinema and discussed differences in nomenclature. But according to reports, one year on and Spielberg is doubling down on this: as the Academy Governor representing the directors branch of the Academy Awards, he is proposing a rules change that would favour cinemas and exclude Netflix’s so-called TV movies. Apparently he’s going to seek much wider theatrical releases to be eligible for an Oscar, a direct attack on the threat of Netflix


Dates for your diary – December 2018

Rather than re-publishing dates of contests, festivals, and opportunities every few months, I’ve instead gone for a big annual page for 2019. I’ll then use the blog posts for significant updates. The main page is still a bit empty, not everyone has announced their dates yet. However, Screencraft has a announced their 2019 dates.  S.O.U.L. has announced their February screening and networking event and the (free) tickets are available on January 25th. Here’s their blurb: Celebrate:Connect is S.O.U.L.‘s first initiative and has been created to offer Britain’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic filmmakers a public and recognisable platform to showcase their


Doctor Who fan film Reverence of the Daleks

Film on Film Entertainment’s Doctor Who fan film Reverence of the Daleks started shooting last year, due to culminate with it’s final shooting day this month. Taking photos behind the scenes with a Dalek and the team was great fun! Hoping to catch an interview with the team behind it once shooting concludes.

Steven Spielberg

Spielberg and the Cult of Cinema

It’s been all of a week since a major voice in films said anything controversial. Thankfully though, Spielberg’s “hot take” was not a point of horror, but one of cinematic philosophy. Should Netflix Originals, and other streaming movies, be counted as Oscar-worthy material? If they just barely scrape by the cinema showing rules to qualify, should they be counted as much as those films made specifically for a traditional cinema distribution? He said: “But in fact, once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an

doctor who dalek

Behind The Scenes of Doctor Who fan film Reverence of the Daleks

As Stephan Burn Photography, it was great to combine the worlds of photography and filmmaking, on the set of Film on Film Entertainment’s short film, Reverence of the Daleks. This Doctor Who fan film is being shot over four days, and these photos are from day three. It’s great to see it all come together, but greater still to be behind the scenes, and see Film on Film’s approach to filmmaking. There’s some photos from Instagram below, followed by the prior, Dalek-less, interim trailer. Day four of shooting will add the TARDIS and complete filming.

Zack Snyder Snow Steam Iron

Short film: Snow Steam Iron by Zack Snyder

Update: Snow Steam Iron is now available without the Vero app. Link Say what you like about Zack Snyder, but that man knows two things exceptionally well: montages and marketing. So, when struggling mobile-only social network Vero needed a brand ambassador, they knew where to go. While he’s taking a bit of a career break, he’s got plenty time to take their money, emblazon his name on their site, and create the short film Snow Steam Iron. Finding the short film is an exercise in frustration. There’s no direct link to it, you need to sign up to Vero, which

Emotional Fusebox Poster

Short Film – Emotional Fusebox When the list of 2014 BAFTA Nominations came out, after my glee that Birdman looked like it was going to get the acclaim it deserved, I started working my way through the list of short films. I hadn’t seen any of them, nor was I able to, due to the lock-in ‘feature’ of film festivals. But I had heard of Emotional Fusebox, partly because I think Jodie Whittaker is an excellent actress, with excellent turns in Broadchurch, Black Mirror and Attack the Block. So, I contacted the writer/director of Emotional Fusebox Rachel Tunnard, and she very kindly gave me a link to


Short Film – Vicious

I’ve always been a proponent, not just of short films, but of using the medium of short films to wring the most out of the chiller or horror genre. Freed from the requirement to sustain an atmosphere for 90+ minutes, the short film is effective in the build-up and twist, the vicious knife between the ribs, delivered so swiftly that it wounds brutally even when we see it coming. Coupled with an efficient use of resources to present its chills, the field is somewhat crowded with filmmakers hoping to match the blood-curdling success of something like Sandberg’s Lights Out, one of


Short Film – Textual Relationship

Textual Relationship, by Syd Heather, is a charming, bittersweet romantic comedy short adapted from a theatre short written by award-winning playwright Tom Glover. It explores the differences between ‘real-world reality’ and our more interesting fabricated online personas, via two characters courting via an online dating app, and then trying to work past their offline incompatibilities. Tom wrote the play for Descent Theatre, where actor David Frias-Robles saw the play and thought it’d make a great short film; and with that, he brought it to filmmaker Syd Heather. Syd, with a healthy roster of films behind him, instantly saw the potential in Textual


How To Get The Most Out Of LSF 2015

The London Screenwriters’ Festival is a great event for UK screenwriters, both apprentice and journeyman: Three days of seminars, workshops and panels; networking opportunities, pitching and full immersion into a world beyond the isolation of the writerly life. Chris Jones and his team always put a lot of effort into the event and the result is always a great show. But there are a few things you can do to maximise the benefits you can reap. Preparation Preparation is everything, even if you chose to go a different way on the day. So check out the schedule ahead of time,


Frugal Filmmaking and Techno-Fetishism

“You want to learn about filmmaking? Then just get out there and shoot something!” Such is usually the refrain when professionals are asked how to ‘break in’ or what the best way is to learn. Much like in any other creative field, e.g. ‘Writers write. To get better at writing, write more.’ There’s a vast cottage industry of courses, tutorials, books and workshops, designed to assist, accelerate or encourage. But nothing will ever teach you more craft than actually doing it, doing it often, and failing well. But while writing is limited in the tools and toys you can obsess