Northants Film Network returns

11 Mar

After two extremely successful trial runs, Film Northants, Northants composer Andy Cox and I have decided to make the newly-named Northants Film Network a bimonthly event and we’re pleased to announce that the Royal&Derngate in Northampton are continuing to support it.

Our next event runs on Monday 26th March from 6pm in Underground 4 at the Derngate. We’ll be announcing the speaker shortly.  

We’ve been bowled over by the attendance and the feedback we are getting is that all sorts of different people – from actors, new directors, more established writers to arts organisations – are making useful connections. I was very heartened to receive an email a few days ago saying “I’ll be there again. Last event was great, I managed to meet a guy who is now helping produce my short, so who knows what the next one will bring?” Just goes to show that Northants is the hot bed of filmmaking activity that we thought it was and long may it continue!

Potential Organisation Short Film Competition

11 Mar

Northants-based Community Interest Company Potential Organisation are running a short film competition for young people aged 11-14yrs around the country, in association with Reelscape Films. The competition will give the young people that participate an opportunity to air their views on topics personal to them. They will receive mentoring from Reelscape Films as well as a fellow judge: an ex ITN News broadcast producer. Ten finalists whose pitches are chosen will be supported by the mentors and Potential to produce their short films which will then be screened at an awards ceremony where the winners will be announced. Reelscape Films will also be providing prizes to the winners.

At Reelscape we are proud to support this initiative. Like Potential, Reelscape and it’s ‘Fortune Cookies’ project aims to help young people achieve their full potential, offering industry work experience and work within their communities. We’re looking forward to working with Potential’s Youth Advisory Board and hoping to use our industry connections to spread the effects and lessons of the event further.

Thought of the day: never work with children or animals

19 Jan

Today I’ve been writing an article for an online film magazine and have been pondering what must be the most used line in film production history: never work with children or animals.

I’ve had experiences with kids high on sugar after being let loose at the refreshment table, with “trained” cats, children that after rehearsing hiding-in-the-box suddenly become claustrophobic and so the scene has to be cut, pushy parents, etc.

So why am I working with TWO secondary school loads of them on our next film ‘Fortune Cookies’?! Some quotations to remind me (caution: some cheese, but good cheese):

“Once children learn how to learn, nothing is going to narrow their mind. The essence of teaching is to make learning contagious, to have one idea spark another.” — Marva Collins

“If a seed of a lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce. Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.” – Buddhist proverb

“Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” –William Butler Yeats

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank…but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.” — Forest Witcraft

And in the warble of Whitney Houston “Children are our future”

Thought of the day: does the success of a crowd-funding campaign depend on how many friends you have?

5 Jan

As any good Philosophy graduate, like myself, knows you must start by analysing the question! What do I mean by ‘friends’?

If I mean genuine, drop-everything-to-help-you-in-a-crisis friends then the answer surely has to be ‘no’ – you can’t measure friendship using pound signs. And do you really want to use the ‘crisis’ card to rescue a lack lustre crowd-funding campaign?

But having said that, couldn’t the motivation of that network of friends to promote your cause to their networks of friends be seen as a measure of friendship? And if you had many genuine friends actively promoting your campaign surely that would make it successful? But is that what genuine friends are for – promoting what is essentially (for me anyway) a business deal? Nope. So let’s leave genuine friends out of it. (Even if we secretly hope they will spend every waking hour pushing it!) It’s generally a very depressing question for me to have asked regarding genuine friends….!

Instead let’s look at the breed of friends we call ‘Facebook friends’ or even followers on Twitter. Does your campaign depend on their abundance? I think in many ways, yes. But that doesn’t give anyone (including me!) the excuse that my campaign hasn’t gone as well as planned because I’ve virtuously and nobly refused to make ‘friends’ with people I don’t know, or that my friendship is about its wondrous sparkling quality rather than quantity, etc etc. Ultimately there are loads of people and organisations out there that I could connect and work with for which it would be mutually beneficial and if I’m to engage with crowd-funding, which is ultimately a social matter, while producing this social enterprise feature film, I’ve got to get social! Not just begging for support, genuinely social. I need genuine Facebook friends and genuine followers which come with time, a genuine interest and a personal investment. Or I need to launch my vouchers into the commercial realm, which is completely not what this was all about.

So the moral of the story is, Becky, get on it! Get chatting, get talking, and if people want your vouchers and want to support your project, they will! If they don’t, that’s a whole different matter….

The Twelve Days of Christmas

4 Jan

Christmas?! Ugh. Haven’t we finished with all of that yet? Well, according to the popular rhyme ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’, no.

It’s taken me 27 Christmases to find out this rhyme is talking about the twelve days starting on Christmas Day and not the 12 leading up to it. So I felt a little stupid having released a crowd-funding themed Twelve Days… poem for my feature film ‘Fortune Cookies’ 12 days before the actual Day. How many other people knew this was the case?

BUT this gives me the perfect excuse as we approach the 6th of January and the final Day in question to re-air the poem here!

On the twelfth day of crowd-funding, the public got from me…
Twelve Extras acting.
Eleven props as presents.
Ten sweet & Sours.
Nine shifts on set.
Eight patrons providing,
seven lessons a learning,
six young minds expanding.
Five exclusive things.
Four credits earned.
Three screenings then,
two party frocks,
and a future in a fortune cookie.

Find out more about my feature film, its social enterprise model and our crowd-funding at