Went along to the ASFF for some networking sessions and also to hear Barry Ryan talk about film production in the UK. It was a packed Theatre Royal at York [mostly filled with students] and I only just managed to find a seat!. Warp Films have created Four Lions, Kill List & Dead Man’s Shoes among many others.
The focus of the talk was in appreciating the challenges of film production and the importance of understanding the legal elements. This was delivered quite well with some nice anecdotes on more well known films such as Four Lions. There were also some insights into the value of short film creation in the film industry. Barry admitted that, at least on paper, their short films offer no financial returns – they also require a similar amount of behind-the-scenes preparation and legal work. That being said, they still make them! But their purpose is solely for promotion to gain funding or support for feature films. The film Dr.Easy is just such an example of the type of short “pilot” film they had created and funded solely to gain support and financing for a full length feature film [which is now in production]. Interestingly, he commented that the CGI work in this short was around 100k value but they blagged it for 3k! The importance of shorts for upcoming filmmakers & directors was stressed on a few occasions. Barry commented that one of the reasons that Shane Meadows was such a good director was that he had made hundreds of short films. That he would often get some mates together for one day just to make a film. This gave him a wealth of experience in filmmaking & production, which made him much more marketable later on in his career when trying to join projects and get investment in his films. Naturally there was also quite a bit of Warp Films promotion including lots of exciting film clips and even a Warp films book – perfect for Xmas!] Overall it was a lively presentation despite a few technical powerpoint issues – needs work Barry! and it has given me a greater filmmaking focus.