Build your own film night:

Last week Flatpack: Assemble hosted an evening masterclass in Birmingham’s Impact Hub to inspire a new generation of cinephiles to create their own film nights.

After Cocks & Docs I am more interested than ever to continue organising film nights in the West Midlands. I want to do this because I love the idea of bringing people together in a cinematic space to share exciting content and to build a community of creative, like minded people in my home town. Film nights also give people an excuse to actually leave the comfort of their own house and socialise with new people.

byofnm3 They explained that at their core, film nights consist of three elements. Films, Places and People. You can control the films, you can control the place but you cannot control the people. You need to make the event special in some way to encourage audience members to attend. This can be done by showing content that can’t be seen anywhere else, holding the screening in an unusual venue or having an interesting mix of people/entertainment (such as dancers/musicians etc.)

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Here are some of Flatpack co-founder Ian Francis’s top tips on hosting your own film night:

  • Keep distractions to a minimum eg. natural light/noises from the venue
  • Don’t over programme, make sure you schedule intervals.
  • Make sure the audience are relatively comfortable
  • Think about the trajectory of the evening and the mood and tone of the films you screen.
  • Clear all the rights and licenses for both the venue and the films
  • Seamless presentation is important. In a later post I will break down some of the advice the Flatpack team had to offer about screening conditions.

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I’m so pleased to see Flatpack Festival organising more events across the year and reach out to people in the West Midlands, encouraging them to engage with film. If you don’t follow them already, you should…@flatpack

Flatpack Film Festival 2014 Trailer from 7inch cinema on Vimeo.

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King Doc UK

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Our latest production is in full swing and we will be filming in the last week of this month (January).

We asked drag kings and academics from around the world to tell us more about what drag performance means to them…

The documentary will explore the resilient spirit of the people who perform masculinity on stage. If you don’t already know, Drag Kings are male impersonators, often women, who embody the mannerisms of men. Our film will follow myself and a young performing drag king, Benjamin Butch, as we uncover the core reasons that performers choose gender impersonation as a form of artistic expression. Other contributors will include drag kings Sammy Silver and Wolfy .

We have 9 days left to raise the rest of our budget and we are offering a variety of fabulous reward in return for donations. If you would like to support us please visit: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1300988717/king-doc-uk-a-short-film-about-the-uks-drag-kings?ref=discovery .

We are also hosting a drag night in my university town of York, in a wonderful LGBTQ+ friendly venue Thomas’s of York . If you are in the area and would like to attend your name can be added to the guest list as a ‘reward’ for donating.

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While the film project is still dragging on…. You can follow our progress (and see pictures from the event) on our social media pages.

Find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the hash tag #kingdocuk for updates on the project!

TV Diary: Delusional Downtown Divas ‘Desperate Decadence: S1, Ep 1’

Premiered 9th January 2009.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 23.20.26Delusional Downtown Divas(DDD) is Lena Dunham doing what she does best. Its a wry satirical web-series produced and directed by Dunham, starring herself and some of her closest friends. It provides a commentary of a group of young adults in New York yearning for stardom and to be a part of the art world’s inner circle, addressing topical issues and exploring the psyche of privileged children as they try to make a name for themselves.

Each 7 and a half minute episode is driven by its the quirky characters. The series has a relatively low production value, relying on long takes and the shots which at times are very shaky, with a handheld feel to them. This style is almost reminiscent of a fly on the wall documentary, the audience feels as if they are voyeurs watching intimate moments between friends. The likeness to a documentary is furthered by reverse shots that are held for longer than feels natural. Delusional Downtown Divas is reliant on dialogue rather than fancy camera shots and special effects.

Direct address is used frequently. The characters speak candidly to the camera as if they were recording a Vlog, utilising its online medium perfectly and allowing audiences to relate to the characters in the short space of time available.

The webisodes showcased Lena Dunham’s ability to effectively develop characters and story lines and caught the attention of financiers and ironically the art world. The web series is engaging and a pleasure to watch. It’s unsurprising that HBO picked up her current show ‘Girls’ as it isn’t dissimilar to Delusional Downtown Divas with its clear mumblecore influences and character driven narratives.

Exciting news…

I was offered a place at the BFI Film Academy West Midlands. This means that each week until the end of March I will be going to sessions with other film makers and professionals. I’m very excitied to get started and of course I shall be keeping you all up to date with what I have learnt….

Since my last post, I have been tremendously busy working on content for BOA Broadcast’s first magazine show, ‘Friday @ Two’.

After finishing off ‘Sack Sales on New Street’, I filmed a cooking show with Jake. We tried to steer away from the usual presenter led programmes and concentrate more on the visuals. I am really proud of the finished product so please, check it out!

The final VT I worked on was a feature on the Clothes show. With our press passes we were able to get into restricted areas and get interviews with designers, organisers and models. For me, the highlight of the experience was having to fight our way to the front of the press pit at the end of the fashion theatre catwalk.

Here’s the final product…

The filming of ‘Friday @ Two’ went smoothly. It was a very collaborative effort, we chose two students from the acting pathway to present after the auditions and they were absolutely fabulous. The rest of the crew worked well together and despite a few hiccups along the way, I think we pulled through it.

I am looking forward to working on the next episode of ‘Friday @ Two’ and using everything we learnt to make February’s show even better than our Christmas special.

Sack Sales on New Street: Vintage Fashion

Here it is, the finished VT for our Christmas Magazine Show, ‘Friday @ 2’. It will be used to accompany a live fashion piece, creating an outfit from  the vintage items purchased on the day.

Check it out: 

Director – Elizabeth-Valentina Sutton
Producer – Elizabeth-Valentina Sutton
Featuring – Lucy Jane, George Bartlett and Gary Poole
Camera Operator – Jake Barrett
Editor – Elizabeth-Valentina Sutton

Music – ‘Six Sticks’ by Halloween

With Thanks to Sack Sales on New Street and Gary Poole

Production Update: Sack Sales

Production has begun on BOA TV’s Christmas Magazine Show. We will be making a half hour show focusing on a range of topics including subjects like poverty and how those less fortunate spend the festive season aswell as more light hearted issues such as how to survive Christmas on a tight budget.

Yesterday the crew went into central Birmingham’s ‘Sack Sales on New Street’ to film a VT about vintage, affordable fashion. The store is great, allowing you to fill half a large bag with clothes for £5 or a full bag for £10. Two of the crew browsed through the clothes piles in the search for some vintage gems whilst we followed them with a camera we even managed to grab an interview with the shop’s manager.

Here’s a preview of what is to come….

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BOA TV in the Capital.

Yesterday BOA TV was offered the opportunity to go down to London to film the Minister of State for Trade & Investment’s Keynote speech for a conference happening next Friday in Coventry. The Team drove to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on King Charles Street to film Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint  followed by a tour of the gorgeous historic building located in the city centre! We are looking forward to filming the conference next Friday.

Update: On Friday 21st September the BOA TV crew went to Stoneleigh-Park to film the Chamber of Commerce Annual Business and Economic Conference. We set up three cameras in the main conference room, one at the back to get the wide shot and two on either side to get close ups and tracks of guest speakers. We also had a camera outside of the conference room which was used to conduct interviews with some of the day’s speakers such as Lord Digby Jones. The clip of Lord Green’s key note speech was shown and I was really proud of the high quality work the BOA TV produced.  It was a great opportunity for all of the BOA TV team and it taught us alot about multi-camera set ups.

 

The Balcony Sessions…

This is the first acoustic session I filmed on location with fellow BOA student Matt Sheehan. It was a massive learning curve for me in terms of filming an artist without a crew behind me. The weather made it so much harder, as it made lighting an issue and we had to avoid the equipment and instruments getting wet. It took me a while to sort out the sound because we were filming on a balcony. Which meant we had lots of background noise from the city streets below. We overcame this by plugging the microphone and Matt’s guitar directly into the external microphone (Zoom H4n) and recording as a 4 Channel track. The video was shot on my new Canon 550D with an 18-55mm lens.

I’d like to thank Matt for his patience with me and it was a pleasure to work with somebody as talented as he is.

Check out the video.. any feedback is welcome.

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