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