Thursday, 8 April 2010

Three things I learned this week...

By Dan Parkes (Director)

At the beginning of our Video Blog series the presenter Kieron James makes an interesting point when he says that 'there are as many ways to make a film as there are films' a truism that was reinforced this week when I learned 3 important new things as a filmmaker:

1. Yesterday, I was asked in my capacity as a producer to fill out a survey which, for the first time I have seen in print, detailed the exact definition of current film budgets, something I have always wondered about, and certainly up for debate:
  • ‘No Budget’ feature (under £50k)
  • ‘Micro Budget’ feature (£50k - £250k)
  • ‘Low Budget’ feature (£250k - £1 million)
2. Today I attended a producers masterclass during which an experienced consultant made an extremely important and valid point that I had always known to be instinctively true but yet had never, until now, received as firm advice: Get a sales agent before releasing a film onto the festival circuit. How many filmmakers enter films into festivals thinking this is the best way to get exposure, to get it into the market, but then wonder why they hardly ever hear back from the 'big festivals' or even many of the smaller ones? Ultimately it's all a waste of time. Filmmakers don't enter festivals. Sales agents do. Get a sales agent, and they will do the rest...

3. Today Phillips have released five short films all based on the same lines of dialogue regarding a unicorn of all things, which is interesting in itself. But far more interesting is that it is to promote their new product...a 21:9 television set. We all know of 16:9, the widescreen format. But 21:9?... That got me to go back to my aspect ratio references and sure enough 21:9 is equivalient to 2:35:1, the full cinematic aspect ratio (16:9 is technically 1:78:1, while the old square TV format, 4:3 is 1:33:1). This is great news -a TV that can finally show films -such as Ambleton Delight- as they were originally intended, in full cinematic proportions! Check it out here:

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