Saturday, 27 February 2010

Eyeful latest screenings

An Eyeful of Sound will be being screened at the Flatpack Festival on Saturday 27th March at the Electric Cinema (Britain's oldest working cinema and surely one of the nicest in the world!).
It is also screening at the Magma Festival at Rotorua, New Zealand, and also at the East End Film Festival in London both in April.

Friday, 26 February 2010


I got invited down to Plymouth Art College to do an artist’s talk about my work and screen An Eyeful of Sound yesterday. I also took the opportunity to catch up with friends in the area and have a snoop around Plymouth Uni’s Media Arts dept (scarily good and well equipped).

It’s always interesting to have to present your work to a completely new group of people (mainly fine art students in this case). I always think that giving talks is an excellent way of explaining your own work to yourself. I quite often hear things coming out of my mouth in this context that I’ve never really managed to articulate before – something about the alchemy of stress and having to sound vaguely intelligent to an audience can bring out some good insights.

Unfortunately it can work the other way too – sometimes I listen to what I’m saying and wonder what the hell went on between brain and mouth, anyone who heard my wedding speech can attest to this sad truth.


On the final day in Berlin, the morning after the closing party and before our evening flights home, three of us went to the Liquidrom for a mammoth 4 hour session of sauna, steam and amazing salt water bathing..,

Berlin was freezing all week, -12 at night and with heavy snow that just never disappeared, so we got used to being perpetually frozen. Going to the Liquidrom was heaven as we let the warmth seep back into our bones and zoned out totally in the dimly lit salt water pool at the centre of the complex, where they have speakers underwater so as you float like a very buoyant lilo, put your head underwater and listen to the music. It was bliss.

We must have been Easyjets squeakiest and cleanest passengers, and it was the perfect chilled out end to our manic week,

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Berlinale Talent Campus 2

One of the useful things I took away from Berlin was information on how to present ideas. I went to a couple of really helpful ‘Meet the Expert’ sessions, one about documentary with info about the best approach to take when pitching. I learnt about the European Documentary Network and the workshops they run, and the importance of including a trailer with a documentary pitch (I would never have though of that!).

I went to a good session with the UK Film Council which was great in giving an insight on how to make the move into features and what kind of proposals they are looking for. “Good stuff” is the answer in case you were wondering, but it was couched in more helpful terms than that and was actually quite reassuring in the scope and ambition of the work they wanted to see made.

There was also a pitching session by documentary makers who presented their work on stage (the pitches were read by actors) together with some photographic images, and were then questioned by experts on their intentions in making the films. Gruelling to take part in, I imagine, but very useful to watch and I came out feeling energised and enthused about my own future projects and my ability to realise them.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Berlinale Talent Campus 1

So I’m back from the talent campus and have finally had time to catch my breath. The event was as jam-packed, intense and full on as everyone had told me it would be. It was also huge fun, very friendly and wonderfully bonkers.

A typical day was as follows;

Get up and shower in strict rotation with my dorm mates who were all lovely and considerate about sharing bathroom time – not all my friends in other dorms were so lucky…

Catch the bus to Hau 2, which is the Talent Campus base, and begin queuing for the next days tickets. This wasn’t so bad if you just wanted Campus events, however since we had full accreditation for the Berlinale Festival itself it was very tempting to get film tickets for the evening too which was a slow and sometimes painful progress as you inched along in the queue.

Dive in to the free breakfast, sponsored by a different company each day. The best ones included mountains of delicious cheese, fruit, cold meats and rolls, plus coffee and juice – heaven. And, since there was a good chance you wouldn’t eat again at lunch, necessary!

The first session began, from large events in Hau 1 open to the public on popular subjects (film scoring, collaborations etc.) to intimate sessions in Hau 2 or 3 on more specialist subjects (cross-media platforms, workshops on direction or editing).

Nominally lunch time but also a time to attend expert sessions – small gatherings where experts from various field gave the benefit of their wisdom to a few (10 – 15) lucky participants. In theory you could attend one of these but in practice I went to as many as I could, it was a wonderful insight.

The second session of the day (see above)

The third session of the day (see above)

Hopefully now there was a reception, dinner or function where we could network with industry big wigs and score some food. The most glam of these was the famous ‘Dine and Shine’ dinner, where about 300 people sat down to dinner together to share experience and expertise – we (the ‘talents’) were interspersed with experts with whom we could chat and schmooze for the duration of a course before moving to a different table (and a different set of experts) for the next course. It was great fun and I met some lovely people – both expert and talent (a very odd distinction!).

10:00 onwards
From hereon it was a free for all, with parties, invites and rumours of parties flying around… We crashed some memorable events - the Swedish party in a strange gentleman’s club was a good one, as was the Italian party with chic flowers and comedy dancing.

And at the end of the evening,  back to the hostel, and ready to get up again and start again tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Back from the Berlinale Talent Campus

Back from Berlin after 9 days of meeting 349 other film makers at seminars, sessions, breakfast, lunch (where available), dinner, parties, receptions, on the bus and in the snow. I had a really amazing time but now my head hurts from sleep deprivation and I am trying to sort out lectures for Monday, Wednesday and a visit to Plymouth College of Art on Thursday.

I'll sort out my thoughts about the Talent campus properly, but in the meantime here's a lovely photo of Berlin in the snow!