Category Archives: Screening

Emmi Screenings

We’ve had a short run of success with Emmi recently, the film will be playing at three screenings over the next few weeks (highlighted below on the off chance you might like to attend):

24th June – Willson Oakville Film Festival

For our friends in Canada, we will be playing at 9.30pm alongside the Australian feature film ‘Broke’. We are sad we won’t be there in person but we plan to have a special message before the film screens. Visit here to book tickets.

24th June – Cardiff Mini Film Festival

We will be the last film screened at the ‘Fiction Part 2’ section at The Big Top on Saturday afternoon (I suspect the film will screen between 5-5:30pm). Susie and I also plan to attend the festival, so if you see us or come along please say “hi”. If you plan to attend the whole festival, we can get reduced rate festival passes (get in contact for details). For more information at the Festival – visit here.

1st July – Ultimate Picture Palace, OXford

Susie and I are holding a special (and free) local screening at 2.30pm. This will be followed by a short discussion and hopefully a few outtakes. Seats are limited so make sure you sign up on our Eventbrite page if you plan to come along.

Emmi Screening Invite

After the Bombs

Most of the films shown at Film Oxford’s monthly 10×10 meetings showcase documentaries/causes/charity work. This month had a fictional film in the mix called “After the Bombs”.

After the Bombs

During this session I realised the following:

1. In film terms I prefer fictitious work over factual pieces. This is the polar opposite of how I generally feel about books.

2. In the 10×10 sessions people tend to be much more critical of fictional work. The audience are more forgiving towards documentary work (even if details are incorrect, an argument is one-sided or the quality of coverage/footage is poor).

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Premiere League

Last week I was in conference manager mode overseeing the official UK premiere for the Macedonian film The Third Half.

ThirdHalf01

I will no-doubt review the film soon, but this isn’t the main focus of this post. Like most event management – organising a premiere is an exhausting process requiring a ridiculous amount of forethought and planning  (for what essentially lasts only a few hours). If it goes well, it should be seemless. If it doesn’t, well that doesn’t even bear thinking about!

Having run a couple of my own film premieres in the past, I was already reasonably aware of the type of requirements involved. This was on a grander scale however. We needed to make sure everything would run smoothly but there were a couple of bumps to overcome beforehand:

1. The local AV support team were down in numbers or unavailable to cover the event. Therefore I had to step up and make sure I was completely up-to-speed on any technical issues which might/might not occur during the evening.

2. The film was passed on in a format which would not work with our systems. I needed to convert the film into a compatible form. This wasn’t totally straight-forward and took a bit of time to figure out. The biggest obstacle were the subtitles.

3. Despite having a guest-list it was impossible to predict the exact numbers attending (film journalists/media were invited, but we were not sure if they were going to show). This made things interesting as a drinks reception planned for the end of the evening. It needed to be flexible, classy but not  over-indulgent. We couldn’t afford go wildly over-budget or under-cater, a surprisingly tricky balance.

4. We were planning to do a Q&A with the director Darko Mitrevski. Unfortunately it transpired Darko would in LA for the premiere date agreed, so we needed to do this using the wonders of technology (also factoring in any time-differences). This created some additional complexity to the event.

Thankfully, I’m happy to say all the hard work paid off and the entire team helping (many of whom were volunteers) did a fantastic job. There is usually something a bit magical about a film premiere. Even though I was there in an official capacity, I’m pleased to say that this was no exception. Well done to all involved!

10×10 February 2013

Last Thursday was the monthly 10×10 event where filmmakers gather to talk film, network, showcase and gather feedback about their projects. The event has an Oxford slant but any filmmaker is welcome to attend.

Kicking off the line-up, I offered to give a 20 minute chat about making Spare Change and screen a rough cut. It provided some useful feedback and I think overall the film is heading in the right direction. Showcasing to other filmmakers is even tougher than showing “your baby” to a general audience. Why? They are far more likely to be more critical, in particular about the technical side which most others would likely to ignore. The most important questions I needed to know was “Did you understand it”, “did it hold your attention”. With a sigh of relief, a “yes” to both! Continuity gaffes in the edit went unnoticed, which I hope is a sign that people were following the characters and the story more.

Next up was called a 6min short called Bound made by Michael Hawkes as part of the OFVM shooting video course. This was fully completed project unlike Spare Change – but it provoked an interesting discussion afterwards. Michael was the only personal who was at odds with the technical side of the Spare Change rough-cut. I am thankful for him to highlighting his criticisms. I take them onboard – one particular comment I am going to rectify in the final edit.

Michael understands all the technical sides of a film-camera and is clearly gifted with this aspect. Indeed it was a gorgeous film to look at and had a supremely strong opening – hooking the audience right from the start. Yet, I personally feel it soon got bogged down with the technical artistry to the detriment of story dynamic. The upshot was by the end – the majority of the audience seemed confused about what the film was actually trying to say and several people admitted they lost interest. It made sense after we were told by Michael after the film, but it wasn’t obvious during the film itself. The editor in me was shouting “cut down, re-focus and make it more concise”. But why not make your own mind up?

If nothing else this re-enforces the point that you can get away with a couple of technical aspects so long as the story and character dynamics keep an audience captivated. It doesn’t work the other way around. Good storytelling is the single most important thing!

Speaking of good story-telling, one of the highlights of the evening for me was the showing of Medieval Hunger, a charming CGI animation made by Ryan Harrison and Monica Nanglu. This took about 6 months to complete with a core team of 5 people behind it. It took a simple idea and was extremely accomplished. The main criticism (easily fixed) would be that the opening/ending needed some editing work. These things could be easy fixed and well done to both Ryan and Monica – I found this simply delightful.

Other things showcased items were:

66 Months

A trailer shown in tribute for local film-maker Gordon Wilson who sadly died of a heart-attack aged 47 just before the 10×10 event. Gordon had a tough life himself and concentrated on making films about people marginalised who are in society. This film was made in collaboration with another Oxford Film-maker James Bluemel and follows the abusive relationship between two alcoholics over 66 months in Oxford – not for everyone, but very powerful stuff indeed!

Martin Lipson showed part of a documentary he produced (I believe it was called Leaving Home). This was the charting the history of his Grandfather who disappeared for several years for reasons apparently unknown. He managed to trace things back and uncover some of the facts which lead up to and followed this disappearance. This was a very personal piece. The thing which I particularly loved about this was what a wonderful gift will be to share with future generations of the family.

On School

This video campaign aims to open a new secondary school in Oxford, something which long overdue and hasn’t happened for far too long. It was made by local film-maker/campaigner Zoe Broughton and teacher Eylan Ezekiel. You felt for Eylan, he is very animated and easy to talk with in real-life, used to talking in a larger group. Yet he openly admitted it is a whole different world once a camera is directed at him (something I think most can relate with). This was punctuated with nice clips of hand-drawn pictures.

Etiquette screening (27th April)

Etiquette is the code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group (thanks Wikipedia). It is also our latest short film.

So if you see only one film on a big screen next weekend, see Avengers Assemble. If you see two (or you aren’t a fan of Superheroes) and you also live nearby Oxford then why not pop along to see our latest short film?

Alex Babic

Etiquette is a comedy which follows the mishaps of Trevor who is once again faced with his two worst fears in life: being social and the fairer sex. Trevor might not like the idea of the screening but hopefully you will. The film has a very “Oxford” flavour to it, being as it was filmed in the county, with mostly local actors and crew.Etiquette promo

After the film, there will be a short Question and Answer session with Director Andrew Carslaw and Producer Sherilee Wedderburn.

Still here?

Okay, here are the details:

  • The screening will begin at 7pm on Friday 27th April.
  • The event is free and you are invited to bring not just yourselves but friends, partners etc along also.
  • The film will be shown in The Denys Wilkinson Building, OX1 3RH – which is opposite St Giles Church on the corner of Keble Road/Banbury Road.

Hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please ask in the comments section below or on our Facebook Page here.