From the beginning of this process I was sceptical about making this film as it is a truly emotional and heartbreaking story to both my contributor and I, and I also didn’t want to lay our friendship on the line as well as possibly put my contributor at risk when having to re-feel and re-live painful moments of the past. However, I was assured that I had a solid idea and I would be silly not to at least try, and so after many meetings with my personal tutor and discussions with my contributor the final project was underway.
At the beginning of creating ‘Instability’ there was only myself and technical crew, and so I was urged to start early on with pre production, getting recordings, writing a transcript, making a shot list, going through my experimental process of cutting up the audio and reordering with my chosen shot list, and researching around mental health. I had this all done by the beginning of 2013 and I am I am glad I did so as I felt confident with the project and my progression. Had I not started the pre production process early this would have made things very heavy for myself and later on for Dean who joined the project as my Producer. Dean joining the project was a Godsend as the closer it drew to my filming dates the more it seemed I had to do, and when Dean came on board it was just such a relief to be able to delegate jobs and have myself focus on directing and not worry too much about paperwork. I can now say that I will never take on a project again without either planning at least a year in advance or having a producer or project manager, as it is evident that even though I may want to you cannot always do and be everything. The best thing about having someone else produce is that they think of things that you may have overlooked and have a fresh take on things, as very often I was too clouded by being so emotionally connected to the story at hand that I forgot some essential things such as contracts, risk assessments, location releases etc. This wasn’t because I didn’t know I had to do them but because up until two weeks before filming when Dean graced us with his presence I was beginning to drown in paperwork.
We have been very efficient with our pre production work and worked really well as a team which is the greatest thing of all, as we Dean I gel well and are able to bounce ideas off each other making the project a pleasure to work on rather a chore, this is also down to reliability as when you have either a director or producer you need to know that they are 100% reliable, and focused on the job at hand.
The production process went up and down like a yo-yo as we ran into all sorts of problems in the lead up to filming for example the day before I was told that one of my camera men might not be able to come to the shoot as a close relative had passed away. This was of course a blow to the mind but as a director I was able to sympathise and come to a compromise with the crew member as it was too short notice and far too late in the day to find a replacement for the next two days. The whole lead up was nerve wrecking but I managed to keep it together and be professional, staying in my role and setting the crew straight to work once arriving at our destination. I had already scheduled the shots for each day that Dean had then collated within a production pack for everybody, which was really useful as everybody knew what was going on and there was no time wasted in figuring out what to do next. One of my strengths is having authority and this showed when filming as I delegated and communicated clearly and thoroughly with my crew, making sure that everyone was doing their job and getting the task at hand done. However, this in not to say that I was extremely strict with my crew, but I was professional meaning that on set I was no longer a good friend but a colleague at the least and a director first and foremost. There were times where I could see my contributors emotions getting the better of her and in hindsight, having her act was probably not the best idea, although I felt it gave the film more depth. The fact that my contributor was the subject made everything a lot more complicated as her identity had to be kept to a minimum meaning that shots couldn’t be explored as much as we may have wanted and the angles of shots became more complicated, though I saw this as a challenge and was positive that we as a team could make it all happen. We in fact worked superbly as a team communicating and supporting one another and I know that I picked the best crew possible as each one of them worked hard, respected the nature of the film and offered different views and technicalities. I would have liked more movement with some shots, however, as the booking system changed after I had already pre booked my equipment there were a few things unavailble to me and so we had to make the best of what we had. Though thinking about it now, our locations wer so small and complex that we probably wouldn’t have fit a glide or track in anywhere apart from outside.
Post production I think has been the hardest for myself as when recording my contributor for the film, it was the first time I had heard every little detail, action and emotion, which was really hard to listen to over and over again whilst going through the editing stages, often having to walk out of the room or go home with little to no notice. I realised that this couldn’t go on if the project was to be finished and so to rectify things I took my producer and editor aside to explain the situation I was in and assured them that I was going to try my best to separate my emotions and asked them just to be a little patient with me. We went through at least three or four edits before showing people as we wanted to be 70% happy with it leaving room for improvement from feedback from others, this seemed to work as the feedback we got were based on issues we were already aware about but gave us some nice perspective from other points of view. Although this was the hardest stage for me it was also the one I was worried about the least as we started editing early on and I had complete faith in my editor Sean as I knew from seeing his previous work that he was creative enough to come back with something fresh, which he did. Dean and I had many tutorials with our personal tutor and gaining feedback was the most useful thing as we took it all on board and with making a few amendments we managed to get to a point where we were all happy with at least 98 % of it. The trailer took little to no time at all going through three small edits, as Sean and I had previously discussed ideas and he knew exactly what I wanted, making it a pleasure to have him on board also, as he is a very talented editor and knows just what to do in order to make things look amazing, without being asked twice.
Dean and I have worked closely on distribution working on designs and generating new ideas this has been a great process as we watched our film finally coming to life with distribution and pr material. Most of the putting together of the distribution material was done by Dean as he acquired the necessary skills where as I did not, though I helped out where I could but this was Dean’s forte and he took it on as part of his role. The worst thing about this particular part of the process has been trying to gain the rights of the end track within our film which is proving to be rather difficult, however, we have made sure we are clear to hand in our production and have made the executive decision of creating two more edits; one that uses a cover version of the song and one without the song completely. Hopefully we will be able to continue with the original or at least a cover version for releasing as we really don’t wish to take the song out simply because it ends the film and story on a high note expressing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Overall I can truly say that I am completely happy with our production, the film looks great, the trailer is working and has picked up many views already, and the promotional material looks fantastic. It has been a hard few months but with help and support we have managed to complete this project to very high standard. I would definitely choose the same crew over and over again, they have been a pleasure to work with and have helped create something we can all be proud of.
Having a budget is essential to making a film as this will either make of break it. When making a budget you have to be realistic in terms of accounting for time and things that may go wrong, as well as miscellaneous items that may need to be paid for along the way this is called a ‘contingency’. You have to include absolutely everything within a budget which means being very thorough and open minded to costs of cameras and equipment to the cost of parking meters.
Throughout this production we have noted down all costs keeping receipts and invoices as evidence. The budget has changed a lot since the beginning of the project, however, everything was taken into consideration apart from distribution material which we didn’t know the cost of until we had made our designs and set quantities. In reflection there could have been money saved from the night that wasn’t spent at the hotel, though this was a contingency in case we had to pick up any extra shots which we could unfortunately not do due to the circumstances on the second day of filming. I believe we have been thorough and tried to keep costs down whether by shopping around or gaining cashback on processed orders and items.
Here is our complete budget breakdown, now completed:
There are some people who make films just for the sake of making a film and there are some people who make films for them to be succesful. We are the latter. We want this film to go worldwide helping to raise awareness for mental health and opening peoples eyes to what someone with mental health goes through. In order to do this we need to spread the word far and wide and although we have flyers and business cards, we needed something that everyone can access whether having been directed by the business cards and flyers or not.
Thus we created a simple website for Instability that holds intrigue and tells a little more about the film, including the film synopsis, faq’s and screening dates. Like with everything else we wanted to keep it simple and minimal as the film speaks for itself in a thousand words.
We simply created this website using iWeb and then creating and buying a web domain to host it, which can be found at www.InstabilityFilm.com
Part of being professional is to not only have a professional outlook but to also have a professional image, no I’m not talking about what your wearing although that does matter too, I’m talking company image.
Originally when I made the name Annacitric I didn’t have a logo, until I came to make ‘Instability’ and I made a quick logo just to sit on the facebook and twitter page. My producer and I then discussed about redesigning the logo to make it look more professional than just a picture, and so I took it upon myself to try and design a new logo, however this would be temporary until I found someone who could design it properly.
Thankfully I helped out two graphic design students without knowing it and they offered to repay the favour and so I passed on the logo to one of them and asked them if they could redesign it and make it look better. This was done in a matter of days of asking them and we ended up having 5 options before settling on one.
We went for the classic showreel with film wrapped around it, but having the reel look like the inside of a lemon as this takes from the ‘citric’ part of the production name, and obviously film is what we do. The first look of the new logo seemed too cartoon like and so we asked for a changes to be made mainly the style of font, giving our designer a few font options to add to the mix. This is how we came to our new logo that not only looks professional but looks fresh and sits well with what we had imagined:
These are few of the others we came from:
As we have already filmed and got a stage in editing where we are beginning to be happy with it, after tweaking and changing bits using the feedback we have been given as a guide we thought it would be good to go and to an experimental screening and discussion to compare our work.
The talk and screening was held at the Herbert Art Gallery and was taken by artists Louise and Jane Wilson, who discussed their experimental film ‘Unfolding the Aryan Papers’
‘It splices together new footage with original photographs from the archive in this beautifully shot film which draws together many layers of history and memory.
Co-owned by Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London; Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry and Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures and facilitated and supported by the Contemporary Art Society. Commissioned by Animate Projects and the BFI, London.’
The film uses images and footage from the Kubrick Archives that were intended by Stanley Kubrick to make ‘Aryan Papers’; an adaptation of novel ‘Wartime Lies’ (a Holocaust novel by Louis Begley) but after a lengthy process he decided to scrap the film, this may have been down to painful memories of family members in the Holocaust.
Not only does the film use original footage and pictures, but Jane and Louise took it one step further by using pieces of the original script and finding the original actress who was cast for the main character in the original production and getting her to speak about her experience; the audition process and costume fitting process, as the images and old footage were taken through the costume fitting process.
Jane and Louise took Kubrick’s ‘Aryan Papers’ and broke it down fragmenting it and then putting it back together in order to make ‘Unfolding Aryan Papers’. The exhibition installation is built up of a black gauze box with a screen inside and a mirror either side of the screen, which is to represent and intensify the folding and unfolding of the ‘Aryan Papers’.
It was interesting to see this work as it had many of the same characteristics of our film, with repeated images, the person not only telling the story but having been the focus in the visuals also. A lot of people have mentioned the repetitive images but we have them as a representation of the actions, thoughts and feelings that go round and round repeating themselves in the mind of a mentally unstable person. The talk was particularly interesting as you could see the passion of the filmmakers and the intrigue behind the original story which enabled them to engage so fully. From this you could see and tell that thee artists only worked on projects that they felt drawn to or felt passionately about. Our film like this one holds intrigue and is made with true passing and engagement from myself as the filmmaker.
In addition to the festival research I have already done we have now looked further into festivals as this will be our second approach to distribute the film other than online. After going to the Phillip Bloom talk and hearing him say that online is much more productive for a film than to push it through film festivals as they can waste a lot of money and often don’t reach a wide enough audience. With that in mind we plan to enter into a few festivals that cost little to nothing and suit the unconventional nature of our film, and put it online as long as the requirements of the festivals allow us to.
Gaining something like a Vimeo Staff Pick will be more beneficial to us than winning an award at a small festival as Vimeo Staff Picks are worldly recognised videos that are pushed out through Vimeo to all their users and followers, and this also means getting recognised in New York and possibly the rest of America. Phillip Bloom explains that more people will watch a Staff Pick video from Vimeo than they will go to a festival and watch a bunch of films.
Staff Picks are hand picked by the staff of Vimeo within NY. and gain on average twelve thousand views per week. Some video views reach as high as fourty thousand just within the first six days.
Online is proving to be the new way to watch films on demand whenever and where ever you are, hence why we have created the website which has already had views within two days of being live.
Here are some of the festivals we have looked at seriously entering:
Leamington Underground Cinema Festival
Monday 23rd and Sunday 29th September 2013.
The Leamington Underground Cinema Festival will be expanding on LUC’s unique approach to film events and spreading it out over a whole week in venues across the town. There will be screenings of some great cult features and shorts, some very special events and two prizes of £1000 up for grabs.
- A short film competition, THE LUC SHORT FILM PRIZE 2013 which is free for all to enter and will award a first prize of £1000.
- Some cool and exclusive feature length and short-film screenings throughout the week
- An evening of musical and cinematic entertainment at Leamington’s exciting newLive Art and Music Project venue
- An astounding £1000 prize for the best soundtrack cover by a band at what will no doubt be a blinding evening at The Clarendon – all part of our unique SCORE-CRAZY! competition – get practicing now.
- …and of course, the mother of all Jon Kennedy film quiz extravaganzas.
The Short Film Prize is open to anyone and films of any style/genre.
– Films must be under 10 minutes long.
– Films must be from 2010 or later.
– One entry per person
Films should be available in digital format or on Blu-Ray/DVD
Submission deadline: Fri 2nd Aug 13
Chichester International Film Festival:
15 August – 1 September 2013
The highlight of the Cinema’s year is the 18-day Chichester 15 to September 1. The 22nd film festival will launch with two open air screenings on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 August in Priory Park across the road from the cinema. Last year’s were ‘Guys and Dolls’,starring Marlon Brandon and Frank Sinatra, and Special Preview ‘Brave’, the latest Pixar animation film.
Audiences can enjoy over 100 feature films during the biggest film festival in the South East plus Q&As with visiting directors and talks supporting the programming. Over half the films shown are Previews and Premieres, the remainder rubbing shoulders with Classics and Retrospectives on major players in the Film world as well as tributes.
Opening and Closing Gala Preview or Premiere Films include Dinner hosted by Raymond Blanc’s Brasserie Blanc around the corner from the 34 year old independent cinema.
Feature films are welcomed for consideration.
Submission deadline: Sat 1st Jun 13
Loch Ness Film Festival
Fri 26th Jul to Sun 28th Jul
Loch Ness Film Festival is an independent film festival that aims to screen short films from anyone as long as they are good enough and entertaining. We mainly take submissions that are short films 15 minutes and under.
The first ever Loch Ness Film Festival debuted September 2010 at various venues. We screened everything from shorts, features, documentaries to established previously released films at the box office. The range of films we screen are diverse and can come from every corner of the globe to just somebody around the corner from where we live and to somebody with no budget to someone with high budgets and funding.
Anybody over 18 can either submit or attend the film festival from and reside from anywhere in the world. We are only looking in terms of submissions for short films 15 minutes and can be any genre look for the best stories and the most entertaining short films.
We accept DVD in PAL format and the filmmaker has to pay the submission fee of £10 via paypal on our website and submit 1 copy of their film on dvd along with the one page submission form (which can be found in our website in the submissions page) filled in and post to our submission address.
We do require the filmmaker to pay the submission fee via our paypal which is £10 before you submit with your name and film title on the paypal instructions. If the fee is not paid we will not watch or consider your film.
Submission deadline: Fri 24th May 13
Box[Ur]Shorts Film Festival
This film festival operates all year
At box[ur]shorts Film Festival we literally “box your shorts”. Besides our annual event where the finalists are screened on the big screen, box[ur]shorts Film Festival will show all competing movies in artistic movie jukeboxes, at multiple locations all over the world. The films are programmed to loop non-stop on different size LCD screens along with the possibility for the viewer make a selection from interactive menu.
Golden box[ur]shorts™ Award – Cash value: $1,000
Silver box[ur]shorts™ Award – Cash value: $500
Bronze box[ur]shorts™ Award – Cash value: $250
box[ur]shorts™ Best Student Film Award – Value: $18,000
box[ur]shorts™ Audience Choice Award
Anybody who has made a great short film, commercial or music video.
Any format is OK.
July 1st – $30
August 1st – $40
September 1st – $50
Student Discount: $10
Submission deadline: Operates all year round.
November 25 – December 1, 2013
Short films are the essence of our times. Non-commercial fiction, documentaries, animation and experimental films can be submitted. Euroshorts is one of Poland’s most important events promoting domestic and international short films. The Festival has published six DVD’s showing the hits of its non-commercial and commercial zones.
Special Mentions for Young Artists
We invite short films shot in Europe and in other Continents in 2012-2013, not exceeding 30 minutes in length.
Multimedia file sent via Internet
Link to the film posted in the Internet
No entry fees
A donation of 25,00 € is encouraged that goes to the Young Cinema Foundation, the Festival Organizer.
Submission deadline: September 30th, 2013
UpandComing International Film Festival
21.-24. November 2013
The festival intends to present works which are imaginative, unusual, humorous, provocative and unconventional while encouraging experimentation in style, content and form.
The festival also welcomes the results of first-time work in these media.
This is a discovery festival – films/videos by the up-and-coming generation
a festival too cool to be ignored
a festival too fun to be serious
a festival to entertain and provoke
a festival to push the boundaries between different genre & media
what you send us will define the programming
we welcome work that is concise / innovative
All young film / video makers up to the age of 27
There are no limits to subject or duration.
All works must have been completed after 1. January 2010.
DV, DVD, Betacam SP, 16mm, 35mm
Submission deadline: 01. August. 2013
Portobello Film Festival
29 AUGUST – 15 SEPTEMBER
The Film Festival was created in 1996 as a reaction to the moribund state of the British film industry, to provide a forum for new film-makers and give exposure to movies on different formats. Many of our previously out-on-a-limb directors have since been recognised by the big fish in the industry. The festival has been dubbed ‘the wild side of Brit Film’ (Metro), ‘this pioneering film festival’ (Evening Standard), ‘the biggest celebration of independent film in Europe’ (The Independent) and ‘London’s biggest filmic free-for-all’ (Time Out). That the Portobello Film Festival shows tomorrow’s films today is evident in the number of ideas first presented here that regularly crop up in the mainstream.
Best London Film Prize £1000
Submission deadline: 14 June 2013
In order to create an epk we first need to know what it is and what goes into one. It is quite simply one of the best tools to provide necessary information about our film and what we do.
What is an EPK?
‘An electronic press kit (EPK) is a set of videos and CD-Roms with photos, interviews with the principal cast and crew, duplicated and distributed to appropriate people. It is difficult to accomplish on a lo-to-no budget.’
It is an essential part of a press kit.
What goes into it?
- Production Stills
- Cast & Crew Bios
- Essential Contact
- Social Media/Interactive
Now reading what an epk is, it is true to say that we have accomplished this using our original idea of creating an iBook. which means that we can publicise the film even more so, on the likes of iTunes in order for people to download it onto their iPhone, iPod’s and iPad’s providing them easy access to information about us and our film.
Here is what our finished version looks like, we will be printing this out as a catalogue and handing it out to people at the degree shows who show a lot of interest in the film. We also have a pdf version on our website www.InstabilityFilm.com and if you click here you can see the full version >>>*Instability EPK Booklet*<<<