FilmWorks, the networked professional development scheme I’ve been on for the last few months, came to an end this Wednesday with a big event at the Watershed in Bristol. The fifteen of us “native” to the Bristol hub were joined by the 30 participants from the other two hubs – Sheffield and Nottingham, plus a number of invited industry figures who would all be mercilessly pitched to throughout the day.
Stop/Eject is the project I have been focusing on throughout FilmWorks, but somehow in the last few weeks The Dark Side of the Earth – a project that’s been on the back burner for a while – returned to the fore. I was lucky enough to be able to screen the 35mm pilot for this epic fantasy-adventure in the Watershed’s biggest cinema to all the participants and mentors. When it came to the speed-pitching session at the heart of the day’s event, having arrived without any fixed ideas, I ended up covering both Dark Side and Stop/Eject, but with the emphasis on the former.
The event ended FilmWorks on a real high, after some mixed feelings for me earlier on. I have to confess that there were weeks when I didn’t want to go to Bristol and hear yet again how hard the industry is to crack into, how it’s full of catch 22s, how the statistical likelihood of getting into festivals is so tiny… It was seriously depressing me. But what always picked me up were the other participants. It was inspirational to be surrounded by so many talented and enthusiastic people, and triply so when the other hubs joined us this week.
And that networking is the biggest thing I’m taking away from FilmWorks. Right now I can’t tell exactly how these contacts will help me in the future, but I have no doubt whatsoever that they will.