As I mentioned in my last post, I was selected into ‘Bridging the Gap’, a series of workshops run by The Scottish Documentary Institute. I developed my short film ‘Flight’ for six weeks and received some incredible workshops from Thierry Garrel, Grant Keir and Eva Mulvad.
( I am in this picture… well… my nose is, just.)
I had an amazing time and I learned so much from the SDI and the other filmmakers. Before this workshop I could not pitch to save myself… ask anyone from my HND TV class and they’ll tell you that I didn’t successfully pitch once in the whole two years. Standing up in front of a room of people and talking for more than five minutes is my idea of a complete nightmare. After a day with pitching expert Grant Keir, I felt (slightly) more confident with the idea of it.
The experience of the commissioning pitch seems like a hazy and almost dream-like memory now. I felt that it went okay but it’s always hard to tell how you’ve performed. In the feedback I received I was told that I gave a confident pitch, conveying passion for the film. (Surprising, I know). They said that they could see my potential as a filmmaker and that they understood the real urgency to make the film.
(The view of the castle made the whole experience slightly more surreal.)
Despite this I was not one of the four projects selected for commission. The time and scale of the project to show the journey and depth of characters would not be enough for a ten-minute film. I completely agree with this and had the same concerns myself. I would rather spend longer and do the film justice, telling the story from different angles and through the eyes of people other than my own.
This was when I decided to apply for a programme called ‘Fast Track To Features’ with The Sheffield Doc Fest.
I feel very grateful to say that I’ve been selected into stage one of the process and will be in Newcastle next week attending the first workshop!
I would have no idea how to begin creating a feature length documentary and I’m hoping that this experience will be as rewarding as Bridging the Gap. As I’ve expressed many times, it’s quite daunting to be 20 years old and no longer in education. Being a part of Bridging the Gap gave me structure where there was none and I’m excited to embark on another project.
(If anyone is interested and would like to hear more about the project or watch the current trailer, send me an email! (email@example.com) It’s a documentary focusing on the effects of the conflict in Syria on my family. It will explore how the events of the past two years have impacted the lives of family still living in Damascus, unable to leave.)
To end on a slightly random note… Here is the song that I listened to right before pitching. Not sure why, but Alex Turner’s voice definitely helped with my nerves.