We’ve picked up the summary of a Devon filmmaker’s conversations with young British film makers… and why the bodies channelling public money will actively destroy the filmmakers they are supposed to support… Here’s the upshot.
You’re a young enthusiastic film maker. You get a grant to make a short film. The funding body express excitement about your idea. Once the paperwork is signed the funding body however start to re-write your idea, jettisoning any aspect of said idea that made it unusual. Your idea is homogenised and although bleetings are made regarding promotions and screenings, the resulting film is screened once. And never again.
This is the South West Screen experience.
You’re a young enthusiastic film maker. You apply for script development funding. You know you’re punching well above your weight but you see this as an opportunity to shape an embryonic idea into something tangible. The funding body express excitement about your idea. They say it shows ‘enormous potential’. You are encouraged to bid for the full funding amount. You manage to attract a real script editor with impressive genre credentials.
More time passes.
The funding body return and advise you to half the bid amount.
It is halved again. The funding body question and ridicule your choice of established editor. They do not know him. They suggest one of their own. You have not heard of her.
The script, once possessing ‘enormous potential’ becomes ‘the only script they have ever read that has defeated them’.
You’re a young enthusiastic film maker. You press on regardless. You read the small print. The grant that you are selling your soul for is not a grant after all. It is a loan. To be paid back in full the second the film goes into production…
You’re an enthusiastic young film maker. You do what’s right. You get out of there.
This is the Creative England experience.
The bodies supposed to actively support diversity in film making in Britain are actually crippling it. No-one knows what they are doing. ‘Art Grants’ are no longer grants, they have become ‘Art loans’. The money is no longer reaching the artists. It is devoured by admin.
Don’t join them. Beat them.
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