Dedicated to development, the new Filmmakers Lab in Exeter is delivery networking and skill-building opportunities for filmmakers in Devon and the South West.
Membership with benefits
The membership-based organisation (£25 per year, with a load of benefits) is ‘open to all, but targeted at early-career filmmakers who have an aspiration to develop themselves further’.
The first meeting, which took place in September outlined the plan for the monthly events, featuring a selection of guest speakers, alternating with ‘in house’ workshops, training and networking events.
Attendees were also asked what they would like to see included in the programme.
“This provoked some lively discussion and at the end of it we felt we had a better understanding of how best to take the project forward,” said Jeff Sleeman, one of the organisers.
A wealth of talent
“Having been involved in a number of Devon-based film projects, both behind and in front of the camera, I know what a wealth of talent there is in this part of the world – not to mention some spectacular film locations, excellent technical resources and a very supportive creative arts community,” said Jeff.
“As well as helping aspiring new filmmakers, our mission is to raise the profile of Devon as a desirable location to make films and create more opportunities for everyone involved in the industry here.”
The next meeting, taking place on October 8, will focus on how to pitch and develop your film idea, guided by Bristol-based award-winning writer-director, Rob Brown. Rob’s film Sixteen won Best Film at the 2017 Royal Television Society West Awards.
Following that will be a Two Short Nights film festival special on Wednesday 28 November, which will include a talk on how to obtain funding for your project by Alice Cabanas from the British Film Institute.
There will also be a Q&A session with director Dean Puckett, together with a screening of his new short film, The Sermon.
A long-term ambition
‘Our long-term ambition,’ says the Filmmakers Lab site, ‘is to support a growth of regional filmmaking talent and increase the quality of locally produced films.
‘We also aim to raise awareness of the South West as a central hub for film production, to ultimately attract more productions to the region and create local job opportunities.’