In this world of hi-tech communication pinging around, the new South West FilmMail is going old school with an email newsletter. The idea is to promote collaboration in the South West film community. We spoke to filmmaker Dom Lee – the force behind the new newsletter, who’s been selected for this year’s BFI Network x BAFTA Crew scheme – about what it is, how it will connect, and why you should sign up
D&CFilm: What is South West FilmMail?
Dom Lee: It’s a newsletter/mailing list which will share the latest work from filmmakers in the South West (which we’re classing as Cornwall, Devon, Somerset & Dorset), alongside casting and crew calls for local projects.
I’m also hoping to use it to promote showreels from actors, DOP’s, drone operators (any filmmaking craft really) so those looking to recruit people for their projects can see the talent around and keep people in mind.
I’m running it in collaboration with D&CFilm [full disclosure klaxon], so we’ll also be sharing some of their content and interviews with local filmmakers. As it’s a new idea, I’m very open to hearing from people what sort of content they’d like to be seeing and what would be most useful to them.
D&CFilm: Why have you decided to do it?
Dom Lee: As a filmmaker, one of the trickiest things is getting your work to be seen by people. Anyone who’s ever made a film will know that it’s a very difficult and time consuming thing to do, but if nobody actually sees it it’s a lot of effort for nothing!
That idea also combined with that I think it’s becoming increasingly difficult to get your work seen online anyway when you’re battling things like Facebook algorithms and that the average life of a Tweet is around 10 mins. Unless you’ve got a well supported page to begin from it’s a challenge. Groups like Shooters in the Pub seem to be winding down and even on the Facebook page for it, to me it seems there’s much less content being posted.
Whilst a mailing list is hardly a new idea, I’m not aware of anything else specifically targeted at South West filmmakers like this. I hope that if lots of people around the region sign up, it’ll enable local filmmakers’ work to ping directly into inboxes, introducing it to new people and giving it a fighting chance of being seen.
D&CFilm: What do you hope to achieve?
Dom Lee: I hope that it’ll give those involved in filmmaking in anyway around the South West a better idea of what else is being made in the area. It feels like filmmaking locally has become a bit disconnected at the moment so I’m hoping it might also prove to be a way of connecting filmmakers together which new potential collaborators, either cast or crew which can only be a positive.
Anytime I share any content, whether it’s a film or a showreel I intend to include that person’s website and social media pages (if available) so anyone reading the newsletter can get in touch with them direct if they’d like to discuss their work further. Again hopefully linking new people together.
D&CFilm: Who is this for, how can I subscribe and how regular will it be?
Dom Lee: This newsletter/mailing list will be for anybody who is involved, or has an interest in filmmaking in the South West. Directors, actors, camera crew, make-up artists. Anyone!
The direct landing page you can sign up by from is: https://mailchi.mp/969bc12ea387/swfilmmail
(And check out the menu, and other place on the D&CFilm website.)
How regular it is will come down to how much content people send over for us to share, so I’m hoping filmmaking folk around the region will get behind it and think that it’s something which can benefit everyone. I’m wary about spamming people though so it wouldn’t be excessive.
D&CFilm: How to get in touch with South West FilmMail?
Dom Lee: There’s links on any emails you’ll get from us which you can click to begin a new email to us or the direct email is email@example.com
And there’s a launch event at Studio 74, at the Exeter Phoenix on Saturday July 13.
The launch event will be a one off thing. I hope it’ll be a good event to come to for any who are looking to meet some other filmmakers in the area.
In the same spirit in which the newsletter/mailing list is being set up, I hope both actors and filmmakers will come along and support it, giving everyone a chance to see what films are being made in the area and the chance to meet some new and familiar faces.
D&CFilm: Thanks Dom, looking forward to seeing the South West FilmMail!
Also, for more hands-on connection check out the Filmmakers Lab