Transmit:Project – Are you the next big thing?

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Are you a musician/filmmaker/artist/photographer/organisation etc who would like more people to know about your work and what you do?

Perhaps you always wanted to know what musicians/filmmakers/artists/photographers etc live and work and create in Medway?

Would you like to transmit your art?  Would you like to project your talent?

Transmit:Project is a brand new project all about getting known.  Its all about providing a platform for upcoming and established artist and performers.  It’s all about having one place where people can go to find out more about the huge amount of talent that currently thrives in Medway.

This is going to be the place for local talent to be seen and heard.  This is going to be the place where audience inside and outside Medway will come to see what talent is around.  A while ago I wrote about some of the Medway scene with the popular Medway Visions articles.  I hope these will morph into transmit:project files as well as adding new ones all the time.

But it needs you.  Without talents to write about/broadcast then this project won’t get very far.  Make yourself heard.  Contact us.

Here’s how it works:

You send me a bio and some details about your work.

You send me a link to your work/send a cd etc.

With these things I can write about you.

You also send me a video file of you performing or a music video (musicians), interview/sequence of pictures of art (artists), sequence of photos (photographers) a short film (filmmaker).

With this I can post a clip of you/your work.  (If you can’t get a video file to me then contact me anyway and we can sort something out)

This will then be shown from the transmit:project broadcast channel:

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8NHTvq6pzCSPZVfrOzDmzg

In time this project might spread out, but, for now, it’s all about Medway.  And what better place to start.  Transmitting art.  Projecting talent.

The Moon The Eye

transmitproject@themoontheeye.com

www.themoontheeye.com/transmitproject

www.facebook.com/Transmit.Project

Wild Whispers: Diary of a Filmmaker – Episode 2

You won’t need telling how important social networking is to filmmaking these days.  It has become an essential tool of the trade.  Facebook is great for getting friends and friends of friends onboard with your projects but it’s Twitter where things get really interesting.  I have had a Twitter account for years but only really started using it at the start of the year.  Almost instantly I started meeting all sorts of incredible people.  Yes, people who I might work with but also people who you can learn from.  As the old saying goes, independent doesn’t mean alone; and with Twitter you certainly enjoy a feeling of comradeship with other filmmakers, at all levels, working hard to make projects work.

It’s been a busy year for me full of networking and beginning new projects.  Of course, my main priority is to make a new short film and a second feature film but I also had released a DVD of my short films and my musical project 7th Adventure Recordings had just released a debut CD.  You can see them here: www.themoontheeye.co.uk/onlineshop

Also with new contacts and friends being made left right and centre a couple other projects barged their way to the front of the queue.  As well as this diary I also write a series of articles about the arts scene where I live in Medway, Kent, UK.  You can read them here:

www.themoontheeye.co.uk/articles

After writing about a couple of local musicians it grew into something interesting.  I was asked to make a video for the upcoming single by Medway band Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society.  I listened to the track and straightaway I wanted to work on the 1930’s feel of the song.  I shot, as I often do, very fast and edited within a couple of days or so. You can see the video to ‘Call Me Dave’ by Stuart Turner & The Flat Earth Society here:

Following this I was asked by Lupen Crook to make a video for the lead single from his new album.  The deadline was very tight on this on.  I worked day and night to pull off an ambitious shoot, people kept dropping out, as is often the way with non-funded projects but, if you have time you can get anything done.  You either need time or money.  We had neither.  In the end the idea had to be shelved.

It was a pity but also a bit of a relief as I could now take myself away from that particular project and get back to the long delayed writing. It was a struggle.  One of my problems (it happens to be a strength too) is that I have MANY projects on the go.  It became very easy to work on different projects but not really the ones I needed to.  Writing is hard, at least for me.  Any distraction would take me away from it.

Mr Young

Then came a family holiday in France.  A secluded little place, no internet.  It meant my online conversations, my networking had to cease.  It worked.  I started to think once more about, firstly, my next short film called Dreamplayr.  I needed to think about those characters, the situation, the problems.  I needed to stop thinking about my other projects for a while.  I needed to stop thinking about Twitter and Facebook and networking.  I even tried to write something but, and here is where it got scary, I couldn’t write a thing.  Well, nothing that was any good anyhow.   It felt like I really needed to get to the bottom, to totally switch off.  So, rather than panicking, I put my pen down and just let my mind sink to the bottom.  No doubt the vast array of French cheeses and wines on offer helped with that.  On the way home I could feel that, somehow, the story was ready.

Once I returned I switched on my computer and wrote Dreamplayr very quickly.  I’m happy with it.  It works.  I will cast and start shooting that very soon.

And so it seems that, for me at least, in order to communicate with the characters I’m writing about the only course of action is to retreat into solitude.   Perverse though it sounds to find out more about life and people we have to retreat from it.  At least for a while.

.Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

This article previously published by The Indie Times (www.theindietimes.com)

Wild Whispers: The Diary of a Filmmaker – Episode 1

It dawned on my fairly recently what a long hard struggle it is being an independent artist, possible more so being an independent filmmaker.  I thought, if only I REALLY knew what it was like in the world of filmmaking would I have done things differently?  I’m not sure.   In these articles I will document how things are in the indie film world.  I plan to shoot a feature next summer.  Will it happen?  HOW will it happen?  Well, dear reader, with any luck you shall be privy to the process, the ups and downs, the ins and out, the triumph and despair of such ventures.

I first decided I wanted to become a filmmaker when I was at college.  For a while before that I knew that I didn’t quite think in the same way as my peers.  I think I wanted to be a pop star but not playing an instrument, being able to write a song or even hold a tune put paid to that.  Then I saw a few films that left a mark on me.  I saw how film was going to become my form of expression.  It was more than that though.  It wasn’t just about telling a story, it was about creating a FEELING.  Even now, I’m not interested in art that just tells stories or in art for art’s sake.  I need to discover a FEELING.  I think that’s it, my overriding desire as a filmmaker is to create a feeling in films.  That’s the only way I can explain it, at least for now.

My first thoughts were ‘how will I make it in this industry?’  A mistaken thought.  There is no film ‘industry’.  Hasn’t been for a long time.  Not in the UK anyway.  Eventually I realised that there are creative people who work on films and filmmakers who create films from the bottom to the top.  I realised, after a brief flirtation in the erm, ‘industry’ that it was the latter camp I fell into.  So from now on it was a case of working full time to pay the bills but filmmaking was always my REAL career.

And that’s when the dawn hit me.  I was an outsider.  My role was to pull various fragments together from inside my head and from the real word to make things happen.    Years of hard work, years of working as an outsider to, well, pretty much everything.  The long slog.  This is a potted history, I will reveal more about these films, and the process of making them, over time.  First up, I made a few short films with varying degrees of success.  No funding, just using what was available to me.  Even back then it became fairly clear to me that public funding was a tricky issue.  I don’t have anything against public funding at all.  It is fairly obvious that it’s a deeply flawed system though.  Still, that’s a discussion for another day.

After a while it dawned on me that I needed to make a feature film.  Public funding simply wouldn’t be forthcoming for what I wanted to do so I set off to the Arctic to make a documentary about life up there.  How does that work?  Well, I volunteered for a charity and that effectively paid for my film.  The in-kind budget was around 10,000UKP.  Naturally, as is the way being an indie, I did the project for free.  Which was fair enough, of course, nobody asked me to do it.  It was my own project.  The film took some time to edit but ‘East 3 – Exploring a Frozen Frontier’ premiered in New York in 2007, went onto play in Chicago, toured the UK and then screened on UK television.  I was even interviewed about it on BBC Newsroom South East.

A few more short films followed (by now I was getting better at promoting them and they were all broadcast on UK TV).  The method and philosophy remained the same, shoot with what I had to hand, create a feeling.  This year I realised I had gone as far as I could with my old short films and so packaged them up into a compilation DVD ‘Caged Fire – The Short Films of Mr Young’  It felt right to say goodbye to these films as I now need to focus on a new set of objectives.  Yes, more short films but a feature film too.

Now, we come too making the second feature.  This time, a narrative film.  The question is, ‘how does one get from where I am now to making a feature length story?’  Will it even work out?  I have no idea.  Not yet.   I guess this diary will reveal all.

So, would I have done things differently?  I doubt it.  It’s very hard but also very rewarding when you follow your own path.  Right now the only genuine path for the independent filmmaker is the one you make yourself.  It’s a wild path with only whispers in the wind to help.  With any luck though I might see some paths that have been cleared already and I certainly hope, with the wise and not so wise words in this diary, I may just clear a path or two for you.

You can buy both  ’East 3 – Exploring a Frozen Frontier’ and ‘Caged Fire – The Short Films of Mr Young’ here:

www.themoontheeye.co.uk/onlinestore

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

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A Medway Vision Special – Why Medway Needs a Film Festival

Yes, I know.  I’m a filmmaker.  It’d be strange if I DIDN’T want a film festival in Medway.  But the fact is, Medway needs a film festival and what’s more there are some very pertinent reasons why:

1/  Strategy – One of Medway council’s priorities is to harness the creative industries to bring cash and other nice things into the area.  What better way to do that than to set-up a festival that draws punters in and gets them drinking and eating in local venues?  Good for creativity, good for the local economy.

2/  Skills sharing – It’s not just about money either.  It’s about building confidence, skills, pride and hearing voices.  Local people from all walks of life can get involved, from the volunteers who help set it up to the local talent who can display their hard work.  Alongside this, local and not so local filmmakers can share skills with a variety of local communities in order to develop voices, to develop the Medway story, if you will.

3/   Special times, special measures – As I have been arguing in these articles, Medway is in a special place artistically right now.  This needs to be capitalised on.  Film festivals mean creative guests, means more networking, means more creativity.  It’s a win, win situation.

4/  Prestige – Most self-respecting places the size of Medway have film festivals.  And I believe we are more creative than most.  Many of these festivals start off small, some even remain small.  But the point is, knowing your town will be hosting a selection of the best moving pictures from around the world AND running them side by side with local work that’s equally as effecting can only be a good thing.

5/  Promoting and watching film – I don’t mean the standard Odeon fare.  That’s easy to see.  Just go to the Odeon or pop the tele on if that’s your bag.  I mean the more leftfield stuff, the challenging films that build from the film festivals to become important pieces of cinema.  Surely we want to be part of that?  Surely we want access to films not available at the cinema chains?

6/  Education – What better way to convince the next generation, or even this generation of film fans, that there is more to life than chain cinema films?  Independent features, international documentaries, short films, music videos…you can almost taste the excitement can’t you?

7/ It’s already started – Yeah, I couldn’t resist.  I’ve already set up the webpage www.medwayvisions.tumblr.com in the hope that the creative people of Medway come on board and that the audience will be willing to come and watch.  My film company The Moon The Eye will run the show but I can’t do it on my own.  Heck, I wouldn’t even want to try.  It needs people, organisations on board to lend a hand in whatever way they know how.  Yes, it NEEDS you.  It’s here, but it will only work if we ALL get involved.

So, who’s with me?

.

Mr Young

Independent Filmmaker

www.themoontheeye.co.uk

www.twitter.com/Mr_Young

www.facebook.com/themoontheeye

Mr Young