GFF Industry Focus Blog – Innes Goodall
BA Film at Napier
It’s an incredible place to be as a young filmmaker, and I’d love to tell you about a few of my highlights from the week
Film festivals were there at the very beginning of my journey in film, as I became a member of the Youth Jury for the Edinburgh Schools Film Competition at the Edinburgh International Film Festival when I was 13, kickstarting my love for film. Since then, my years spent volunteering at EIFF have been intertwined closely with my film education, eventually getting into university to study film. As my degree comes to an end and I go out to work professionally as a filmmaker, I’m always looking for advice and connections to help me continue to be creative without the university safety net.
It’s been wonderful to connect more with other student filmmakers, especially the other delegates from SDTN
So I was hugely excited to find out that I’d been awarded one of the Scottish Drama Training Network’s delegate passes to the Glasgow Film Festival Industry Focus, a week of masterclasses, panels, and events for filmmakers. It covers all sides of the industry, from development and financing to distribution and marketing, with workshops run by people at the top levels of the industry. It’s an incredible place to be as a young filmmaker, and I’d love to tell you about a few of my highlights from the week.
The main thing I loved about the week was just how close knit a community was created at the Industry Hub. Filmmakers, executives, and students are all rubbing shoulders in the same rooms and grabbing drinks together at the networking drinks every night. It’s so easy to connect with people who can give you advice, and everyone was really friendly. It’s also been wonderful to connect more with other student filmmakers, especially the other delegates from SDTN. From the first night at the GFF Film Quiz (where we didn’t come last!! A victory!) I had an amazing time talking to them, going to events together, and discussing what we love about filmmaking. Whenever there wasn’t an event on, you would almost always find us sitting on our laptops in the Industry Hub getting work done! The film industry is all about who you know, so this was a great week for meeting other filmmakers that I’d love to work with in future.
Stories are how we communicate as humans, how we connect to one another, and film’s capacity for storytelling and making us feel something is so powerful
The second thing I loved about the week was how much I learned as an aspiring producer. It’s difficult to find good training on lesser thought about areas of producing like financing and distribution, but GFF really covered everything I could think of. The Marketing 101 workshop made me aware of how important planning for marketing and distribution is, and how early in a project you need to start thinking of it. From thinking about who your audience is, to getting stills during production, I’ve learned how I can make my films easier to market after they’re made. To get them made, it was really interesting to hear from Brendan McCarthy and John McDonnell from Fantastic Films about how they finance their films through European co-productions. The scale of what they do, working with 3-4 countries on each project, is so much more complex than anything I had ever seen before. I had never considered before that this might be something I would need to do to finance films, so it was awesome to hear about it from people with so much expertise. One last workshop I thought was amazingly specific was the panel on Clearing Music for Film. This is an issue that I’ve bumped up against a couple of times without any knowledge of what I’m doing. In the panel they had a composer, someone with experience clearing commercial music, and someone who manages a production music archive, meaning there was plenty of information for all sides of getting music for film. It really demystified the process of clearing music for me, and I’m excited to use that information on my current project.
The last thing I really loved about the week was how it reminded me of why I love film and the process of making a film. In a workshop by Antoine Le Bos from Less is More, he reminded the room of why telling stories is so important. Stories are how we communicate as humans, how we connect to one another, and film’s capacity for storytelling and making us feel something is so powerful that we have to use it to its full potential. In filmmaking often and especially as a student, I feel like we often lose sight of why we’re making stories, or we just make the stories that we think will get greenlit by a lecturer or whoever is funding the project. But when you make a project that engages you and your passion and your values, it makes it all so much better.
I would describe the week as a mix of practicality and passion, aspiration and laying the ground work, of learning new things and reaffirming things I’ve forgotten. I’m so grateful to SDTN for allowing me to have access to this great learning and networking opportunity, and I will definitely be heading back to GFF next year!
You can read Mateusz Pandzierski’s Blog here
You can read Liska Pleines’s Blog here