While researching into different film events that were happening in Birmingham, I came across a film event which was called 6 of the best fest. This “festival” showcased films that were written, produced and directed by female filmmakers. This was a way to celebrate women in the media industry. They showcased 6 films over 3 days. I went to watch two of these films. Both films had a Q&A after the screening. The films I watched were The Levelling and Light Years
The Levelling with Q & A by producer Rachel Robey
When Clover Catto receives a call telling her that her younger brother Charlie is dead, she must return to her family farm and face the man she hasn’t spoken to in years: her father Aubrey (ifeatures 2014)
New Trailer Buzz (2016)
Q &A with Rachel Robey
During this Q & A it was interesting to find out how she got started in the industry. Rachel states that she stumbled upon producing accidentally. She did a mixed media and communication course. She pursued producing after filling in for a person who could not produce on a project. She enjoyed it and pursued it further. When asked to give advice to young filmmakers she said that she “often finds it better if you fall into it accidentally which is what she did
One thing I found interesting was her thoughts about women in the industry. She states that in the levelling, 50% of the production crew were women, she also stated “that’s the first for me”. This was truly inspiring as I find that not enough women are given roles in production. She also states that she does not “know what the problem is in the wider industry however she she says it’t not a problem in her production company “wellington films”
She was very energetic and had a good and positive attitude which has taught me that I can never doubt myself and I must stay positive when working on a project.
Light Years with Q & A by director Esther May Campbell
The mystery of a fractured family’s past is explored during one, long hot day when taking destiny into her own hands, the youngest, Rose, sets off through bewitching and liminal locations to search for her missing mother. The odyssey triggers her elder anxious brother and sexually obsessed sister to leave their own comfort zones and head out to find her. (Ohama,Y. 2016)
Q & A with Esther May Campbell
I was very excited for this Q & A as I want to pursue directing. As soon as Esther walked on the stage I had a feeling that she would be an unconventional filmmaker who does not follow the rules judging by her poetic and unconventional film that was screened earlier.
I was interesting in finding out about how she got started in the filmmaking industry. Esther says that she started off a runner for a theatre company and worked with Steven Berkoff, after she became a stage manager however she noticed that the audience was similar every night, white, middle class and middle aged. She said she wanted to make something that would appeal to everyone and something that everyone can watch. She started messing around with equipment at her university and people wanted her her help, so they asked her to become an assistant director for their MA films while she was in her 3rd year at university. Then she “just carried on working”
Light years features non actors, She states that she found the kids in the films from schools and she auditioned them for her films. In terms of locations she used Bristol, where she and the kids are from. She said she liked walking, so on her morning walks she would location scout. As director she stated that she wanted to use only one lens for the whole film because she “can feel the lens change and it takes her out of the story” even though this did not happen in the final film. I thought this was an interesting concept as I have never really though about things like that. This taught me that if I want to become a director I need to be a bit more critical with films and style.
She also wrote the screenplay for this film which came from her own life experience. She wrote if from a personal experience which can be seen through the tone of the film. This confirms the statement “stick to what you know”
When I asked her what advice would you give to aspiring directors she put it plain and simple….stay interested in the form…she told me to keep watching things and break them apart and analyse them critically.
One thing she said that stood out to me was
“Let the wonky people in first and they will become excellent”
This is in regards to finding a job in the industry. As the media industry has gotten so big, they only seem to hire people who are “good” at things. She states they should let the people who are “wonky” in so that they can become equally as good. I really liked her thinking in regards to this particular situation
I enjoyed celebrating women’s success in the industry by attending this “festival” and I have learnt a lot in terms of how it is in the actual industry. I have learnt many valuable lessons and wish to keep these in mind as I start to pursue my career into the industry.