With The King's Speech receiving a steady stream, no make that a river of accolades, it is inspiring to see great British, as well as other nationalities’ talent recognised. This is particularly gratifying in Brighton, long associated with creativity and where a lot of film-making types choose to come and live. Although the rewards at the top can be manifold, achieving success requires more than just talent and blind faith; it also requires mastering other skills as well, including networking.
To help keep that personal vision alive I've selected a load of links, most of them Brighton-based that may be useful, interesting or a bit of both.
Don’t be shy, network your b*ll*cks off
|Yellow man on Madeira Lift, Kemptown|
Its common sense to nurture the contacts you made at college, university and from courses you’ve attended related to filmmaking, but don't stop there, offer to work on their projects in any capacity, free or otherwise and whenever you can.
Attend awards shows, film festivals and independent screenings and use the opportunity to make useful contacts. Make it your business to meet and introduce others throughout the evening, you never know which contact may lead to collaboration.
The Basement, a performance space in the centre of Brighton, which supports all comers of the subversive and idiosyncratic nature provides a stimulating selection of events including a night of film, music and books inspired by nature. The Hedgerow Society will present the Kieran Evans documentary, Vashti Bunyan: From Here to Before on Friday 25th March 2011 with music from the Canadian singer songwriter Doug Paisley and DJing from Heavenly Records supremo Jeff Barrett and resident Brendan Cleary.
Another body set up to support artists and in particular filmmakers in Brighton, offering commissions as well as mentoring and tutoring is Lighthouse. Go to their website for details of the various ways they can help or watch some award nominated films that have been commissioned and produced by Lighthouse and the BBC Film Network. They also host exhibitions and events including Laboratory Life open to the public 2-6 March 2011. This intriguing exhibition features DNA tattooing, astrobiology, microbiological textiles and much more. The concept is to invite the public to come and visit the laboratory, meet the artists and scientists as they're working, and discuss what they are doing in a radically open structure.
Also, located in Brighton is another great resource for the artistically-minded and / or practising, at the Phoenix Arts Centre supporting artists who work in a broad range of media, including audio and visual. Last year the video artist in residence Alvaro Collar set up an online video-artistic map of Brighton during a three-month residency at Phoenix. On Thursday 3 March 2011 in the Phoenix Red Room, there will be A History of Sound Art, an 80 minute audio composition weaving through different sound works throughout the century with narratives and ideas from some prominent artists in the field. It is intended to be an insightful retrospective into the craft of sound and its development as an artistic practice, from Edison's first sound film in 1895 to today.
Smaller scale organisations are also worth exploring, next Thursday 24 February 2011, OneWay Theatre is running a night show-casing short films from their solar powered cinema linked to rechargeable batteries, creating a night of short films and entertainment in one of Brighton's most underground artist community spaces.
Network online too, and use all the tools available to you. Set up a Twitter account, Facebook, Blog, Website whatever you feel is appropriate to give you a web presence and one that you realistically will maintain. Creativepool allows you to customise a website, without requiring HTML experience, where you can upload your show-reel and create your own URL.
Remember courtesy is essential, maintaining a web presence does not only require refreshing your content regularly with updated show-reels or photos of you looking debonair, but it also means responding to feedback and comments and keeping dialogue flowing.
Create a profile on Ideas Tap, a website which offers a whole range of services including funding for projects, an updated list of events nationwide and job opportunities. Currently open for submissions, is the opportunity to make a five minute short, eight prizes of £5000 are available. You've got until 28 March 2011 to apply, follow the link to find out more and make sure you are aged between 16-25 to be eligible.
Another resource worth exploring has been set up by Mandy the international film and tv production resource, their Livediary service allows freelancers to make visible to future employers their availability.
Whatever you do, keep the faith and one day you too will make great movie history.