So here I am, delighted to have won the Ben Steiner Bursary at Deaffest 2012. I’ve just received a cheque for 5K but I won’t be walking away with any money. Every single penny will go into my next short film, a film which is very much in development, but one I’m very excited about.
This is a wonderful opportunity for myself but also the cast and crew whom I’ve yet to assemble. I’ve just come off a successful film with ‘The End,’ and I know a lot of people will have their eyes on this film (no pressure!) but I see this as a positive thing – we all want an audience, we make films in the hope people will watch them and enjoy them and that is precisely my aim; to entertain.
I really enjoyed the process of pitching my film idea to the panel of judges which included the famous Phillip Bloom. It was simply amazing to meet him, let alone have him judge and assess my film idea. Myself and several other of my fellow filmmaker friends have followed Phillip online from afar, reading his reviews, taking on his advice and admiring his work. So it was really fantastic to have Phillip Bloom on the panel and I congratulate Deaffest/Zebra Uno (and Brian Duffy!) for getting him on board.
Phillip said some really positive things about my film idea in my interview along with his fellow judges: Sam Dore, Louis Neethling and Nicky Stratton. I took on their suggestions and went away feeling very positive about my chances. However one can never tell what your chances are in these situations; I was up against some really passionate filmmakers and I have a lot of respect for them. As always it’s a waiting game…
In the end I won, and I’m really chuffed. Phillip Bloom tweeted some very cool things about me winning on Twitter. He also messaged me saying he would be up for being involved in the film. I will certainly follow it up to see if he’s up for it and if he is able to fit it in to his busy schedule — that would simply be amazing but until it happens it will remain a dream. Whatever happens; wow, what an honour!
I am getting better at pitching I think. 3 years ago I was a trembling, nervous wreck and felt guilty about taking money just to be able to make a film. However I have gained a lot of experience in a short space of time. I’ve been successful and unsuccessful (most of the time unfortunately) in several pitches and for a little while it was my job at the BBC to come up with ideas and projects as a forward planning AP. So all I can say to people who are new to the whole pitching process is to get as much experience as possible. I’ve always seen filmmaking as a luxury and perhaps in the past felt I didn’t deserve to have that luxury but now, having worked very hard and having taken all the opportunities that came my way, I feel much more confident… and I do believe in myself.
Lastly, always try to be clear about the story you want to tell, why you want to tell it and if you can’t explain it in a simple way then perhaps you don’t know it well enough… (I’m sure I’ve stolen that from somewhere!) The worst thing that they can say is: “No” and then it is not necessarily the end of your film idea/treatment. You can take it elsewhere or develop it further.
Ok that’s all for now, I’m off to bed to recover… but I’m looking forward to the long road ahead. I’m really delighted and excited about the millions of possibilities that lay ahead with this project – it’s a wonderful feeling when you know your film is going to be made and as always I will give it my best shot.
Ted Evans is a freelance director, editor and all-round filmmaker based in London. His best-known film is the award-winning The End. You can check out his Tumblr account by clicking here, and follow him on Twitter as @Ted1Evans.
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