THE SOUTH COAST CREATIVES: Where are they?
THE SOUTH COAST CREATIVES: Where are they?
It is common knowledge amongst film professionals and those aspiring to earn the same title, that the epicentre for the British film industry is London. A staggering three - quarters of UK produced films come out from the London film mill each year; contributing over £3bn to the capitals economy.
But why London?
Does this now somehow mean, everyone seeking to have a career in the film industry need relocate themselves to the capital? The high cost of living posited by this, along with the unfortunate reality that the low tier film production jobs serving as a vital rung on the ladder are poorly paid, results in this being a very daunting preposition.
So naturally, people give up.
Where else is there?
Media City UK in Salford has injected a new serge of life into the Northern film industry, where just across the road, the Lowry exhibition encapsulates the remarkable and gritty potential of Northern drama: Simply look at his portrayal of the city of Manchester in his evocative painting ‘Industrial Landscape 1953’ and you will see what I mean.
For my own work experience this summer, Media City was a captivating environment to be in, inspiring me to shift up a gear, and since I have made great strides in my filmmaking career from the invaluable advice given to me by the industry professionals based there.
So it’s either London or Manchester?
Upon starting my second year studying my Screenwriting BA at Bournemouth University, it became abundantly clear that the answer to the above question was – ‘yes’. Not soon after, my experience as volunteer festival staff at the London Screenwriters’ Festival only affirmed this, as the shiny lights of London and the decadent allure of Regent’s University definitely won over an ambitious and impressionable young mind like my own.
What about people like me?
Returning back once again to my run down student flat in Bournemouth, I felt a mixture of motivation and despondency. My little London adventure at the LSF had cost me over £300.00 – and that number could easily have been much greater, further embellishing the earlier dilemma of the low tier jobs available and the high cost of living inherent with London.
If only there were an event to bring South Coast creatives’ closer and create more work away from London…
This is where the Film Expo South comes in. www.filmexposouth.co.uk
After catching word about this event from Bournemouth University graduate Dan Tonkin at a networking drinks session instigated by Dan Cassell along Bournemouth beach, I leapt at the opportunity to be involved in any way I could. Why? Because of a symbioses of a selfish desire to build on my portfolio and contacts, and a genuine longing to unite those ‘so close yet so far’ from the promise of success London brings.
As all this time, I had been working on my first independently produced film called ‘Mallard’ as one of a quartet of likeminded individuals operating under the banner of Shelbourne Productions Ltd who are also studying Screenwriting at Bournemouth University.
This made me consider my future.
After completing ‘Mallard’ just last week, is preferable to imagine a near future where to upgrade production value and scale, we will not have to fork out loads of money to London based film professionals to get a high quality film produced; we can simply utilize the south coast creatives that Film Expo South exists to uphold and foreground, like Dan Tonkin and Dan Cassell – just to name a couple.
There are many young and eager undergraduates like myself on my course alone that would benefit from a new zeitgeist sweeping the south coast and bolstering the potential of budding film professionals who have been for so long, overlooked by the £3bn revenue London lauds over the rest of the UK. A movement like this has already happened in the North with Media City UK, so if you wish to benefit from contacts, a plethora of resources and film professionals already existing on the south coast, support Film Expo South, as in doing so you could be adding to your own success in the long run too.
I leave you with this; a picture from our screening of Mallard at Bournemouth University. Many people like us will be at the Film Expo South, and one thing we all have in common is a need for collaboration to further our successes.
For now at least, the futures’ bright.