My “PolinArts…” accepted to the Dragon Forum 2014!

25 Apr

Thought I haven’t been doing much lately! You couldn’t be more wrong. :-)

Even though the blog has not been visited much, I didn’t stop being busy. I have recently directed and filmed several film sections for a stage play ‘The boiling point’, produced by Give It Some Room. (more on this with pictures in my next post)

In the meantime, I continued working on ” PolinArts…”. I’m pleased to announced we got some good news, recently!

Our project got accepted to the Dragon Forum 2014, training program for development and marketing of documentary films.  Each year, Dragon Forum takes place at the end of May as part of the Krakow Film Festival and this year is no exception.

We applied for it literally at the last minute, so we were even more glad when we found out that we were 1 out of 15 projects chosen by the Dragon Forum’s panel! You can imagine that excitement we felt when we got the confirming email!Dragon Forum Logo

No wonder! Participation in this project will give us a chance to pitch the film in front of the European commissioners.

Believe it or not, but that’s not the end of good news! Somehow, things work in our favour, and we just found out that the special guest of 54. Krakow Film Festival is United Kingdom. What a coincidence, right!?  For us, this means that Dragon Forum will have decision makers associated with Channel 4 and BBC in the panel.  How funny and amazing at the same time, would be to get one of these TV stations to back our project!? But you never know, Dragon Forum can open the doors for us.  The forum’s website says  “We hope that it [the presence of the above guests] will turn into long-term and fruitful cooperation”; we hope that too! Very much so…

 

This year, it will be us standing on that floor and pitching our hearts out

This year, it will be us standing on that floor and pitching our hearts out

However, this development brings us back to the necessity of having a proper producer on board. Somebody ( ideally a company) who can handle the legal and financial aspects of the film’s production and distribution. We have two weeks to find such person/ company as we need to pay for our participation by 9th May. So the hunt begins…

Our strategy is simple:

1. Finish the trailer and make sure it has the Polish and English subtitles (which I’m nearly done with and my friend, Norma, offered to proof-read)

2. Translate the proposal, so it’s ready to be sent out in both languages (Kasia and I are already working on the Polish translation; Fraser and Norma soon to be polishing the English version)

3. Use the list of companies (put together by Valeria)  who in the past submitted independent documentaries to the Sheffield Documentary Festival and ask for meetings…

4. Get the marketing team going so we can create some buzz before the workshops (that will include be Anna-Jane, Ben, Andy, Carolyn and Bartosz, with his technical crew)

Aiste, as always, we hope, will be overlooking and helping out with this “simple” yet complicated procedure.

Please keep your fingers crossed!

Dragon Forum is held in this beautiful, historical city

Dragon Forum is held in this beautiful, historical city

PolinArts on twitter

31 Mar

Exciting time for “PolinArts…”. I have now 12 new collaborators, who are helping with various tasks of the production process. Just yesterday two new young members joined the team. The trailer for the documentary is nearly finished… I’m thinking- we are rocking!

With so much excitement, the time has come for “PolinArts…” to go global and let the the World know about its existence. So last week we set up a twitter account, just for this project.

Please follow us @PolinArts and spread the word about our project. In return we will spread the love for Polish arts and artists in London.

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Making of video- ‘Karma’: about hate, homophobia and…

18 Mar

Last year in November, I went for a drink with a friend of mine with the intention of arranging a GoPro camera for my project the ‘PolinArts….’. Little did I know that Jarek was also meeting two other people, Bartek and Michal, for a preproduction of their short film ‘Karma’.  I decided to stay and join the discussion. Two beers later, I got myself agreeing to filming and editing a ‘making of video for’ them… 3 months after that, the video is finally finished :)

‘Karma’, as its co-writer and director Bartosz Dzidowski explains, is a short film about hate, racism, homophobia, violence and.. ..love. Quite intriguing, especially that the main characters are two skinheads…

The film was shot over two days, but I could only attend the first one. However, regardless of that, I got some pretty decent footage on that day. During the editing, I was positively surprised by the footage I got from filming the boy’s meeting by the GoPro camera. Considering that there was no output, which meant I had no idea if I was pointing it the right direction- it came up pretty well. The rest of the footage was taken by my small Sony H-SR camera.

Check out the video if you have 3 minutes to spare:

Below, is a link to the original film:

“The Closure”: Adapting Theatre to Film and Writing for Low Budget

19 Feb

Even though I have been recently very busy with the documentary, I have not forgotten about all those fiction projects that have been dusting in the drawers. So with the days getting that bit longer and some sun coming my way, I started itching to do some story led film.

Making a low- or more precisely no-budget movie is an art on its own. The path to success is laid with a number of obstructions, mostly due to the lack of money.

One of the project I was considering was a short theatre play I directed over a year ago and had been planning to adapt for a screen ever since. The writer, Doc Watson, made an awesome job by setting the action in one room, a large, empty basement. A genius concept for a theatre play. No furniture, limited props, open space. Brilliant. Yet, for a short film you need to have an actual large and empty basement, which is not so common, especially in London, where every square meter is utilised for accomodation. Not to mention that getting it for free is nearly impossible.  This was mainly why I hadn’t had a chance of making the film so far. However, this time I was very lucky as I found out that one of my recently made friends had an access to a large basement and an empty house for sale. Perfect! That was exactly what I needed.

Without much thinking, my talented cinematographer and a friend Martyna and I set up a very short deadline and sent out casting calls. One would ask why I needed to cast again, having worked on the play before. Well, I was very pleased with my actors who took part in the theatre production,but the idea I had for film called for different physical appearance of both actors. This just shows how what a difficult and ungrateful profession acting can be.

As our posts are being verified and approved by casting websites and we can start receiving applications from actors (fingers crossed!), I have time to adapt the script to a screenplay.
A theatre play usually requires more dialog than a screenplay. In film characters’ thoughts or emotions can be communicated through specific images that are impossible to create on a stage. Visualising the possible shots can be dangerously exciting and it’s easy to go wild. Unfortunately, writing for low budget requires following certain rules.

Kim Simone and Mark Postgate in 'Closure' by Doc Watson, directed by me

Kim Simone and Mark Postgate in ‘Closure’ by Doc Watson, directed by me

Yet, right at the beginning of the work, I nearly made a classic mistake by plotting the action in too many locations. Luckily, I stopped myself as soon as I wrote the first scene. Careful, not too waste my time again, I looked up at some online articles about the topic of writing for low-budget. I linked them up for you at the bottom of this post.

Here is our casting post for The Closure:
‘The Closure’ is a story of a man hunted by his relative’s crime. It asks a question about the dark side of a human mind and how much of it we share with our family.
 
Mr Willis, Male, 35-55
At first, Mr Willis comes across as confident, powerful man. Yet as the story develops he reveals a troubled psyche and ill fascination with his relative’s past actions that mades him question his own sanity. This is a great and challenging role for a male actor. It requires a wide range of emotions presented in a short time. An actor playing this role needs to be able to ooze the cold and threatening confidence of Hannibal Lecter, dangerous innocence of Norman Bates and break down to child-like sobs at the end. A striking physics would be an advantage.

Anna Smith, Female, 20-35 

Anna is a young and a bit too eager to succeed estate agent. Tempted by a potential quick sale and large bonus, she falls into the trap of a kidnaper. This role requires an actress with a mixture of subtle comic skills and an ability to present believable and complex emotional responses to the threat her character is under.

This production company has signed up to the <a href=’http://www.protectingactors.org/terms.php’>Protecting Actors Casting Agreement</a>, helping to ensure all actors involved receive a copy of the final footage in a timely fashion.

Protecting Actors : SHIELD:5295
<a href=’http://www.protectingactors.org/production.php?uid=5295′><img src=’http://www.protectingactors.org/img/badge.jpg&#8217; width=”200″ height=”76″></a>

Here are few ARTICLES about WRITING FOR LOW- BUDGET FILMS:

Writing scripts for a low budget features: Reservoir Dogs as a Model by Script Teach

8 Secrets to Writing a Low Budget Screenplay by ZedFest

And about ADAPTING FOR FILM:

Adapting from Theatre to Film by Mikuro.Mak-Sima

20 Greatest Stage to Screen Adaptations by GeekWeek

New Year, new page, new notebook…

26 Jan

So the news is: I am back! :) After few months of rest and dealing with what one would call ‘life and its unexpected turns’, I am back to the blog and the work on the documentary is again in full steam.

New Year required, of course, a new notebook. There is nothing like a new stationary supply to boost up the energy. Well, at least for me. I had this fetish since primary school and years later… um, not much has changed. I still get overexcited when I fill the first page of a new notebook, especially if it is as unusual as this one pictured above. In some way it allows to start everything from the beginning; to forget everything that didn’t go well and believe that this time things will go just as intended, meaning perfectly. So in a way, a new page of a new notebook, is like an injection of hope. And hope pushes your forward to make things happen.

To celebrate the Hope and New Year I also changed the look of the blog. I hope you like it.

via New Year, new page, new notebook….

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An identity crises at London Screenwriters Festival

28 Oct

An identity crises at London Screenwriters Festival

Another LSF is over. Below is a quote that would sum up what I’ve learned, and hope to retain ( these two don’t always go hand to hand) from the sessions- it’s all about the feelings.

“People will forget what U said, people will forget what U did, but people will never forget how U made them feel -Maya Angelou”

In the meantime, as you can probably tell from my name on the photo, I’m going through an identity crises. Which way to go now? ;)

“Women don’t paint very well.”

23 Oct

October is a good month for me. It’s the month I was born in and somehow it always makes me excited of the year ahead (I’ve been tuned to the academic calendar since my primary education).

For some time now I had this idea of making a film about the reasons why women, throughout the centuries and different cultures, have been oppressed by men.

The film would be a mixture of research and fiction and obviously, totally subjective- I think it’s time for another female revolution.

The other day a friend of mine sent a link to her new blog. You can imagine how excited I was when I found out that without knowing she provided me with some very relevant research for my film. I don’t have to add that I’ll be asking her to join forces next time I grab a coffee with her, which is planned very soon ;)

Please have a look at her post “Women don’t paint very well.”.

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