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Birmingham Filmmakers

We went to the Birmingham Filmmakers Meet Up and it was very productive.

Organised by FilmDash winner, Rill Marchant, there’s finally a time and place for people wanting to get involved in film to chat to each other!

The Meet Ups are a great way for anyone interested in all aspects of film making to come along and meet people who can help them realise their plans. Great films rely on the combination of people’s different talents and until now there hasn’t been a platform for those people to mingle comfortably in one place.

The Facebook Group has 50+ members at the moment, so comparitively the turn out was shockingly low. However the meetup still served more than it’s purpose. Hannah(?) from Team MMUG came along, who, being a lawyer-come-aspiring-filmmaker showed the sort diversity that B’ham Filmmakers combined. And, whilst, Rill explained that she wanted to provide technical services, we’re predominately ideas people. We could have started film right there and then! Instead, we got down to how we could make this thing grow.

A proper blog is obviously the first step, concentrating on exposing opportunities and bringing people together from different disciplines of filmmaking. From then we’d need some set goals and ask the appropriae people for their support. Animation Forum West Midlands has hit the nail on the head, and it would be great to eventually have a network that’s as effective, possibly even working with them – they’ve broken a lot of ground already after all.

So here’s to a sociable, co-operative, heathly filmmaking comunity. Join the Facebook Group!

Burlesque Life Drawing + Audience Participation

I thought this deserved a plug, especially as it’s Animation Forum West Midlands news. I’ve been wanting to go to some life drawing classes and ‘Dr. Sketchy’s’ looks very interesting. It’s not so much a lesson, as drawing wierd stuff whilst getting pissed at The Island Bar… with a competition thrown in apparently.

What I find the most interesting, however, is the fact that if it was just advertised as ‘Burlesque+Animal bits’, I would have probably blanked it. But, the only difference between the two is a pad of paper and a pencil… and I usually carry both! This confirms something that we’ve been thinking about. Audiences need to be told what they can do. Tell them to hand stands and they’ll do it (reluctantly). Tell them to clap and they’ll clap (much more British). More importantly, tell people to talk to each other and they will.

Most people aren’t the life and soul of the party. So Dr. Sketchy’s has given people extra options. Some people may be up for that. Some people may just want to stare a Fox-Woman with nipple tassles. That alone makes it an interesting experience, with a sort of counter-culture, hallucinagenic, cabaret ambience. The competition element however, puts a spin on it. People have now been told they might be interacting with the show somehow. That might put some people off, but it means the people who do go are prepared to engage and will innevitably make the effort to enjoy themselves.

Being a reserved, emotionally repressed Brit, I just don’t know what I’m allowed to do without being told. So, giving people the option to engage in an exciting way is something I’d like to see a lot more in nearly all events, whether it be in the form of a compere or just the theme of the event. A professional point in case are the AFWM screenings. Whilst they are essentially film screenings, they’re really relaxed and filmmakers are encouraged to talk in front of everyone so that you can put names to faces. What’s more you’re actually told to go and talk to someone, which at least prepares even the shiest members of the audience to socialise.

Here’s Dr. Sketchy’s MySpace.

Of All The People In The World

Would have liked to have gone into more detail about this recent art exhibition but ‘Oh well’. I’ll add to this post soon.

In the vein of being oafish and nonchalant, I managed to kick over one of the piles of rice that make up this wonderful and thought provoking installation. At first I was mortifyingly embarrassed. Especially so, as it was infront of all of the curators who were carefully scouring for more wonderful, thought provoking statistics to alert the world to the pitfalls in humanity like myself. Then I looked down to see that I’d taken out decent amount of Birmingham City Council. I think I regained some dignity and tried to make my peace.

Sorry Stan’s Cafe, I really do like the exhibition and I promise to not scrounge a concessionary ticket next time.

Shorts on the Walls

David Allen kindly managed to squeeze DON’T TOUCH into the Shorts on the Walls line up today. Ian went along to introduce it.

It got a pretty good reception, including a nice mention from Chris Unitt on CiB. Just found Eight Eyed Sea Bass also liked it. That’s nice of them too.