Well, whatever your position, it’s done now – the UK have voted to leave the EU. Over at The Verge is an interesting article on potential fallout for the Film (and TV) industries of the UK.
The big questions, of course, are tax credits and EU funding. While the latter is surely gone, the former is what might really cause a dent. Without tax credits, and being able to partner with continential producers and financers, things might get pretty hairy. And I mean Hagrid hairy.
The chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the companies behind independent film and TV the world over, has described the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union as an event that is “likely to be devastating” for the creative sector.
This story is making the rounds this week. And it is awesome. Mark Rosenberg sold his first film even before it was completed. That is so cool!
But, and I hate to play the cynic because really I applaud Rosenberg and I really really want to see this film, be aware that:
- The budget was in excess of $1.3 million. So he wasn’t shooting in his backyard.
- He has an amazing actor as his star. Mark Strong, while maybe not a huge box office pull, is a star.
- Rosenberg is the ‘artistic director’ and founder of Rooftop Films, the New York film nonprofit who’s films include ‘Frances Ha’ from Noam Baumbach. He founded Rooftop 20 years ago(!). To be honest, Rooftop is an exciting organisation that deserves more coverage.
So yes, this film is Rosenberg’s directorial debut, but the press wants to intimate that he is new to the business. He is not. And that is the lesson to learn: overnight success can take years. Rosenberg did it the smart way: he started out, built his network and his chops and then knocked it out of the park. I find this – a real story of perseverance and determination – the most inspiring.
Get writing, get learning, get making films.
Here’s how writer-director Mark Elijah Rosenberg made an outer space film for a fraction of the cost of “Gravity” and “The Martian.” Striking a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures for your low-budget sci-fi movie as a first-time filmmaker is close to impossible, but that’s exactly what writer-director Mark Elijah Rosenberg did with ” Approaching the Unknown.”
Over on Ars Technica they have an article about this very interesting short film that was written by an AI. Of course, that in and of itself is pretty amazing, but, for me, the impact of the film is different.
1. It’s all about the performance
The film shows that good actors can make anything interesting. Here they have assembled 3 highly watchable, emotive people. They are literally reading nonsense but you somehow get drawn in and involved.
2. Music moves people
The score of this short film seems to be overlooked. With different music the feel would have (could have) been ruined.
3. We make our own assumptions
I don’t think the text of this film is any more unusual than a Coldplay song. We, as living, breathing people, strive to make connections. We want to see patterns in the noise. You think you know what this film is about – even though we know it is about nothing.
As a filmmaker this short hits home certain points – like, my idea for the story is not as important as the three points above. It is a brave filmmaker that can turn over the core of his film to a machine, but the proof is here – with skills you can make an amazing film. So don’t get so hung up on the script.
Ars is excited to be hosting this online debut of Sunspring, a short science fiction film that’s not entirely what it seems. It’s about three people living in a weird future, possibly on a space station, probably in a love triangle.