Many Encounters

What a couple of months it’s been.

Myself and fifteen others have been busy, chipping away at the great edifice of the Watershed, waiting to uncover our spectacular ideas underneath. We’ve had talks, we’ve had workshops, we’ve learnt what a ‘Gantt chart’ is (it’s just a really useful spreadsheet), and we’ve been sorting out our ideas for the three strands of Future Producers.

I’ve been working with Laura, Dan, Phoebe, Beth and Jess (we’re the largest group), programming the Love Late Night screenings throughout October. There are actually five Friday nights in October, so we’ve had the responsibility of coming up with five whole films and five whole events to run before the screenings, and the planning’s been an exciting ride through proposals for interactive media, sound installations, bring-your-own-jumper events and how to make a room smell of bread.

Anyway, more of that another time. This week I got the chance to go and see a day of screenings as part of the Encounters film festival, run in the Watershed and the Arnolfini. It might not be the Cannes film festival, but it was exciting enough to be going to a *real* film festival, with directors, producers, journalists, academics and all sorts of interesting people. Possibly the most interesting event for me, and for Ellie, from the 24 and under research group who went with me, was the BBC Three talk on the future of TV and short form programming. I’m really interested in the TV industry, so it was great to get to see three panellists from different companies, Max from BBC Three, soon to be online-only, Colleen from K2 films, and Dan from Little Dot Studios, all talking about the changing aspects of TV production, on and off-line. Ellie and I were lucky to get in, because the event had been booked up by a group of film school students, but it was worth waiting around for extra seats just before the start of the talk.


BBC Three talk on the future of short-form films

On top of that we saw the festival’s pickings from the Cartoon D’Or, a pan-European festival of short animations. It included one of the funniest short films I’ve ever seen: “La Buche de Noel”, or “The Christmas Log”, starring the imaginatively named “Cowboy”, “Indian”, and “Horse” (well, “cheval”, actually, but it was a Belgian film).

But now we’re moving into the deepest darkest Autumn, and things are getting real. We’ve already sold a significant number of tickets for our screenings, and it’s time to make it all actually happen. There’s no turning back now!