Sunday, 26 October 2014

Behind the scenes...

Below are some of Marie Holliday's photos from the Colchester 60 Hour Film shoot. I'm a very big fan of Marie's photography work - I think she has a great eye and I'm sure you'll agree that the images below are very nice indeed.

Marie is currently launching 'PIGEON' - "an art studio within Burton run by Mark Davies, Stephanie Bonner, Tom Bell and Marie Holliday." Their first exhibition opens on Friday 31st October (details HERE), so if you're based in the Midlands be sure to check it out... 

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on

A photo posted by O marie (@omariemarie) on


Wednesday, 15 October 2014

60 Hour Shortlist

The shortlisted films for the Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Challenge have been announced and, unfortunately, my short didn't make the cut…you can see the films that have been selected for screening below.

In all honesty, the films that have been selected are not the type of shorts that I would choose to make. However, from the shortlist, my personal favourites were 'Red Herring' and 'Normal People'.


Sunday, 12 October 2014

Gone Girl

Yesterday I watched Gone Girl, the new film from director David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network). It's actually a very difficult film to write about without spoiling the story but I've boiled it down to the following equation:

Blue Valentine + Zodiac x Fatal Attraction = Gone Girl


The plot itself is pretty crazy but I went along with it as the filmmakers were attempting to make a comment on real-world relationship issues. These issues and themes may be heightened (at times it plays more like a black comedy than a thriller) but they are still very clear... 
  • The notion of unconditional love - should you have to change who you are in a relationship?
  • The loveless marriage. How long can passion last?
  • The faces that we present in public and behind closed doors
  • The battle for power / control / freedom
  • The intense scrutiny of the modern media and lack of context in news coverage
For me, more filmmakers should be attempting to tackle the ideas and themes that Fincher is presenting to audiences…

The cast, particularly Affleck, are excellent! The film is brilliantly paced and the direction is flawless. Needless to say, I'm thoroughly recommending it!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

60 hour challenge…behind the scenes

Some behind the scenes images from the Colchester Film Festival 60 hour film challenge…images by Katie McMillan & Lewis Martin.

Katie soaking up the sun
Overseeing a shot of Marie Holliday
Lewis Martin grabs a close-up of Marie
Perfect light
Marie snapping the locations on her iPhone

Cast & Crew (Mark, Marie, Adam Collins, Katie, Harrison Conner, Lewis Martin)

Monday, 6 October 2014

60 Hour Challenge…done

So I completed the 60 hour film challenge for the Colchester Film Festival and I'm very pleased with what has been accomplished.

As with many 24/48 hour film competitions, there was to be a title, prop and line of dialogue that had to be included in the final production. The details went live at 8pm on Friday and, initially, I thought that everyone had to use 'Under Age' as a title as it was listed as the example on the festival website.


Fortunately, I quickly realised that each team had been assigned an individual title, prop and line of dialogue (which must have taken the organisers an age!), all of which were available in a pdf.

Title: Turning
Line of dialogue: It's free every two weeks
Action: Attempts to juggle apples

…and off I went. Filming was done on Saturday, post-production began on Sunday and was completed during the early hours of Monday morning. I hope that it will be shortlisted for screening on the 26th October but who knows given the vast number of entries. Either way, I feel proud of the film and it most definitely fits into my body of work.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Colchester 60 Hour Film Challenge

In May, I completed Windowpane for the Five Lamps Films 24 Hour Film Challenge, which I enjoyed very much...

 

Subsequently, I have decided to take part in the Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Film Challenge. The competition begins this evening at 8pm and lasts until Monday morning at 8am.

The Rules: 
  1. The finished film must be a minimum of two (2) minutes and a maximum of five (5) minutes in duration.
  2. Credits at the beginning and end of each film should total no more 30 seconds and make up part of the overall running time. The provided title card should be displayed before the film for 5 seconds, followed by your team name, title, line of dialogue and action for 5 seconds (examples will be provided).
  3. Films submitted to the ’60 Hour Film Challenge’ must either be in English or have English subtitles. 
  4. All footage period including animation and special effects must be created during the 60 hour period. 
  5. Pre-recorded music must be accompanied by the relevant signed clearance, or proof you have the rights to use it. The same rules apply to sound effects.
  6. Overall content of the movie, beyond that specified at the launch, is at the discretion of the participating teams. The organisers reserve the right to not screen any film that would attract an 18 certificate.
I will be shooting tomorrow and editing on Sunday…wish me luck!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed

Some excellent quotes from Werner Herzog, which completely resonate with me as a director…

  • "Filmmaking - like literature - must have experience of life at its foundation"
  • "I have always sought to transform my own experiences and fantasies into cinema"
  • "My job as a filmmaker is to look into the deepest recesses of the soul"
  • "I need people who see and feel things as they are, not someone concerned with creating the most beautiful images possible…"
  • "I don't give much thought to the composition of the image; instead I focus entirely on what that shot is about and how it fits into the overall story. Everything else is irrelevant."
  • "The most important thing to say about editing is that it isn't a technical process...it comes from something much deeper, from an understanding of the vision behind the images and the story you need to tell"
  • Musical influences? "These have always been strong, maybe the strongest. People might think it strange that music could make such an impact on a filmmaker, but it's quite natural to me"
Considering the final quote, below is a cover song that has inspired me quite a lot over the past year. Whenever I felt that a project was going off track, this song helped me regain certain thoughts, emotions and ideas - the instruments and the lead singer's voice are very moving to me…there is a genuine sense of longing, loss and isolation - key themes in my work.  


Monday, 29 September 2014

Raven at Aberdeen

The Raven on the Jetty will have its Scottish premiere on October 10th as part of the Aberdeen Film Festival

Tickets are available from the Cineworld website: http://www.cineworld.co.uk/whatson/aiff-the-raven-on-the-jetty

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Casting Actors

I am currently moving into pre-production on a new short film and, subsequently, I have been thinking about the characters & the type of actors that I'd like to play them. In order to find the right people I will be going through an auditioning process. But it is more than an actors ability to deliver a performance that I'll be looking for...

Working with actors is one of the key collaborations during the filmmaking process. Therefore it is important that an actor understands the importance of the work being undertaken and that they are completely committed to the project. It could be argued that working with relatively small budgets makes this understanding twice as important...there simply has to be a mutual respect between an actor and director.

As an example, Terence J Corbett has always been fully committed to the films I have produced, which is why I've often found myself working with him. We've often joked about some of the scenes I've had him act in - a mouth full of rice pudding at 1 in the morning; stepping off a pavement into the path of a moving car; drowning in a reservoir; trudging over snowy hills in freezing conditions...the list goes on. I know he is willing to do almost anything to facilitate my vision for a particular project (though I have never put him in any physical danger). 

Terry vomiting and drowning
But how does one know if an actor is committed to a project? Trust your instincts! If an actor is failing to respond to emails and phone calls, in a reasonable amount of time, then the chances are that they are too busy to be involved in the production. If they are telling you that they can only shoot for an hour on a particular day, then, again, they are probably not committed and/or are too busy. Find out all you can about the person during meetings. If necessary, go one step further and take a look at their social media output - do they seem interested in their craft or fame?

Believe me, if you find yourself in the position of making a film with an actor who is only giving 10% of their time, effort & soul and/or they seem to have their own superficial reasons for being involved, then you are going to have a very, very stressful shoot. If you proceed with the wrong person, then you will find yourself receiving a text that they are unable to get to a location 5 minutes before shooting is due to commence. Even worse, they may refuse to finish the film altogether! Filmmaking is difficult enough without the presence of a half-interested cast member. 

I have recently been reading 'Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed' and, amongst many wonderful quotes, tips and anecdotes, read the following: "A project can become a cul-de-sac and your life might slip through your fingers in pursuit of something that can never be realised. Know when to walk away." 

My point is this - cast well! That doesn't just mean finding someone who is talented in front of a camera but finding the person who is equally as gracious before the camera rolls & long after it stops. You will discover who is in possession of these qualities, and whether you can trust them, early on - send emails, make phone calls and insist on face to face meetings. If your cast make excuses during pre-production then sever their ties to the film, as you will be setting yourself up for a difficult shoot. Remember, there is someone out there who is equally as talented and will be far more committed to your cause. 

What the director has to decide is whether they are prepared to do the tough work during pre-production, or suffer the consequences of poor casting with a nightmarish production. The answer is obvious to me...though we often learn such things the hard way.

I'll be sure to keep the world posted on the casting process…wish me luck!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Re-working ideas: Round in Circles

Every once in a while I may abandon a project for one reason or another. A couple of years ago I began shooting a short fiction film about a woman who remembers certain moments from her past..the project was very personal; I incorporated a number of my memories and shot them in the real locations...


Unfortunately, this project was never completed. However, certain elements found a way into my most recent short Round in Circles

Washing away their thoughts
Mundane jobs
Thinking in the car
Christmas Markets, Manchester
Recurring images and ideas are often present in a filmmakers work and even though the two films would have been quite different - the story of a single mother was something that I was desperate to explore…subsequently, I'm pleased that I've now managed to tell that story (even if it's been done in a different way than I initially envisioned).

The point of this post? Don't be disheartened if a project/idea is abandoned as the core themes and imagery often find their way into a future project...

Monday, 1 September 2014

New short: Round in Circles

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Round in Circles - Update

Due to unforeseen circumstances the film's online release has had to be delayed by a week. I intend to make the short available for online viewing as of next week...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Release: Round in Circles

My latest short, Round in Circles, will be released online after the forthcoming bank holiday weekend. Expect to find it on this blog (& Vimeo) as of next week…


Alongside the films online release, I will also be submitting the project to a selection of film festivals across the country. I'm very much looking forward to seeing & hearing how people respond to the short.

Enjoy the weekend!

The film stars Jolene Rathmill, Terence J Corbett, Hannah Cowsill, Corin Silva & Ike Bell. 
Directed, Shot & Cut by Mark Duggan.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Isolation Update: 'Over'...

In March of this year, I published two posts (HERE & HERE) about my intentions to complete a new trilogy that would deal with the theme of 'isolation'. I stated that Film 2 would be based on a story that I came up with in 2010 & that Film 3 would be based on a script by a different writer altogether. However, during the past few weeks, I've been reconsidering the order and featured stories/films due to 'Over'...

Whilst completing a rough cut of my next short, I began to consider the strong connection that the film clearly has with Round in Circles and how it would fit into this new trilogy in a much cleaner (though some might say more obvious) way than my original Film 3 would have done. So, why didn't I come to this conclusion earlier? Well, Over really has come back into my life out of nowhere - I'd given up on ever making the film after a failed attempt to shoot it 3 years ago in the Summer of 2011 (a heartbreaking decision as it was a project that meant a lot to me). However, when Yoann Moëss contacted me about a possible collaboration, I suddenly felt that perhaps its time had come back around...

My plan now is for Over to play out as Film 2 in the new trilogy and for the final short to be my "original" Film 2 (based on the idea from 2010). Despite this, I must note that I still intend to direct the script written by my filmmaker friend and will hopefully do so later in the year...I hope that people will understand this decision once all of the films are available for viewing - I'll certainly follow this post up further down the line to discuss the thematic debates that I've had with myself.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

'Over' Update

This past weekend (26th-27th July) I shot a new short in Manchester (see previous post) and it went very well indeed. The project stars Yoann Moëss and it was a pleasure to work with him!

Initially I'd planned on shooting the whole film with the Black Magic Cinema Camera but, as I was on a very tight schedule and wanted to shoot certain scenes quite wide (17-28mm), I primarily used the Canon 5D Mk II. Techies will no doubt say that I've committed a cardinal sin in doing this (mixing footage and shooting scenes with different cameras)...but, frankly, I'm not interested in "rules"; I'm attempting to tell a story.

For those not in the know, the Black Magic camera has a smaller sensor than the 5D, which has a full-frame sensor (there's an article on full-frame vs. crop HERE). So, whilst there's no doubt that the Black Magic produces a beautiful image (by all accounts, better than the 5D), I couldn't get the wider shots that I wanted in the tight/cramped spaces in which I was shooting. However, had I not been on such a tight schedule, I would have really enjoyed finding a creative solution to this (finding alternate angles, playing with the space, changing the actors movements, etc). 

Anyway, it's "in the can" now...and what's most important, of course, is that I'm very pleased with what I have. Here are a few stills:


More soon...

Friday, 25 July 2014

New Project: Over

I'm shooting a new short film this weekend. The project will feature Yoann Moëss, a French actor who has come over to the UK to collaborate with filmmakers in Manchester.

 

The film is titled 'Over' and it's actually a project that I've been attempting to make/complete for a long, long time now…the short has quite the production history (just this week I joked that it's becoming a Boyhood-esque undertaking) and I'll be sure to share that story further down the line. For now I'm just happy to be making it and looking forward to working with Yoann.

Enjoy the sun people!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Winner: Jury Award


The Raven on the Jetty has won the Jury Award at The Madrid International Film Festival...congrats to Erik Knudsen and everyone involved!

Read more over @ OneDayFilms.com

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Weekend Double-Bill...

I watched two films over the weekend…I'm not going to write a long-winded review of them (I may do at a later date) but I just wanted to state that I thoroughly recommend both!

 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Public screenings: Part 2

I recently attended an open-screening night in the North of England (you take your film along and it gets screened, simple). I'd seen, via twitter, that the organisers were doing some interesting things and so thought I should check it out. The event was free for directors screening a project and £5 for anyone else. 

1. Cliques

Upon arrival I realised that there was bit of a 'clique' going on and felt as though I'd gatecrashed a private party. My instincts seemed to be correct as most of the shorts were produced during one of the organisers 48 hour film camps - with the same faces (actors and directors) popping up in different roles throughout the night. 

Films were to be presented on either a USB or DVD. I brought mine along on a DVD - only because the organisers asked for their title card to be placed at the end and this was the quickest way to do it without re-exporting the short. This was met with sarcasm from one organiser and laughter from the audience who all knew that you bring a USB to these nights (DVD is lower quality but who cares?). One drunk audience member heckled at the screen, which was rude considering that his film was pretty dreadful. If they only wanted films on a USB, I would have been happy to oblige. Thankfully my film shut the crowd up…

I digress. Anyway, I'm not sure how productive it is to have screening nights consisting primarily of a group of friends. How can you expect to get any honest feedback? Any opinion will undoubtedly be clouded by their knowledge of its maker/production history and, subsequently, the whole thing lacks any credibility. It's masturbatory. How do these screening nights expect to grow? There is a reason why the 48 Hour Sci-Fi comp in London is so well regarded in the industry… 

Note: The 'festival clique' was something I noticed at the Five Lamps night too - I'm not one for conspiracies but the winners seemed to know the organisers pretty well (interestingly, someone at the bar told me that they knew the winners but still thought that I deserved 1st prize). Indeed both nights included many a "private" joke, which further alienates any newcomers. 

2. Quality

As to be expected from an open-mic style event, the quality of the films varied. It was apparent that the evening wasn't the forum I was hoping for - I saw little that inspired me or caused me to feel competitive. I don't wish to sound overly critical - it really is fantastic that the organisers are providing people with a platform and that their creativity is being nurtured/encouraged in some way. However, I couldn't help but think that some of the projects should have remained private experiments… 

E.g. One director submitted a 'faux' trailer that they had made in 2005/06! Meanwhile, another filmmaker submitted a camera test that they had done on a popular DSLR. Both were met with wild applause but I was left bemused - a film is nothing without a good story. A line of dialogue from 'American Graffiti' sprang to mind - "what a waste of machinery".


It was fairly obvious that all of the filmmakers were very committed (one director had spent 2 years making a short!) but they were still either hobbyists or first timers. Subsequently, I sensed that the cliquey nature of the event wasn't helping some peoples progression as storytellers. When your first film receives huge applause, with little honest criticism, how can you improve? Given the manner in which most of the films were produced, a feedback/comment form should probably be introduced at their future events and completed for every film… 

I can think of one production that would have benefitted hugely from a feedback form. The short was a great 2/3 minute comedy but it had been milked into a 6/7 minute production! 20 seconds into the film and I knew what the ending was going to be, so why was I being made to watch it for far longer than necessary? A feedback form may have provided the maker with some objectivity, which may have lead to a re-edit before they submitted the project to any future festivals. 

3. Running time

The screening lasted over 3 hours...far too long. One of the reasons seemed to be due to people ignoring the rules - "You may present 1 film per screening". If filmmakers had followed this rule, and only picked their best work, the overall standard of the evening would have been vastly improved. Subsequently, the event would have also run at a reasonable length. 

It seemed to me that some filmmakers had raided their back catalogue so that they could present 3 or 4 films. I was quite annoyed by this as I have produced a number of shorts that are far newer than a number of films that played, such as the fake trailer from 2005/06!

Equally annoying, however, were the walk-out filmmakers. Granted, the event was long, but, as some people left after their short had screened, the audience had dwindled significantly by the time that the last project was projected. I was completely disgusted by this - you stay for the duration if you've submitted. I can think of one student filmmaker who fled after their "graduation" film had played - they obviously have nothing left to learn about filmmaking…this time a Scroobius Pip track sprang to mind (see below).

4. Entry fee 

As stated earlier, there were films by beginners, films that were tests/experiments, films that were "work in progress" and even faux-trailers. So, the question must be asked - was it fair to charge non-filmmakers £5 to watch these shorts? I know that the organisers are giving up their time and that the event must have overheads - but there were maybe four or five shorts that were worth paying for, which is not nearly enough considering the running time. By comparison, I paid 70p more to watch Tom Cruise's new blockbuster, The Edge of Tomorrow, on a beautiful screen and had a far more enjoyable evening. 

Final thoughts

I attended the event as I'd hoped to receive some feedback and meet like minded people. And whilst one person was kind enough to state that they had liked the film, it would have been nice to find out what the whole group thought. But as the night progressed I cared about the audiences' opinion less and less… 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Public screenings: Part 1

Are festivals/public screenings the right avenue for the independent filmmaker working in the modern world? I've started to wonder how qualified some selection panels actually are to judge the quality of a film. 

Now, before I continue, it may be easy to dismiss this post as "sour-grapes" but that really isn't the case here. On this blog, I always attempt to be reflective and objective, as it's important to develop as a filmmaker - not just in terms of my technical & storytelling abilities but as an independent distributor. Despite this, my post will be anecdotal and offer my personal experiences...

I started to feel jaded about film festivals in 2012 when You Left Your Heart in the City was screened in a category judged by a colour grading company. I'm sure to the festival, and to most of the audience, it seemed impressive to have the category judged by someone with "industry" connections. But I was disappointed that my film was being judged by someone "technical", as technical qualities have little to do with a good story. Since then I've found myself questioning the pros and cons of festivals, particularly the smaller ones, more and more often...

Case Study: The Eternal Cave

Last year I received a rejection email from a film festival in the Midlands and it always hurts a little bit when you read that email. Initially, it can be difficult to be objective but then you calm down - "perhaps it just wasn't good enough?" However, I had been reading the festival "tweets" and "re-tweets" from filmmakers who had had their music videos selected for screening...well, disappointed doesn't even begin to describe my thoughts.

"Music Video - Sunday 1st December. Last year we screened the awesome ThePetebox"


Now, the guy above is undoubtedly very talented but as far as the video goes - does it push the medium forward? Not really. As the video is being screened in a "film" festival I find that hard to swallow.

Meanwhile, the 2013 festival included these two music videos - HERE and HERE...both feel very familiar - which probably explains why they were included (I discovered that the selection panel included, bizarrely, a rap artist!) - and, upon viewing the previous and current selections, I ultimately decided that it was probably best not to worry about being omitted from the festival as they seemed to be selecting films that follow genre conventions. 

Now, let me share an email that I received from another screening event:


3 of the 4 panel members seemed to really enjoy the film - with favourable comments regarding the films cinematography, locations and make-up effects. However, I've highlighted some of the points that bothered me somewhat...
  • "Beautiful locations. Very good photography, I think the performance of the actress could have been a little stronger. I really liked the part when she's running in the woods. I think it didn't make the screening mostly for timing"
  • "Great scenery, remarkable photography and very interesting overall concept. The video would have benefitted from a greater focus on the voice, perhaps through an additional microphone. Very good film, congratulations."
  • "I wasn't a fan of The Eternal Cave's cinematography; the saturated colour felt over-stylised. I'm afraid that I found the location of the video a little bizarre, with a young woman who looks stylistically very old fashioned dressed in a cloak, and the lots of nods to biblical references with the eating of a red apple jarring with the very modern set-up of the band playing contemporary music. To me, this felt like a music video and I'm not entirely sure that was the aim given this is a 7 minute film.
  • "This was extremely well made, the locations were great and the make up was amazing. There was a bit too much of the band playing in the cave (when the music first started) to hold my interest so when it came to make really hard decision (because there was a big shortlist and only a limited screening time) it played a part. But this doesn’t mean I would change anything to it.
1. Over-saturated and over-stylised...the film pays homage to the modern fantasy films that embrace a colourful palette, particularly Pan's Labyrinth (dir. Guillermo del Toro). I've screened the film for students and they've always picked up on this homage. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and perhaps it is over-stylised but surely a panel should be aware of such intentions?

Pan's Labyrinth
The Lord of the Rings
2. Microphone for singer's voice...this is a very strange comment as it's clearly a song that has been pre-recorded and therefore there was little I could do on set about this. It seems this panel member did not realise that the film turned into a music video.

3. Too much of the band playing...this was a stylistic decision but one that may not work for everyone.

4. Fantasy image jarred with modern band...the band are performing the track in a dream/nightmare and therefore it's deliberately jarring.

5. Felt like a music video but it's 7 minutes...part of the point of the project was to consider ways in which music video is presented to an audience. Why can't a modern music video appear in the middle of a short film? Francis Ford Coppola once said of music videos: "This short form, basically commercials for records, is losing energy. Why not have a longer form...an audiovisual piece, not just two minutes, but forty minutes? The sky is the limit for the new cinema"

6. Running time...Finally, I find it frustrating that timing is listed as a reason for non-inclusion. However, I can come to terms with this as I realise different film screenings/events have a time limit and also a theme (there's a strong possibility that the film didn't fit the overall tone of the evening).

A film must stand alone and shouldn't be reliant on the filmmaker explaining their intentions...I'm not suggesting that at all. But my experience with The Eternal Cave has been a disappointing one. The film was made as a fun exercise - it certainly isn't the short I'd choose to represent me as a filmmaker. However, it still surprises me that it hasn't been recognised at some of the smaller festivals in the UK.



In October of 2012 I published a post about music video as a form (Music Video...What Happened?), which discussed how formulaic the genre had become...The Eternal Cave was an attempt to do something quite different to current music videos, i.e. tell a story and have the "performance" part integrated into a larger narrative.

Erik Knudsen: "When you're working with film that is at the edge of cultural norms, you would as a filmmaker expect people to reject it. Otherwise you're not at the edge. I think one of the jobs of people who are at the edge is to continually contribute to the renewing of the mainstream - so some things will work, some things won't work. But I think you can find some really good films that are on the edge, that most people have rejected, that only a few people are picking up on..."

I'm not saying that my music video is on "the edge" but Erik's words certainly ring true when I consider the feedback provided, as one member of the panel (3) clearly rejected the film due to it not conforming to mainstream conventions. It seems that Panel Member 3 couldn't separate their ideas of a music video from their enjoyment of the film...
  • Music videos commonly side-step 'narrative goals' - they usually do not possess a linear narrative (beginning, middle, end) & they usually do not focus on plot and character (Ken Dancyger, The Technique of Film & Video Editing). 
  • Music videos cannot be described as possessing a classical Hollywood film narrative as they lack essential ingredients - place names, meeting times, a link to both past and present, and fully realised lead characters and villains (Carol Vernallis, Experiencing Music Video: Aesthetics and Cultural Context).
Rules are there to be broken and surely film festivals should be encouraging such departures from the norm?

Summary

My most recent film, Windowpane, was completed for a 24 Hour Competition in Derby and, whilst I've stated that I was ok with 3rd place, I couldn't help wonder about the people judging the films. I predicted a week before shooting that a comedy would win and sure enough that's what happened. Now, comedy is fine if done well…but was the winning film funny? Here's the link so you can decide for yourself - http://youtu.be/b1Pzbxrs6kk.

Comedy is subjective so I won't argue for or against. The more important question is whether a participant should be able to predict the genre/type of film that would win? One may call me cynical in my prediction but most of the previous winners shared some similar values (you can view them HERE) so it was a prediction based on fact.

Ultimately, I can only produce work that I believe in - work with a clear theme that moves people in some way. It would just be nice to get a sense that some of these selection panels had a greater understanding of breaking genre conventions, the technicalities of filmmaking and shared some similar values in regards to what cinema is truly about…

"When you make a movie, always try to discover what the theme of the movie is in one or two words. Every time I made a film, I always knew what I thought the theme was, the core, in one word" - Francis Ford Coppola.