February 3, 2010

iFeatures Kick Off

The last few weeks have been a little busy! I entered the iFeatures competition months back but wasn’t aware I was on the scheme until last week when I got a call asking me to meet a writer and producer who had got through to the final 12 without a director. I had had a project in the final 25, which didn’t get through, but the panel wanted me to meet these two (Nick Pitt and Carol Noble) to discuss whether I would be suitable for their project. After a hasty meeting and a weekend of phone discussion I was on board.

I’ve just returned from the kickoff of the iFeatures development process. Two days of intensive workshops in Bristol with much more experienced industry writers, directors, producers and distributors coming in to give feedback on our projects and advice on how to get them to the next stage. These workshops can be a bit gruelling. The teams in the final 12 all have hefty experience in the film world (albeit in very varied guises) and I think there was a general sense of apprehension at the start of the two days as everyone must have experience of similar “development” workshops that can either be tiringly spirit crushing or annoyingly useless.

We shouldn’t have worried. It was great. In fact a number commented that if this two days was all they got out of the project, having had some great advice and tips, that would probably make the effort worthwhile.

But there’s lots more work to do. So it was to the organisers and speakers (including Laurence Coriat, Asif Kapadia, Lawrence Gough, Peter Ettedgui, and David Shear from Revolver) credit that everyone was left feeling charged and energised, as we’ve all got a lot of work to do getting our projects in shape for another round of pitching in mid March.