A Four Corners competition in association with the East End Film Festival.
‘There was no film school. I unearthed a small camera in the design department, a Bolex. I borrowed it to make a movie, but I didn’t have a clue how it worked, so there was a small instruction book, which was new, unthumbed, no one ever used it before. Cut to a cold north Durham beach, a bitter day. The cast and crew of two are sheltering in a bus stop, and as I tried to work out the stop for another take, the actor is freezing his arse off – sorry – waiting for me to make a decision. Making a film for 65 quid is no joke. Lesson number one, economy is everything.’
~Sir Ridley Scott, 2018 BAFTA acceptance speech.
Sir Ridley Scott built a career on the discipline he learned working with a Bolex film camera and a tiny load of stock.
Today, only a handful of aspiring filmmakers get the chance to work on film as opposed to digital. So we decided to give up five teams the chance to copy Sir Ridley and see what they could produce. Armed with only a Rolex camera and a single one hundred foot magazine what story can you tell? Can you shoot a tall tale, a hundred feet high?
Caspar Delaney – Executive Producer at Ridley Scott Associates, award- winning production company and producers of the 2013 Oscar winning short film ‘The Phonecall.’
Robyn Slovo – Executive producer of the recent BBC drama ‘McMafia,’ ‘The Snowman’ starring Michael Fassbender and multi-BAFTA winning Le Carre adaptation, ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ starring Gary Oldman and John Hurt.
Kieron Corless, Deputy Editor of “Sight & Sound” magazine.
Asitha Ameresekere – BAFTA winning and nominated independent writer/director and filmmaker at global brand experience agency, Jack Morton Worldwide.
Helen de Witt – Senior Programme Advisor BFI, programmer, Flare and London Film Festival, former Head of Cinemas at the BFI.
The advisory panel will undertake film and Bolex training with selected filmmakers. The panel votes on pitches for selection and works with teams to ready them for production but does not vote on the final winner.
Alison Poltock – Artistic Director – East End Film Festival. Lyn Turner – Technical Director – Four Corners.
Nick Cohen – Trustee – Four Corners, Director/Producer ‘London Unplugged.’
Emma Castagno – Former Creative Lead, Pulse Films, and BBH creative (‘Missing People’ film Silver Kinsale Award.)
PITCH SUBMISSION PHASE
In the first instance, submissions should take the form of either a written pitch (maximum one page) or an uploaded YouTube or Vimeo pitch of no longer than 3 minutes describing the idea and execution.
Pitches – written or video – should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please avoid sending attachments. Copy and paste single page worded pitches into the body of the email and/or single line links to vimeo or youtube.
Using celluloid as opposed to digital technology imposes strict discipline. 100 ft of 16mm Bolex stock is approximately 2.5 minutes of film. Any idea must therefore be able to fit into 2.5 minutes or less.
Additionally, filmmakers are restricted to no more than 5 cuts – which is equivalent to the approximate number of hand windings of the clockwork motor of the camera required to shoot the loaded magazine. Ideas can be executed which involve less cuts – inventive single shot ideas are especially welcome – but they will require the filmmaker to plan how to manage the winding time every 30 seconds or so of shooting, potentially hiding cuts. All filmmakers selected for production will be trained in the use of the Bolex camera and film process. Over the course of the competition – we will be describing some great single shot film and Bolex ideas as inspiration.
With these restrictions of the camera in mind, summarising the concept in a pitch of 3 minutes or less or a single page should prove a useful trial run for executing a film of even less duration.
Judges will then select up to 5 filmmakers who will all be given film and Bolex training, a Bolex camera, 100 ft loaded magazine of stock, consultation with script editor and producer before having a day to shoot their film. All commissioned films will be screened as part of the East End Film Festival. Winner will receive a fuller film and industry package (tbc) to make a new short which will screen at the following year’s Festival.
Competition Launch: Tuesday 14th March
Initial Pitch Submission Deadline: 5pm Friday 30th March
March 30th – April 3th – Pitch selection process.
April 5th – Filmmakers Selected for Production announced.
April 5th – April 27st Production Period; Teams produce their shorts
April 28th Close of festival – screening of all shorts and final winner announced.
Filmmakers should not have previously worked extensively on celluloid or with Bolex cameras. In the event that a filmmaker is discovered to have worked extensively on celluloid, they may be disqualified.
Filmmakers’ ideas must be original. Any plagiarism or uncredited influence will result in disqualification. This applies to any soundtrack, music, sound design as well as to image.
Filmmakers’ ideas must be achievable without any official production budget, purely on the basis of the free camera rental, stock and processing and any additional support offered by friends, family, colleagues and those subject to persuasion. This can include rental houses, post- production, studios etc but the aim is to keep the competition comparatively lo-fi in the spirit of Sir Ridley’s first steps on film.
Filmmakers ideas must be executable with 5 cuts or less using a single magazine of 16mm Bolex film.
The Filmmaker is responsible for obtaining release forms from any subjects or actors.
Filmmakers enter into a shared usage agreement with Four Corners. Filmmakers and Four Corners reserve the right to screen their films, non- exclusively for screenings and on private links wheresoever. Any revenues derived from any sales of the films are divided equally between Four Corners and Filmmakers. Four Corners retains the rights in the finished films. Filmmakers undertake to credit Four Corners in any marketing etc and vice versa, Four Corners undertake to notify and report to Filmmakers any screenings or sales and vice versa.
Filmmakers should be aware that Four Corners have relationships with, amongst others, Shorts International, Broadcasters, Netflix amongst others and may elect to negotiate a deal with such third parties to licence screenings of the films. As stipulated above – all revenues deriving from any such deal would be divided 50-50 between Four Corners and the filmmaker.
Four Corners aims to produce up to five Bolex short films, but may shoot fewer or more, according to the strength of ideas pitched, scheduling and available personnel.
Four Corners aim to support Filmmakers through rapid post-production. In the event that films are incomplete, Four Corners may elect to screen works in progress or to defer screening.
Final outright competition winner prize package tbc but expected to be a fuller film package, industry mentoring, small production budget with thefilm guaranteed screening at 2019 festival. Watch this space!