364. Festival Work Pt2

I’m currently working at the Udine Far East Film Festival in Italy for EasternKicks.com as a film writer and press interviewer, working freelance here but getting more experience and insight into this style of freelance journalism work as a critic, which is something I wanted to research more for the PPP.


Today is currently the last day of the festival, and whilst here i’ve contacted a range of professionals and did a plethora of work, both giving out my own cards to get my FMP seen by more people, interviewing other professional critics/photographers/journalists/ect to get more information about their careers and how I can progress as a professional, talking to some of my 10 contacts to find out about their career paths and how I can learn from this, interviewing directors & producers and watching films/writing reviews to get more experience for the PPP. Hopefully from attending a globally recognised film festival and doing a range of work whilst here, I can improve both my FMP and PPP, learn a lot more from people who actually work in the careers I’m interested in and how to progress in those areas, and have fun whilst doing it and get more experience.

I’ve done 4 professional interviews whilst here for EasternKicks.com, 3 with Film Directors and 1 with a Film Producer/Distributor, helping improve my own experience working as an independent Journalist, putting myself around more as credible ‘press’ whilst here and adding more to my portfolio. I’ve also reviews a TON of films and put them online for work, and got feedback from some of the other critics here and thanks from the directors!

Interviewing Yosuke Fujita, my first professional interview

Interviewing Yosuke Fujita, my first professional interview

I’ve also interviewed other professionals whilst here, getting them to feedback on the questions i’ve asked my 10 contacts and improving the research more into my chosen careers by asking those who work in the areas, and also getting advice about working from other professionals and putting myself around more to get noticed and get work. This has been the most beneficial part, actually sitting down and talking with the professionals who work in those areas and interviewing them, the interviews can be found in my ‘Contacting Professionals’ posts.

I feel that travelling out to Udine has been incredibly beneficial, both for my PPP and FMP, as i’ve been able to market my FMP to more people including film directors and producers in an attempt to get them to watch it. I’ve also made lots of new professional contacts and got to talk with them more, finding out more information about my careers, and I’ve also got to watch a lot of films and interview VIPs whilst here to help further my own work experience and professionality as a Journalist. I think it’s true when they say that you only get stuff if you ‘go’ to places, yeah plenty of people on my course have sent emails out and such, but I’ve had 20-30min chats with over 10+ people in different careers and found out intimate details about how they got into their careers, and how I can apply that to mine, and they’ve given me startup advice as well (and in one case promises of more introductions to others and potential work in the future), so paying to come abroad and attend a professional event has been the most beneficial thing I’ve done during PPP, expanding not only my own knowledge, but also my network of contacts and the knowledge of myself other people have, and my work by distributing cards and copies of the FMP.

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361. FMP. Director Viewing

This is just a quick post, as I’m still currently working.

I’m out in Italy at the moment at a film festival, doing research for both PPP and FMP and trying to get some contacts/interviews/answers/feedback/oranges whilst here. One of the things I’m doing whilst at the festival is using my press pass to privately interview a fair amount of the VIPs, and then trying to snare them in with my new business cards, refer to here, to get them to watch my short film.

One of the contacts i’ve traded business cards with is Pang Ho-Cheung and his production coordinator Veronica Bassetto, who work for Making Film Productions. Cheung is an award winning Director with his own company and was screening his latest big budget feature film at the festival, you can see the trailer below.


Business Card for the production coordinator, contact details hidden for obvious reasons…


I’ve met him twice before and he’s always been good to chat with, plus he helps out with a young filmmaker initiative ‘Fresh Wave’ in Hong Kong where he mentors and gives advice to new directors, so I’ve asked Pang to watch my FMP and emailed him the private youtube link for the finished cut to see what he thinks and if there’s any feedback (i’ll update this post if there is before next friday).

I feel that this kind of advice and help is the exact reason I’ve came to this film festival to help further both my FMP and the PPP, I’ve met a lot of great people whilst here and traded cards, discussed more about the film industry and how to get noticed, been given more advice and progressed further in the freelance work. Hopefully getting my film watched, and potentially some advice or feedback, from an award winning director (it doesn’t matter what country you are from as the language of film is universal) will be incredibly beneficial and I can utilise it to maybe tweak the edit before submission, or utilise that in future films to see what comes from it.

Who knows what’ll happen? At the moment, all i’m doing is giving business cards out to people and requesting they contact me, or I can contact them to watch my short, as that’s all I’m after. I don’t want a distribution deal or to get noticed, all I want is the film to get watched as I’ve got no pretences that ‘its going to get discovered or something’ at a film festival, more than likely it’ll get made for the FMP and sit on Vimeo doing nothing like every other student film before it, so if I can get a few people to watch it before then, then i’ll be happy enough. But maybe something might come from this, who knows.

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Update: I’ve also traded cards with Director Fruit Chan and his Executive Producer Winnie Tsang, in the hope that I can get either of them to watch my FMP also. Winnie works primarily with independents in HK, and Fruit mentors a lot of first time directors like Pang, so hopefully I can get something back from this. Still waiting on an email back from Pang.

364. Festival Professional Contacts

Whilst at the Far East Film Festival, I’ve been talking with a lot of other media professionals and writers about creating contacts, getting feedback and finding out more about working in the journalism industry as a writer/critic/reviewer/photographer & media professional.

As shown in the 361 post here, I’ve talked to one producer and director about getting my FMP film seen by an award winning director and getting feedback, and had an email reply from this already. I’ve also conversed with other producers/directors such as Fruit Chan and an Executive Producer from the leading HK independent self-owned company Golden Scene, Winnie Tsang, to also get more professional filmmakers to watch my FMP. At this stage I don’t ‘want’ anything from them, I just want to get it seen by more people and get my name around through networking.

I’ve also been conversing with other professionals, not just who work in film but also those who work in publishing and promotion, as one of the careers I’m interested in as a ‘side hobby’ is review writing and film interviews, so I’ve been doing more of both whilst out here in Udine and talking to other professional critics to find out about that career path. One of the contacts I’ve worked with whilst here is Mathew Scott, who is currently an independent writer and does a lot of work for the South China Morning Post, and I’ve been working with him in the press room and the VIP FEFF talks, learning more about how he writes and the style that an independent should operate. He’s been very helpful giving me lots of knowledge and information about his past, and also openly discussing different tips and ways of interviewing directors, i’m going to post some links to my reviews/articles in another post and some of the questions are suggestions from him, as he has years of experience and film knowledge so has hinted at different ways I can improve my own critiquing by asking about the politics behind some of the film choices, the messages the director is trying to convey, the inspiration behind the film and other things I’ve not really considered in my own reviewing/interviewing but help to make the writing more professional and credible, elevating the level from just that of a student to something more.

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Asides from Mathew, I’ve also been conversing with other Journalists such as Rodger who works as the Japanese Critique for London Magazine (a fun old chap who attends tons of festivals in the year and has seen almost everything in his time) or Patryk Czekaj who is the Twitchfilm.com correspondent for the festival, a professional film website of which he is a writer/reviewer and I’ve discussed more with him about this and helped get some tips. Patryk has been a fun contact to talk with whilst here as he is of a similar age and we enjoy the same style of films, so both his tertiary knowledge of film catalogues and his professional writing skills have been helpful to learn from, spend time with and improve my own skills. We’ve regularly tweeted each other during the festival, and also worked alongside one another in the press rooms and the private VIP talks.

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Other professionals I’m working with at the festival include some of my ’10 contacts’ such as Ross Chen, Frederic Ambroisine, Giando Ricci, Carla Fabris, Davide & Nicola Cassanello. I’ve interviewed ross as part of my ‘Speaking to Professionals’ posts, to find out more about him working as a film critic and distributor for YesAsia, so I’ll be writing that up, and I’m also hoping to grab time with Fred as he works as an independent photographer and documentary maker, selling his materials off to magazines so his experience is invaluable and knowledge unavailable anywhere else, which I feel would be beneficial to learn from and find out more about. Giando & Carla both work as press for the newspaper/website udine20.It, and I’ve worked with Giando before as a photographer at the previous 2 editions of the FEFFtival, he’s a lot of fun and always gives interesting feedback on my photos and how to improve them so I like discussing with him a lot. The Cassanello Brothers are both professional photographers, and they enjoy writing and critiquing about asian cinema (Davide works for a travel company as a photographer) so getting time with them and having fun taking photos is a great learning experience, as Davide owns his own studio so he can give quality advice whilst Nicola is always good to discuss my reviews and thoughts of the films/guests with.

All of these contacts are helpful as Ross is based out of HK, Patryk out of Poland, Mathew from HK, Rodger in London, Fred out of France and the other 4 from Italy, so I’ve got global contacts that I’ve known for several years now and are all giving me advice about their careers for PPP, and also giving me feedback and critique on my own portfolio and work style, such as the photography or film reviews, so getting this help from people who actually work in that job for a living is giving me first hand knowledge, learning how to adjust my photos to get perfect shots or watching the local professional press work and then acting as their assistant for the day (with Giando in the press room) to get a deeper insight into that job, or just collaborating together to learn more from each other and have fun in the process! All this is beneficial towards PPP and meeting up every year is a great laugh, so I feel that working with all these different professionals from a variety of countries and professions is TOO useful, it feels criminal that I’m having fun and working at the same time by learning from people in the job I want to do.


The italians are crazy for selfies. No idea why








364. Freelance Work

Over the past year I’ve been putting myself out more as a professional freelance Op, so I can do more work outside of a ‘regular’ job if I manage to find one, and catering to a large range of individuals both as a Camera Op and Photographer, in some cases even combining both roles for individual work opportunities.

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Mmm Cookie Dough

One of the corporate projects I worked on this year was for a company called ‘Mmm Cookie Dough’, who are a small boutique bakery company based around London. My friend graduated two years ago and setup shop, and they’ve grown a lot recently, so she wanted me to film one of their workshops and shoot some stills to use for promotion and their website. I feel it went really well, getting the opportunity to work for a professional indie company and the chance to do something ‘different’ through bakery and a verbal workshop instead of the regular quick videos I shoot. I was also paid to come down and do it, and my materials since have been used for a lot of promo, so I’m happy with how this went and hope I can do more in the future. This job actually lead to others, as Jess is part of an indie company collective, and she passed my details onto others who wanted similar projects, however the timescale they wanted theirs in conflicted with other dates, but its nice to know that this work lead to other stuff!



UK Scout Association

One of the main places I’ve kept going back to for work over the past year is the UK Scout Association. Recently in the past two years they’ve started utilising the skills of their volunteer leaders more to cover national events, such as their jamborees and larger events like Winter Camp/Reunion/Gilwell 24 at their headquarters of Gilwell Park. I’ve gone back as the videographer/photographer for several of these events, and my videos have been used on their official youtube page getting thousands of views + comments, and they’ve even be used as promotion for the company through online/broadcast and in their national AGM meetings. I feel this is some great experience, however that’s all it currently is, experience. What I want to do in the future is ‘push’ this and show that I can do more video wise for them, and try get hired to create visual content for their platform. My only problem is they already have a video guy who they use for regular work and temp me in when they want something niche or different to represent the brand, so I’m competing with already hired staff. I don’t think this is going to come through, however I’m going to keep doing it and see how it progresses. One main thing Is that I’ve learnt a lot and improved my own skills through doing it, and it’s become a regular source of quality experimental footage for myself, and decent paid work through transport/food/accommodation for a few days.

JBM Films

JBM Films are a company I came across through chance, by funding an unsuccessful kickstarted project of theirs and then emailing the company to follow up on the project, then offered some freelance work in return as a translator/transcriber on their latest feature-length documentary. I feel this has been an interesting time, as the company themselves are based out of Hollywood, however all the work is drop-boxed over to me and I spend several hours watching interviews with people from around the world and translating/transcribing the footage, then sending those documents back to JBM for subtitling in the documentary. Through this, and giving regular feedback on editing rough cuts, and working with the director on helping shape the documentary, I’ve been given producer credits on the documentary which is awesome as it’s something I can add to my own Portfolio for the future, and hopefully I can get a copy of the footage to use in my own showreel. The thing with this project is that it’s been little and regular, so I’m not constantly working on it and getting the chance to shape it in my own free time so it’s been over a year in the progress. I’m glad with this as it’s given me something to focus on creatively in my free time and hopefully will lead to more work in the future, discussing already with the director and potential marketing for the documentary and work following that.


EK are a freelance website review company I’ve been doing a lot of writing for as a film critic recently, which has been beneficial as it’s given me an outlet for my own writing skills I haven’t been able to utilise whilst at University, and providing a different branch by allowing me to work as press at film festivals and expand my own network by talking more to film directors/actors/producers and subtly marketing myself in the process. It’s not a job, more of a hobby at the moment by attending different events and working as a reviewer, and I don’t have the skills for it to become a job, however it’s been a lot of fun and is something I can continue with in the future for free to get more experience and a hobby.

Room Service

Recently I worked for a band called ‘Room Service’ whilst they were in their UK Tour as a photographer. This was interesting as I’ve known the band for years, and they got me to come to their gig and sorted an AAA press pass out to shoot promo materials for their upcoming album artwork and online materials. This is the first professional photography gig I’ve worked, and it was really enjoyable getting to go onto the stage and shoot both photo/video of the band as they played, and i’m in talks with them about their next UK tour to do more stuff for them. I feel this has been beneficial as not only did I get some quality materials to add into my own portfolio (images now available on my website) but also it’s being used by the band for their own materials which are going to be widely distributed, and may get me more work in the future, and what I’ve already done for them is going to lead to more work soon, so I’m glad for this opportunity as free stuff now could lead to paid work in the future.

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364. Festival Work Pt1


Tomorrow I’ll be flying out to the Udine Far East Film Festival, around 1am in the morning I leave Cov and expect to arrive in Udine around 3pm, so a long journey. I’m primarily going to an international film festival for a few reasons

  1. To get more research work and find out information for my PPP, to interview guests whilst there and hopefully chat to a few directors or producers about their job, and talk to my regular friends there such as Fred and Davide/Nicola about their jobs, to find out more for PPP and how I can incorporate that information into my own portfolio and professional work as a film journalist/photographer/freelancer
  2. To interview a few of my 10 contacts and both find out about their careers but also get feedback on my portfolio, as some of my contacts also attend the festival
  3. To try distribute my FMP a bit by handing out cards/swapping cards and sending emails to people with the link, just so I can try get The Brother Code seen more.
  4. Find out more about film festivals and how distribution works, so I can utilise that advice for my own FMP. Hopefully want to talk to the festival director or other festival directors that are in attendance.
  5. To hopefully increase my professional network for PPP and get my portfolio seen by people to get work.
  6. Get more work experience here as a Journalist and freelancer by interviewing directors potentially, watching films and writing reviews then uploading them to a professional film site.

So why have I chosen an Italian Film Festival, in a foreign country, about foreign films, feature length, to attend and get more information?

Well I’ve attended this festival twice before in previous years, and found it to be a great experience that is different from other festivals in the UK where everyone is accommodating. It’s a festival for film fans, with no market and no focus on selling, purely on getting to meet the VIPs and watching films, so this will give me more help getting word of my FMP and personal PPP portfolio out to people. It’s also global, so press attend from all other, I meet people from the USA, NZ, HK, Asia, Russia, Canada, Japan, ect every year, so I can talk to different contacts and get a range of advice for my PPP, and also distribute my own portfolio out more to a global audience. And finally it’s a feature festival about foreign cinema, but the people here are global, so UK cinema to them is foreign and they are equally interested in UK films as I am in Asian, so getting them to watch my FMP or look at my showreel will be a great achievement and is more likely here than in the UK. Also a lot of the directors who attend also mentor young 1st time directors in HK and Japan, so I want to try and show my FMP to them and see if I can get feedback (or potentially see what happens).

I’m going to be working as an independent film Journalist whilst out there, I normally operate as a film maker/photographer however this time I’m reviewing/making contacts, reviewing films, interviewing VIPs for the professional film website Easternkicks.com so keep looking on there to see when my work goes online. Its great to do this as it’s like working as a professional writer for a website with a daily audience of thousands, so my work is being seen every day when posted online.

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Update 30/4. Added photos to show what I’ve done.


361. FMP. Budget Update


One of the things I originally focused on during the pre-production and 360MC was the budget for The Brother Code. Having never fully budgeted for a production before, or even self financing a project, I took a guestimate of about £2000 as a total cost for the production. After it’s all now finished and almost all of my finances are paid up, I’ve got a final figure of how much The Brother Code cost.

I originally estimated £2000, however the final cost was £1778.04 for the whole production, start to finish. This cost takes into account all of the props purchased, food, transport, location scouting, actor payments, ect. There are several things I didn’t originally factor into the budget, such as petrol, food costs, location fees, and I consider this a real oversight in retrospect, however I find it bizarre that even though I didn’t consider them my budget still came under estimate. One of the big things I didn’t factor was that both the food and petrol were extortionately more expensive than I originally considered, so money from others areas had to compensate for this. This is definitely something I can learn from in future productions, as I’ve now got all the details from TBC to take forward and benefit from, so I know exactly the kind of costs to expect and more exact details to cover in a budget.

Refer back to my original 360 posts about budgeting to see a comparison for what I originally considered in the budget and how ‘out of reach’ my first costings were.





361. FMP. Graphic Design & EPK

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I’ve made contact with my graphic designer now, Steve Want of IWantCreative, who I’ve done film work before and he’s owed me a few occasional favours, so I’ve collected them all in to get him to make my EPK and promotional posters for free.

I’ve also sent him across the details to include in my EPK, all the press photos/BTS/VO shots from production to include, and sent across other graphics as well include my Inspir3 Films updated logo to include, the Florencesans font to write it all in, TBC logo/PSD files for the film and some examples of other press kits and how to put one together professionally (see below). I’ve also taken inspiration from the EPK below in how to lay my own one out, looking at the different categories/photos and the type of information I need to include in it so it is congruent with other press kits and provides the right amount of details to festivals for their own publicity and promotion, and also detailing them the right information they need to know about my own film.

One of the things I hope to get from this is some professional looking materials, so I’ve requested he takes inspiration from the RED VALENTINE EPK below, as that looks incredibly professional and has some quality pictures, so i’ve asked mine to be laid out in a similar format and use my best photos. I’ve also asked that the Florencesans font is used throughout as that is the standard ‘font’ for the film, both on the posters and on the EPK, so creating that level of consistency through the film graphics/credits/online design to make it look consistent.

example of Steve’s work

I’m excited for this as Steve has done some quality design work with his company in the past, and it feels like I’m raising the film another standard by hiring someone who is a paid professional in their area, understands exactly what I want after a few meetings, and can focus on getting it turned around for free whilst I work on other materials. I really hope it turns out okay, but i’ve got several weeks to request draft changes before submission anyway. If it all turns out okay then I’d like to work with him in the future, and perhaps see what else he can make for me, if other projects earn money then I could potentially hire him for more work, start by increasing my professional network now so i’ve got the resources in place to shoot other films. I think this has been a large part of increasing my professionality by expanding this network and getting both the knowledge and resources I can utilise in the future, whilst furthering the personal work I have at the moment.

Note. PDF above taken from CUMoodle, EPK borrowed from Clifton and copyrighted to the filmmakers.