Small Fish: Big Pond - Isla Badenoch
By Hussain Currimbhoy 15 June, 2012
With so much to choose from, today was a whirlwind of sessions, films and masterclasses (followed by a roller-disco and waking up to a few bruises caused by over-ambition). The morning started with an inspiring session titled: Small Fish Big Pond. With thanks to the selected guest speakers from the BBC, Current TV, Channel4, and independent directors, it gave a really helpful insight into ways of overcoming commissioning issues with regards to emerging filmmakers and overcoming the barriers to entry into film.
What was interesting was to find the want for transparency of what TV commissions are commissioning from both filmmakers and commissioners - begging the question: why not? It was really encouraging to find that these commissioners were always on the lookout for new talent and wanting to find people with ideas who were confident in these ideas - preferring one-liner emails of clarity over doubtful and uncertain concepts. They also saw the building of personal relationships as key to making it into the film industry, building up contacts not only in business but friendship so as to get the best forms of communication and co-operation.
I personally found it encouraging, as I do not come from a film background, and when trying to get a foot in the door without one seems rather daunting. I stayed behind at the end of the talk and spoke with the director Olly Lambert who I found out (like me) also did a degree in English Literature and whose advice was invaluable in what to do next. Starting as a researcher, he built his way up to become the incredibly successful director he is now, proving that with hard work, determination and commitment to making quality documentaries, anyone from any background can make this possible.
[Isla Badenoch is sitting on this year's Youth Jury.]