Courses we recommend
Membership organisations we like
Research and statistics
Our first film was funded by a small legacy from Angie’s homophobic uncle. Subsequent films have been funded through our own earned money and through the generosity of others in giving their own time, resources and ideas. It is possible to make a film on no money at all but it is not our preference because that takes longer than we have time for.
Film Festivals – submissions
Between 10% and 30% of films that are submitted get screened at festivals. Simply ask the festival organisers how many films were submitted then divide that by the number of films in the programme.
At a panel discussion with festival programmers at Flare 2015, and through our own research we have learned that each festival has its own way of doing things but what they all recommend is getting your film in early.
What we did, and what you can do to learn more
We already had skills which we could transfer to filmmaking and a passion for doing it but in order to make that work, Angie and I hired a filmmaker to take us through the process in real time. We did then and still do read books, take training course, collaborate with others and ask a lot of questions. We gain more learning by inviting someone to dinner than we could ever achieve in a classroom or meeting.
Having a film invited to screen at a festival offers special opportunities and we go to as many as possible. These give us access to programmers, distributors and other filmmakers and frequently include workshops for filmmakers, free drinks, and meals. Our favourite is Frameline in San Francisco where we have screened three films. Here we experienced women’s networking events and we brought the idea back to London where we now sponsor the Women’s Networking Event at BFI’s Flare.
The great thing about filmmaking is that the more we learn the more able we are to watch film and understand the techniques involved and apply these if we choose.
Collaborators, Mentors and Heroes
As filmmakers, we love it when people ask us for more information about our projects so it seems obvious that most filmmakers would like that. After all we have sweated and struggled to give life to them and at its very basic, audience feedback is wonderful to have. Clapping and laughing is nice. A Q&A is flattering and interesting, but the really good stuff comes out in person, in small groups at the bar or over a meal. When meeting other filmmakers Angie’s questions are mostly about the type of camera, the editing suite and sound equipment, while mine are about the production, the festival circuit and their next project. The point is, don’t be afraid to seek out the filmmakers whose work you admire and ask your questions.
We count amongst our collaborators, mentors and heroes, whose excellent films we admire….
Kanchi Wicheman (Break My Fall)
Angie and I booked ourselves in for a Beginners workshop at the British Film Institute (BFI) during the Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Kanchi was one of the filmmakers talking about their film making journey and their film Break My Fall and afterwards spent some time encouraging to take the first steps, which did propel us forward. “Don’t wait for the right moment”, she said “just do it!” Kanchi also said that making a feature film is not much harder than making a short film because the beginning and the end are most of the work. We have yet to find this out.
Kate Johnston (Tru Love, Margarita)
I missed Tru Love because of some prior engagement and when I met up with Angie she said “You HAVE to see this film…..”. We then met Kate Johnston at the Women’s Networking Lunch at BFI Flare, and although she had to literally fly off that day, it was enough time to make that creative link. We had a true story we wanted to tell but for various reasons, could not make a documentary about it. We asked Kate to collaborate and we spent two summers writing that script together and The Turkish Wedding now has a producer.
Tru Love trailer /s www.trulovethefilm.com
Kate Johnston Website www.tomgirlfilms.com
Campbell X (Stud Life)
We first connected with Campbell because their film was screening at the Rainbow Film Festival at the same time as Angie & Jackie Final Cut. Although we didn’t meet there, it was a good excuse to start a conversation and we found we had a lot in common, including geography and can-do attitudes. Campbell has a Radical Film Manifesto www.blackmanvision.com/manifesto the spirit of which resonates with our own thinking around making film, getting things done, and the value of networks. We’ve had many good conversations since then.
To date we’ve collaborated on Female Masculinity Appreciation Society and Heavens to Betsy and Angie worked camera on Campbell’s forthcoming film Desire.
Stud Life Trailer
Campbell X Website www.blackmanvision.com
Anna Albelo (Who’s Afraid of Vagina Wolf, V Is The Warmest Color)
Anna is one of those people who you know is in the room and at our first visit to Frameline in San Francisco, we were lucky to be in that room too. We got to know Anna over a $10 lunch off Castro Since then we have made sure to be in the same room, swapped ideas and information and shared time when our films take us to the same places.
V Is The Warmest Color Trailer
Michele Ehlen (Butch Jamie, Heterosexual Jill, S&M Sally)
Sometimes a filmmaker will say after a Q&A “…and if anyone would like to join us at XXXX bar to celebrate our film screening….”; that is actually a genuine offer for anyone interested in more information, not just them being polite. We twice invited ourselves to Michele’s after-parties at Frameline. Michele’s films are a marvel, I’m a big fan and it was great to hear about the working formula she has developed for herself, and other practical tips. I’m not sorry to say that we spent much more time discussing which of us was most butch, and in our line of business, we call that valuable research.
IMDB page http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1615954/
Butch Jamie (2007)
Heterosexual Jill (2011)
S&M Sally (2015)
Ana Grillo & Beth Nelsen (Camp Beaverton: Meet The Beavers)
Talking with Beth is like being in a children’s story book and someone is flicking through the pages. It’s all so interesting and there is never enough time. At first you see the illustrations but then the story, then a filmmaker whose passions include the wide umbrella of social justice, Indigenous history, trauma theory, and anything personal, all captured and expressed through multi-layered storytelling
Ana Grillo http://www.imdb.com/name/nm5550581/
Beth Nelsen http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3282660/
Film trailer https://vimeo.com/56839698
Bonnie Rae Brickman, editor
We got chatting with Bonnie while waiting for a film to start and when the editor on our first film pulled out suddenly, we googled this person we’d met and asked for their help. Bonnie turned out to be an Emmy Award Winning editor and she took a risk on us, helping us to make a film that was going badly up until then. Bonnie became a fundamental part of the team, editing our first six films, with whom we have had many adventures.
Ingo started and runs the famous Wotever club nights in London which features queer cabaret acts from all over the world. Ingo is an excellent role model for getting on and doing things.