Friday, August 31, 2007

Dime Novel Screen

I stumbled across Dime Novel Screen via a real life friend on Facebook.

Thursday, 6th September 2007
From 8 pm — FREE ENTRY
rear of BAR STORY
213 Blenheim Grove, London SE15 [underneath Peckham Rye Station]

It sounded interesting so I thought I'd quiz them further, Patrick Samuel kindly provided some very comprehensive answers.

Flea Circus Director: What is the typical length of a Dime film?

Patrick Samuel: The length of films tend to vary greatly. Sometimes from short animated clips or visual experiments lasting under 2 minutes to documentaries and stories that last 15 minutes long. Most films fall into the region of 7 to 12 minutes though.

FCD: How many films do you show at each session?

PS: The night itself is split into 3 sections. The first part is the Welcome Screening. This usually lasts anything from 15 to 30 minutes and we always show the Favourite of the Night from the previous month along with other "welcome material" (a music video, or an animation, things which did not quite fit into the next part). The next part is what filmmakers generally aim for. It's called the Selection Screening and usually comprises of 5 short films. It all depends on the length of the films themselves.

Each film in this selection is followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, questions from the audience and discussions with special guests as well.

The final part of the night (after the audience have voted and the Favourite has been announced) is the Open Screening. This is for people who just happened to bring a short film with them on the night. We show it then and there for them. If the panel agrees, then we include it in the following month's Welcome Screening or Selection Screening.

FCD: Who is a typical Dime Novel Screen film maker?

PS: Our filmmakers range from students to first time filmmakers to industry professionals. We’ve had Ben Hopkins, director of the modern British cult classic The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz and 37 Uses For A Dead Sheep showing his first ever piece National Achievement Day as well Nadya Brand, producer of the most recent music video for Within Temptation and star of the horror movie Broken showing her short film Prey. Soon we’ll have The History Boys and Amazing Grace actor Stephen Campbell Moore as a special guest with his short film!

FCD: Do you have animated films?

PS: We love animated short films and it’s great that Dime Novel Screen attracts so many of them. From the very first night we had Christoph Steger with his animated documentary Mother; Leo Bridle with Still Life With Flowers; Katy Davis with Gone Fishing; Elinor Geller with The Spirit Child; and Max Hattler with Collision to name but a short few who brought with them their award winning animations.

FCD: Given that I'd have never heard about you had you not been on Facebook, do you think that social networks are reducing the numbers watching and making films or do they help?

PS: I think that social networks such as Facebook and Mysapce are a great way to promote events such as this one. The amount of promotion that we do through them is astounding and the best of it is that it’s all free. The development of the internet over the years has allowed us to upload, view, comment on and pass on videos to each other is another great step forward in making filmmaking accessible to anyone with a camera and allowing them an outlet for their creativity. It has also meant that there is also a lot of junk floating around the internet as well and events such as Dime Novel Screen is a great way to sort through it all and present to its audience the top of the bunch and let them vote for the ones they like!

FCD: Finally, how would people get involved with Dime Novel Screen?

PS: People can get involved with Dime Novel Screen in a many number of ways. If they’ve made a short film they can of course contact us and we’ll let them know how to submit their film (usually by posting a DVD). We then invite them for an interview and photo shoot to promote them on our site with a filmmaker profile. Filmmakers are also encouraged to attend on the night of their screening for their Q&A. You can also get involved by of course coming down and member of our audience, voting for the films, participating in the Q&A’s and letting us know what you thought of the night. Another way is to support us by promoting the event and/or helping us to fund it as it’s all non-profit. As the organiser, I cover the costs myself and work with a team of volunteers and together we keep it going because we all love film and want to support the people who make films by providing them with a lively screening event.

Many thanks to Patrick and hopefully I'll be providing a report of one of their sessions at some point.

The Dime Novel Screen night of short films and live Q&A's with filmmakers in the unique setting of the Sassoon Gallery on the 6th of September from 8.00pm.

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