What’s your background in film?
As seems to be the standard response - I was interested in film from an early age. I recall making Blu-Tack figurines and replaying the battles from The Lord of the Rings, later on doing the same thing with a computer and a copy of Rome: Total War. Over the years I gradually became more proficient in filming real people too. The graphic I made for the event shows some of my favourite films - the ones that shaped my interest and inspired me to make my own.
How come you wanted to be involved in starting up North-West Filmmakers?
The group came about partly as a result of discussions at the end of the course Filmmaker Talent Development Programme at FACT, delivered on behalf of Creative England via the BFI NET.WORK in partnership with Wales Screen, Liverpool John Moores University and Edge Hill University. I was part of this course, alongside around 50 other directors, writers, and producers. It seemed a shame that after it ended, everyone would go their separate ways when there was such a collection of talented people in the one place. FACT asked if anyone was interested in continuing to organise get togethers for filmmakers, and I thought it'd be good to carry the sessions on, as well as widening it out to the filmmaking community at large - and here we are!
Why do you think this kind of filmmaking hub is necessary?
Prior to the creation of the meet, there wasn't a great deal of networking available for a filmmaker in Liverpool. For an impoverished independent like myself, I couldn't afford to travel to Manchester many times a month to attend the greater number of media events that take place there. That isn't to say that there isn't a filmmaking community here (quite the opposite, as our first event sell-out showed) - but there haven't been enough events to cater to us. It's good that the meet appeals to creatives from across the North West, and hopefully will help networking between cities in the region.
The first session took place at FACT in June. What do you think participants took with them from the event?
There were four speakers at the first event, and I hope the audience took away something useful from each of them to apply to their own work. I hope they see the value that these sessions have - from both a learning perspective as well as a networking one. I also hope they appreciate FACT as a incredible venue for this kind of thing to operate from!
What are your hopes for North-West Filmmakers at FACT going forward?
I'm hoping we'll be able to grow in scope, become more well-known across the North West, and become a permanent fixture in people's diaries. It would be good to create a sense of community between creatives of all disciplines working in film & TV, and make everyone aware of the great people and companies from across the region.
Book your place for North-West Filmmakers at FACT on 18 September here.