Deaf Filmmaking: Skyfall, Dummy Jim, Silver Linings Playbook and more


The last time I went to the cinema was to watch Skyfall.

Not a lot of people know this, but I watched it on the day that I was supposed to be going under the knife for my bionic ear. That morning, the roof of the operating theatre developed a leak, so my wife and I decided to go to the movies instead.

Skyfall was the last film I ever watched in a cinema with hearing aids. I was in an operating theatre having unspeakable things done to my skull a couple of days later.

Fast forward six months, and I’m a guest of the Edinburgh Film Festival and 104 Films. I’ve got a tray of extra large nachos on my lap, and I’m watching director Matt Hulse introduce a film that he’s spent 12 years working on. That film is Dummy Jim. Continue reading “Deaf Filmmaking: Skyfall, Dummy Jim, Silver Linings Playbook and more”

Why I haven’t used crowdfunding to pay for my next film… yet

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I’ve been lucky enough to get money from various people – The BBC, Channel 4, the NDCS, Jack Ashley, the UK Film Council, Film London and BSLZone – to make various films over the years. I’ve never had to resort to writing letters asking for loans (OK, just the once, and I paid him back) or using crowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. With Kickstarter about to launch in the UK this month, the opportunities for getting people to pay you to make a movie are better than ever.

Making a feature film is the long term goal. I have a shortlist of about five story ideas that could be made on a low budget, which – with the right actors – could even end up on supermarket shelves for £5.97. Each of these ideas are in various stages, some more advanced than others. But how to finance a feature? I could do a Kevin Smith and pay for it by credit card, but all my cards are maxed out. I could do a Truffaut and get a dentist to raise my money for me, but I don’t know any dentists. I’ve thought about asking the BFI for some development money, but the application form looks like a nightmare.

That leaves me with crowdfunding, which seems to be the platform of choice for getting film projects off the ground. So why haven’t I used a crowdfunding site to launch a low budget feature film project?

Continue reading “Why I haven’t used crowdfunding to pay for my next film… yet”

Stanley Kubrick was a self-shooter

Stanley Kubrick self operating on set

Self shooting is the term given to a director who has to operate his own sound and camera on location. This is happening more and more often in the media. The ability to use broadcast equipment and create quality images without the aid of a professional cameraman or soundman is becoming more and more commonplace in factual and news television production.

I’ve always resisted this trend, preferring to guide someone else more skilled than myself to getting the images I want.
Continue reading “Stanley Kubrick was a self-shooter”