Exeter Phoenix Film Commissions 2016
In 2016 Exeter Phoenix took a new approach to its commission schemes after launching a brand new range of categories. In total, over £15,000 of support in artist fees and equipment hire was made available to filmmakers and moving image artists at all levels, to create 8 short films.
Devon Documentary Film Commissions
Simeon Costello – Bus Stories
Simeon originally had the idea of his documentary not as a film but as an epic journey to travel around the UK using only local buses. He then saw the Devon Documentary Short Film Commission advertised on Exeter Phoenix’s website and developed the idea from there.
Simeon plans to travel from John O’Groats to Land’s End in less than 4 days using only local buses. Accompanied by DOP Scott Stevens (Nowhere Place) they will be finding out along the way why people use these routes and why they are so crucial to the UK.
Devon Short Film Commissions
Luke Hagan – Lord Of The Logos
Luke is a freelance filmmaker and editor, whose career and has seen him work on a range of feature films, music videos and award winning shorts.
Lord of the Logos is a documentary exploring the work of the Exeter based artist Christophe Szpajdel. With an estimated 10,000 designs to his name, exhibitions as far afield as Japan and New Zealand, and clients from across the globe, Christophe is one of the most famous logo designers you’ve probably never heard of. That’s because Christophe designs logos for metal bands.
Timiakindelle-Ajani and Hana Elias – Outside
Timi Ajani and Hana Elias are a filmmaking duo who met at university where they began their collaboration in filmmaking.
Experiences with fellow students and locals in Exeter provided a wealth of material for them to draw from. They aim to explore based off of shared experiences, the effect of becoming separated from yourself as a result of being made to feel foreign by your community. Realised through a light hearted telling of a comical story, where a woman who speaks very little English finds herself on a search party for a missing person in Dartmoor.
Rupert Green – Nightmare Of Garhblach
Rupert is a Devon based entertainer/film-maker who has been working with Jack for the past year making short films and promotional trailers. He has been directing or acting in short films since 2000.
Speaking about his commission, Rupert Green said ‘So I asked James if he knew any ghost stories and he didn’t, but he said Marcus knew a really good one, so I rang Marcus and he went and asked his father who recounted this true ghost story.
Once I had read the story, I wanted to make a film with puppets but in a Japanese bunraku style and add to that a bit of stop motion exploring the processes of what will be needed to scare myself and then an audience in 3 minutes.’
Dom Lee – Rocketshed
Dom has written and directed a number of short films and has been involved with many projects in the South West and beyond.
In his commissioned project, Rocketshed, Six-year-old Jack and his Dad sit in their ‘Rocketshed’, a garden shed they’ve converted into a rocketship. The countdown timer ticks down. Two minutes. Not long to go now.
Raw Film Commissions
Bethan Highgate-Betts – Pink
Bethan Highgate-Betts is a filmmaker and freelance artist from the South West.
Pink is a film about old age and about remembering the lives we’ve lived. About love and the moments in time that stay with us forever. Set in both the present day United Kingdom and 1940’s Iran, Pink explores the secrets of a Grandmother and a life seemingly forgotten.
George Griffiths – The Visions In The Dark
Freshly graduated from the University of the Creative Arts with a Ba Hons in Film Production George has become infatuated with the creative process of documentary film making.
The Visions in the Dark (W.T) is a short Documentary film about people who suffer from Charles Bonnet Syndrome (CBS). CBS effects 2/3 of people who go blind and manifests itself in people by superimposing vivid hallucinations over the persons vision.
George intends to capture what it is like to live with CBS, what it is like to not be able to trust your vision in the already uncertain situation of turning blind and to fear that this not a symptom of blindness but a symptom of dementia. He intends to interview sufferers about what it is like to live with CBS and will grasp what it is like sensually and emotionally live with the syndrome.
Exeter Phoenix Film Commissions 2015
Applications were invited for original ideas or scripts for short films of any genre between 5-12 mins long, including documentary and animation. Each of the selected filmmakers received support in creating their project which premiered at Two Short Nights Film Festival on Fri 27 Nov 2015. The selected projects were:
Will Halfacree & Andrea Bishop
Taking It On
Nicola Bishop had always helped her Dad on the family farm. They shared an incredible bond through their love of animals, and became a familiar face on the agricultural showing scene. Following the sudden death of her father last year, a 23-year-old Nicola was faced with a tough decision – either give up Curscombe Farm, or take it on.
This observational documentary follows one of the youngest female farmers in the country. There are highs, lows, and never a dull moment in the life of this young woman following her dream.
Sunday explores the lack of relationships between family members in modern day life. Following various characters as they go through their separate days, we learn how distant they all are, despite living under one roof. Yet, as the day moves on, we learn of the one last link that keeps them all together, and it is not the traditional Sunday roast dinner.
Pine is a light-hearted drama/comedy that follows the story of Elvin; a struggling door salesman who needs a to make a quick buck to relieve him from his dire financial straits. This leads him down a path filled with consequences that could change his life forever.
Jab Jab The Biggest Band You’ve Never Heard Of
This is the story of Jab Jab, one of Britain’s most successful unsigned bands of the 1970s. With their unique fusion of rock, reggae, calypso and funk music, Jab Jab were breaking boundaries. In the pre-digital era, fans were unable to access Jab Jab’s music outside their live performances. Until now…
Inspired by the discovery of reel-to-reel recordings, filmmaker Amanda Whittington brings the band back together and documents their story and music. Could they be the biggest band you’ve never heard of?
An aspiring drama student makes a desperate deal to fund her education. Three decades later an unexpected visitor reveals the true cost of her contract.
Exeter Phoenix Film Commissions 2014
2014 saw five filmmaking teams demonstrate diverse and interesting approaches to their short film projects. Their work debuted on the big screen at our annual Two Short Night film Festival.
‘Working with Exeter Phoenix you are introduced through workshops to a positive and supportive network of filmmakers who are in the same boat. A particularly important and motivating part of the process is that you get an actual venue to showcase your film at the end and the chance to share in an experience following months of hard work’. – Richard Gosling directed Baby Bird – the winning Best Short Film Commission 2014.
‘It was wonderful to premiere at the Two Short Nights Film Festival. To get support for your production and, more importantly, a fixed deadline ahead of you is really handy for all creative.’ – Nick Gordon, director Ashes, commissioned 2014
The commissioned films were:
Filmmakers: Katie Beard & Lucy Green
The film combined site specific performance and dance. By creating this film they offered opportunities for both students and the local community; casting from both sectors regardless of previous dance experience. Katie has a strong interest in performance making, and is particularly intrigued by site specific performance. Lucy was a drama student from the University of Exeter, and this was her first opportunity to make a short film.
Filmmaker: Luke Jeffery
Straight-laced wedding photographer Drake Dalton is prescribed an experimental new drug for his colour blindness and soon begins to experience some unexpected side effects.
Luke studied film at Falmouth University and since graduating has been involved in a variety of film and theatre projects across the South West. He currently works as a freelance writer/director and runs the Devon based production company Wandering Tiger.
Filmmaker: Nick Gordon
Ashes is about two estranged brothers, reluctantly travelling together to their Cornish hometown to dispose of their father’s ashes.
Nick Gordon has worked freelance in video production and audio recording for over 10 years. He has directed a variety of product commercials and music videos, and also specialises in motion graphics and animation. Between projects, Nick also directs short fiction films and visual shorts.
Filmmakers: Simon Lex & Chris Jones
A film in which someone is summoned to sit an exam.
Following two successful 48 Hour Film entries to the Two Short Nights Film Festival, Simon’s interest in filmmaking led him to apply for the Exeter Phoenix commission.
Chris is a very experienced cinematographer, working on award-winning films all over the world. In 2007 Chris was awarded a Short Film Bursary for his film Small Change, which went on to win the Two Short Nights Film Festival audience award.
Filmmaker: Richard Gosling
Baby Bird is the story of eight-year-old Arthur and his attempt to nurture the abandoned bird eggs he has discovered.
Graduating with a 1st class Degree in Animation from the Arts University Bournemouth Richard now makes short films.
Crowd Funder Short Film Commission 2014
Exeter Phoenix invited applications for the development of a short film project open to filmmakers from Devon or Cornwall. The selected film was:
PENNY FOR THEM
Filmmakers: Paul & Tanya Morel of Oddbodies
An uptight English businessman is troubled by reoccurring nightmares of endlessly running for his life.
Paul and Tanya Morel are two of the founder members of Oddbodies, an independent production company specialising in creating original and compelling new work for film, theatre and visual arts.
Previous Years’ Commissions
Click on the relevant year for details of the film projects we commissioned.