This year, Exeter Phoenix is taking a new approach to its commission schemes and has launched a brand new range of categories. In total, over £15,000 of support in artist fees and equipment hire will be made available to filmmakers and moving image artists at all levels, to create 8 short films.
With a broader range of categories, we aim to develop moving image talent in the South West by supporting fresh talent and offering new opportunities to more established filmmakers.
Read on to find out more about our 2016 commissions, and to meet the filmmaking teams behind the projects.
DEVON DOCUMENTARY FILM COMMISSIONS
Exeter Phoenix Digital is supporting the development of a documentary short film project. Exeter Phoenix will expect two edits of the final documentary, one which is 10 minutes long and one which is three minutes long.
SIMEON COSTELLO – BUS STORIES
After studying drama and media studies Simeon realised that his real love lied in filmmaking. He started making short little films with his friends for YouTube. These friends developed into the crew he works with today. Simeon has been an active member Shooters in the Pub for 3 years ago and in that time he has produced six short films, worked as a sound recordist, boom op, clapper loader, assistant director and runner. He landed himself an extra part in the upcoming blockbuster Huntsman Winter’s War. After seeing the massive scale of the production, he had his heart set on a big crew.
In the summer of 2015 Simeon co-wrote and produced his biggest short film yet, Nowhere Place, a coming of age drama set on a fictional moor where a ‘monster’ haunts the local village.
ABOUT HIS COMMISSION
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.
EXETER PHOENIX DEVON SHORT FILM COMMISSIONS
The Devon Short Film commissions will be original ideas from any genre that will speak to a cinema audience. Exeter Phoenix will expect two edits of the final documentary, one which is 10 minutes long and one which is three minutes long.
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. He has also worked for some of the best known national and international brands, creating content for TV, web and live events. All in the Valley, his debut feature film as writer and director, was awarded Best Feature Film at the Cornwall Film Festival 2014.
ABOUT HIS COMMISSION
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
ABOUT TIMI AND HANA
Timi Ajani and Hana Elias are a filmmaking duo who met at university where they began their collaboration in filmmaking. Having both travelled far to reach University at Exeter, Hana from Fiji and Timi from London. Hana began working with women’s organisations and radio broadcasting using film to express social justice themes. Timi found his footing in narrative filmmaking and over the years produced various short projects. Their experiences in Guerilla documentaries and Indie narrative forms, contribute a unique and personal style that will feature in their upcoming project The Search Party.
ABOUT THEIR COMMISSION
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.
EXETER PHOENIX MICRO FILM COMMISSIONS
The MicroFilm Commissions will be concise, innovative stories developed for screen through brave and lustrous filmmaking. We are expecting these films to speak to a cinema audience and to be bold enough to sit before the Studio 74 Programme. The final film will be 3 minutes long.
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.
ABOUT HIS COMMISSION
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 was born as a baby and has been trying to grow up ever since. He’s written and directed a number of short films and has been involved with many projects in the South West and beyond. Recent projects include editing Scareycrows, a comedy/horror feature film primarily shot in Dawlish and writing/editing Portent, a short film set on Dartmoor.
ABOUT HIS COMMISSION
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.
EXETER PHOENIX RAW FILM COMMISSIONS
The Raw Film Commission is aimed at Devon’s most promising young filmmaking talent. We are expecting applicants to be committed, creative and passionate about transforming ideas in to big screen stories. Ideas will speak to a cinema audience and will be innovative and unique enough to sit before the Studio 74 Cinema programme.
BETHAN HIGHGATE-BETTS – PINK
Bethan Highgate-Betts is a filmmaker and freelance artist from the South West. Having previously taken on commissions from organisations such as The BFI, Doc Next Media and Bath Fringe, she has had her short films shown throughout the country. A passionate and imaginative filmmaker, she creates shorts that offer a new way of looking at something familiar.
ABOUT HER COMISSION
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. He has always lived in the area surrounding Exeter and has been making films since owning his first camera at the ripe age of 10 where he made a short nature documentary about a 6ft penguin that was scaring people on the River Otter but had yet to be caught on camera. George’s aspirations in the field of documentary film making are to one day create both investigative and political documentaries that help give different perspectives on their subjects as George feels that we are loosing our nuance and individualism to the generalised scatter gun of mass media.
ABOUT HIS COMMISSION
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. It is caused by the visual centre of the brain as it tries to interpret the limited information it is receiving from the eyes causing it to create intricate patches to the persons sight from its memory in compensation for the reduced level of vision. These patches however are often wrong and can range from moving patterns on walls to gargoyles stalking you everywhere you go and to even full 3D sequences of memories superimposed over the sight like a VR headset you can’t take off.
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.
These films will be screened at our Two Short Nights film festival. Find out more about the Two Short Nights film festival here >>