Sunday, 8 February 2015

Yr3 Week 14 (Wed 28 Jan - MDA3300 Film Research and Context - Guest Lecture)

In a slight change up for today, we had the privilege of enjoying a guest lecture/QnA with British filmmaker and rising star Destiny Ekaragha (director of Tight Jeans and Gone Too Far, both of which have been mentioned before on this blog).

Beginning as a runner after studying Film and Broadcast at London Metropolitan University, Destiny then worked at a cinema for three years before getting a three month apprenticeship over at BBC Films. Inspired, she went on to make her first short film Tight Jeans, but finding funding was a challenge, due to the all black subject matter and cast. However, money was raised and after a slew of festival submissions, got accepted into the London Film Festival, which got her plenty of press notice.

Following her next short film, The Park, was her first feature, Gone Too Far, finding herself identifying with the subject matter, as well as greatly enjoying the original stage production. However, the sell was tough due to, again, the all black subject, and so to help drum up interest, did a readthrough of the script. One notice came from the BFI, who agreed to help put up part of the budget for the film. Following a social media campaign due to the limits of their advertising budget, the film was released to positive reception, including a positive reaction from top UK Film Critic Mark Kermode.

She advised us to be willing to make sacrifices and stick with it, no matter how hard it got, and that it was a pretty brutal industry that took no prisoners. Despite that, I personally was rather imrpessed by her charisma, and still evident enthusiasm for the medium, even after the hassles and battles for her films to even get off the ground. That to me is really inspiring, as I myself am in the throes of getting my own animated series off the ground, and I too have had to deal with rejections and the cold shoulder here and there. And to see someone make it and maintain that attitude really resonated.

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