It was always my aim to remain within the film industry after graduation. “It’s all happening in London. You want a job in film, London’s is the place to be.” Now if I had a pound for every time this was said to me, I might have been able to afford to live in London! But truth be told, moving to London never really crossed my mind. I don’t buy into the fact that you must be in London to have a good job. It’s easy to get caught up in people telling you how important it is to work in the “big city” but I couldn’t disagree more. There is a wealth of talent right across the country that all too often gets overlooked. Don’t get me wrong, London works for many people, but just not me. I’m a big advocate of taking some of the focus off London so that other amazing cities across the UK, such as Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds etc. can flourish and develop. It’s this desire to stand out from the crowd that drew me to Aesthetica.
Here was this incredible business that produced not only one of the most successful arts and culture publications, Aesthetica magazine, but had its own BAFTA-Recognised film festival, international Art Prize and Creative Writing Award. To top it all off, it was right on my doorstep! Since joining the team last September as Aesthetica’s Marketing Coordinator, it’s been a complete whirlwind. In less than three months I’ve been front and center for the launch of three issues, we’ve opened both the Art Prize and Creative Writing Prize, and hosted the 7th edition of the Aesthetica Short Film Festival.
I can’t begin to explain how rewarding it is to go to work each day and be surrounded by people with as much passion and excitement for film. The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is one of the world’s leading international short film festivals, celebrating independent film from around the world and it really does pride itself on being an outlet for supporting and championing filmmaking. The festival takes place each November across the city of York, showcasing over 300 films from both established and emerging filmmakers, along with numerous industry masterclasses, guest programmes, premiere screenings and special events. To submit your short this year visit: www.asff.co.uk/submit. Entries close 31 May 2018. Here’s ASFF 2017 trailer. Continue reading →
I have been asked to write for the Alumni page a few times, but I have always had a goal in mind which I strived to achieve, before I started to look back.
Today I am sitting on a laptop in my apartment in West Hollywood, living a life I had dreamt about for over 14 years. So I thought it was a good time to write something.
This is a very long story, BUT if you prevail to the end, like all good stories, there are some valuable lessons inside.
From University to Editing
I got my first video camera for Christmas when I was 15 and never put it down. Like most, I grew up dreaming of working in Hollywood, directing movies.
I studied Media Production between 2007-2010 specialising in Single Camera and Digital Media. By the end of the course I was passionate about all aspects of the degree, even the parts I left behind in previous semesters. After graduating I was undecided on what to do next, my first thought was to do a Masters. In order to pay for it, I decided to take a year out, get the first job I could find as I saved up.
The job turned out to be the Mcdonalds at the end of my road. While working behind the grill, I applied for jobs and work experience at various production houses to gain media experience. After hundreds of emails and applications, and 7 or 8 interviews for Runner and junior positions, I was unsuccessful. I needed experience, which I was unable to get. I was trapped in the classic catch 22. Continue reading →
Congratulations to multiple award winning filmmakerDr. Mikey Murray, lecturer in Film Production and Screenwriting at LSFM, for his latest shortNatalie(2017) to be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) 2017. He posted on social media that he was “absolutely thrilled to announce that Natalie will have its world premiere in competition at the Edinburgh International Film Festival on June 24th.” Writer and Director Mikey is pictured on-location with actress Kate Dickie (aka Lysa Arryn in Game of Thrones, 2011-14) who played the lead role. She has been involved with the story for many years and Mikey’s idea was a 2015 Kick- starter project. Kate said: “I was drawn to the script of Natalie because I love Mikey’s writing – it’s really honest, raw and truthful. I loved the story and subject matter of the film.”
The Scottish film – about ‘a transexual who travels home to her father’s funeral in order to gain closure with her prejudiced family’ – is in the EIFF Best Short Film category. Mikey, founder of Indie-Lincs international film festival, has been selected to take part in the EIFF Talent Lab development sessions to support aspiring film- makers. Mikey said:Of course, I’d like to dream that I have some brilliant individual talent as a screenwriter and filmmaker, but the truth is that I have only ever made successful work through meeting and working with hugely talented collaborators. I was able to cast Game of Thrones actor, Kate Dickie in my short film recently because my high school friend (who I still work with) was able to put my screenplay in her hands.Continue reading →
Indie-Lincs is an International film festival that champions low and micro budget films and their filmmakers. The event’s organiser, lecturer at the University of Lincoln School of Film & Media (LSFM) and award winning filmmaker is Dr Mikey Murray: Our festival programme is brought to Lincoln through the hard work of student co-ordinators, who’re on the Film and TV course at LSFM: Becca Booty, Tom Durrans, Lucy Hansard, Ali Mendzil, Ben Reynolds & Tom Woodcock. Indie-Lincs aim is to help the best independent filmmakers from around the world showcase their original work and network successfully with their audience, other filmmakers and the indie filmmaking community. Screening of over 40 shorts and features at University of Lincoln Performing Arts Centre (LPAC).
Deputy Head of the College of Arts Dr Sarah Barrow: We very much hope that you can make it along to some of the Festival. There will be several filmmakers visiting Lincoln for the event and some wonderful international film content over the two days Friday 17th and Saturday 18th March in LPAC. On Thursday 16th March there’ll be a Special Opening event – with film, guests and live music – in the Stephen Langton Building Cinema, 7pm-9pm. If you would like to attend the Opening event, please email Mikey: email@example.comContinue reading →
It’s back! Film entries are open for Indie-Lincs NOW until 1st December 2016, with screenings to be held in March 2017 at Lincoln Performing Arts Centre. The international film festival aims to ‘champion low and micro budget films, and their filmmakers.’Films will compete for prizes in 5 categories from best feature to best short. For entry rules go to: http://www.indie-lincs.com
Organiser, LSFM Lecturer in film production, Mikey Murray said: We are looking for dynamic, inventive and challenging fiction, documentary and animated micro-budget films completed after 1st January 2015. University of Lincoln students can have a free waiver to submit a film. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Indie-Lincs help the best independent filmmakers from around the world showcase their original work and network successfully with their audience, other filmmakers and the independent film-making community. Indie-Lincs issponsored by Lincoln BIG and run in partnership with the LSFM.
Lecturer, multiple short award winning,Dr. Mikey Murrayspecialises inFilm Production and Screenwriting at LSFM. He started theIndie-Lincsfilm festival “to help independent filmmakers from around the world showcase their films in Lincoln.”Mikey is pictured social networking with students and he posted about the importance of collaboration from teaching to film-making. He’s been on-location directing Game of Thrones actor Kate Dickie on the set of ‘Natalie’. The film is due for release later this year – for now he found time to reflect …
This time 6 years ago I was working a part-time job in the now defunct retail chain, Comet. Why was I doing that? Because it was what I needed to do to at the time to pay the rent and give myself time to continue my vocation as a filmmaker. I did have an evening job teaching screenwriting at a local college too, and that was not only something I enjoyed, but it was also something that allowed me to stay fundamentally connected to the industry. I learned from my first teaching job that film education institutions are effectively industry hubs and therefore it didn’t take me long to apply for a Graduate Teaching Assistant position at Bangor University that would include PhD study in Film Practice. There was really no argument against packing my bags for North Wales as I’ve always believed that if I was willing to move anywhere, it would allow me to progress my career quicker. I’ve now had spells living and working in Scotland, London, Los Angeles and Wales before ending up here, in Lincoln.
The film was directed by Phil Stevens, who works part-time as a lecturer at the University of Lincoln School of Film & Media. Head of LSFM Dr Sarah Barrow said: Almost everyone on the production team was a member of staff or graduate, and some were LSFM students at the time the film was made last year.Continue reading →
Congrats to our 2008 graduate, an independent filmmaker and LSFM part-time lecturer Darren Scales for winning an Excellence Award at TheIndieFEST Film Awards,in Los Angeles, for The Drift (2014).Darren at Backyard Productions UKdirected and produced the science-fiction feature film, which was made over three years on a low budget of £5,000 and with a high number of willing volunteers (100!). He said:
I am so pleased that The Drift has won this award, more so because of the fantastic contribution made by the crew, many of them from the University of Lincoln – at this School. It just goes to show that hard work and motivation pays off, now with an LA award, even when you have a tiny budget! The charitable indie is currently looking for distribution: email@example.com
From Nina Schildhauer, Film Curator and Programmer atPopUp!Scotland, about the UN*DEPENDENCE Film Festival 2015 in Edinburgh. The deadline to submit your film (short, feature, documentary, animation, etc.) is by 15th January 2015:
We are a small and independent collective of artists and filmophiles in Scotland’s capital Edinburgh and we are currently looking for submissions for the UN*DEPENDENCE Film Festival 2015. We wish to reach out at communities outside Scotland to seek out film networks that are devoted to talking about and challenging the norms and we are particularly interested in films from countries where independence is an ongoing discourse.
We are looking for films and moving image works that tackle the topics of (in)dependencies and un-dependence on all levels. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, the idea for the festival was born out of the spirit of the Scottish Referendum. The referendum had an impact not just politically but more important, it triggered reactions in the people’s minds and caused a massive response within the arts. Dependencies are personal themes that individuals struggle with just as nations do. We are inviting filmmakers from Scotland and around the world to submit shorts, feature films, documentaries, animation and experimental works which deal with these questions. Continue reading →
Following on from recent screenings at film fests Luma St. has more good news. 2014 Animation graduate Daniel Escobar who created, edited and directed the short said: Luma St. has been nominated for the finalists in the International digital animation festival – Nagoya 2014 (it’s in Japan). It’s also been accepted into the Reel Genius International Film Festival and for those of you who haven’t seen the film, it is in a public competition at the audience awards. So watch it and vote for us if you liked it: http://theaudienceawards.com/film/luma-st15951