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EDITORIAL


No more "one-man show"

During a brief lecture about Film Distribution, I once heard a producer say, “Don´t think that you are selling your soul to the devil, because you are not” while explaining the basics of an average contract agreement in Europe between a director and a producer.  He faced an ignorant aversion to his trade in a room filled with aspiring documentary directors, many of whom are comfortably used to run a one-man show to make their films, myself included.    

Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. In the real business, the selfish format is left behind in the classroom and a crew is built to make the movie happen. Both the Director and the Producer hold the fort down from the very start in the sense that they are, together, responsible to drive the process forward. For many (most?) novice filmmakers, this very statement comes as a surprise, to say the least. Questions about the necessity of having a producer on board unveil the fact that this professional role is much undermined.

The instinctive reaction to protect our ideas from others turns easily into a myth when you realize a film project gains credibility and stability when you have a producer on board, the distribution and funding opportunities enlarge and most importantly, a creative responsibility is shared… and this is greatly appreciated once the training wheels of producing a film in a school are gone. 

Mariana Cadenas
Editor-in-chief

OPINION


Directors & Producers – Partners in Crime

During a brief lecture about Film Distribution, I once heard a producer say, “Don´t think that you are selling your soul to the devil, because you are not” while explaining the basics of an average contract agreement in Europe between a director and a producer.  He faced an ignorant aversion to his trade in a room filled with aspiring documentary directors, many of whom are comfortably used to run a one-man show to make their films, myself included.     
Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. In the real business, the selfish format is left behind in the classroom and a crew is built to make the movie happen. Both the Director and the Producer hold the fort down from the very start in the sense that they are, together, responsible to drive the process forward. For many (most?) novice filmmakers, this very statement comes as a surprise, to say the least. Questions about the necessity of having a producer on board unveil the fact that this professional role is much undermined.

The instinctive reaction to protect our ideas from others turns easily into a myth when you realize a film project gains credibility and stability when you have a producer on board, the distribution and funding opportunities enlarge and most importantly, a creative responsibility is shared… and this is greatly appreciated once the training wheels of producing a film in a school are gone.


Judith Vreriks*
Producer at Zeppers



* Judith Vreriks, born in The Netherlands, studied Culture and Film in Utrecht (NL) and in Glasgow (UK). As a former writer/director and creative producer with a university background, she has built up a strong track record in the film industry. She has over 15 years of experience in all aspects of documentary film, from concept development and writing to the delivery to broadcasters, sales agents and distributors. Judith has worked with a wide variety of directors, among whom Heddy Honigmann, Jeroen Berkvens, Jessica Gorter and Coco Schrijber. 

GLOBAL NOMADS

Where and what are our alumni up to?

A section dedicated to their work and voices



PANX SOLAJES 

DN edition 1 (2012-14)
From: Tacloban City, Philippines
Currently in: Manila, Philippines

 
 
“I have raised 70% of the budget of my next project called Himurasak, an experimental documentary film in which survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan suffered by the Philippines in November 2013, revisit their collective memory to paint a picture of the omens that saved their lives.  While waiting for the production to begin, I am painting.  It is interesting that I might also be working on a film poster for a Taiwanese film - if it pushes through, this will be the first time my love for film and painting would be coming together.”

MANUEL CONTRERAS

DN edition 1 (2012-14)
From: Bogotá, Colombia
Currently in: Budapest, Hungary

 
 
“In October I start a PhD program at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts to research a topic related to my own visual heritage titled The Imaginaries and Counter-imaginaries of the Latin American Documentary Cinema. It is a four year program where I must execute various visual pieces conveying the results of my research, which fundamentally seeks to understand the traits one of the many commercially excluded regions in the World of documentary cinema.”

GUILLERMO GÓMEZ

DN edition 3 (2014-16)
From: Madrid, Spain
Currently in: Madrid, Spain



 
“I’m the co-creator of a pioneer art event this Fall called Unlock, an art publishing fair exclusively for urban art and graffiti content happening in Barcelona this 27-30th of October. An infinite number of streets around the world host great pieces of art that are meant to be seen as such.  By creating a platform like Unlock, we aim to not only offers great books, but to create hub for discussion and attract researchers, supporting the life of this ephemeral form of expression to other spaces beyond its physical existence, including (soon) films. For more visit unlockfair.com.”
 


INTERVIEW


by Martha Appelt / Photo by FEST

At the beginning of this summer I was very fortunate to have a great encounter. We met at a small, crowded bar where people were watching some important football game for some important European football cup. It was night time and the smell of sea was in the air. We went outside and sat at a quieter table away from the crowd. He lit up his cigarette and sipped his red wine. I watched him and now I have a mental picture of his profile in close-up. I wish I could draw it for you; it’s a nice picture set over a night sky, with hints of grey, a lot of skin-tone and a serpent of smoke. The perfect soundtrack for it would be the sound of rain, but there wasn’t any. The man in it is Béla Tarr.

What you will read next are excerpts of his master class he presented the next day, which I hosted for FEST- the International Film Festival in Espinho. I could only use a small part of it for this piece, but I invite you to listen to the whole master class and get a fist full of honesty, rebelliousness and inspiration.

What inspired you to start making films? 

“Honestly? I never wanted to be a filmmaker, I just became… I was 16 years old, I was very radical, very young, and I made my first film, and I wanted to change the world. I believed the camera was good and useful to change the world. When I made my first feature, I believed the same, I was 22. Slowly, I had to understand that I cannot change the world with film, but maybe during this time I was changing the film language, and if you say film is part of the world, lets say in this case that I was changing a little bit, a small part of the world. When I was young, the situation was the same as now, I saw fake films, fake stories, fake dramaturgy… everything was far away from life. Film is a communication between me and the world, this is how I see the world and how I react to the world. And of course, the film has to be close to life. All of my films are close to life. And it’s not just my perspective, because you can’t make films alone. When I say “I”, I talk about my crew."  

Read more


EXPERIENCES


Dori Zurbo from Hungary and Arun Bhattarai from Bhutan will soon become the first DN graduates to co-direct a feature length documentary.  

Stories from the Field, scheduled to be completed in December 2017, is an intimate story of Tashi (13) who´s only desire is to become a boy.  After an unsuccessful attempt at becoming a footballer in the first Bhutanese women football team, she realizes that the only way to conquer her dream in her village is to take over the family’s Buddhist monastery.

Hard work and extensive training granted this project the support of the IDFA Bertha Fund, the Creative Europe MEDIA grant, the Asia Pitch Award, amongst others.   

Here are a few pointers from Dóri who was also recently awarded with a scholarship for young emerging artist from the Hungarian Academy of Arts: 

1. Your first feature does not have to be a masterpiece; the important thing is to learn from the process.

2. Spend enough time with your subjects to grasp your concept, don´t run after the funding deadlines.

3. Don´t be afraid to approach a producer with an early idea, they can help you see further.

4. Be realistic about your concept and goals during the funding application.

5. If you are making a character-driven film, make sure that they are on board with the project. You will be spending months together.

6. Make sure that the whole crew sees and understands the same film. 

7. Create a crew, team up with other DocNomads or local talent.

8. Production workshops are a good investment to understand the market.

9. Criticism is good, always talk about your film to everyone and really listen to the feedback.

10. Just enjoy it!

 

                                                                                       Photo by Arts University Bournemouth

SUGGESTIONS

 
Here are some suggested courses in Europe to learn more about production:

Czech Republic: 

http://international.famu.cz/page.php?page=58


England:

https://www.metfilmschool.ac.uk/courses/ma-producing/

http://www.londonfilmacademy.com/courses/producing-movie-magic-budgeting-and-scheduling.asp

Malta:

http://www.handsonmalta.com/portfolio/development-and-preproduction/

 
COLLABORATE WITH US

All DocNomads students, alumni, course teachers and guest lecturers
are invited to contribute to the DNA Newsletter.

Send your proposals for articles, info tips and other suggestions to
dna.newsletter@docnomads.eu
DNA Newsletter 02 – Autumn 2016. Chief Editor: Mariana Cadenas (DN3).

Issue contributors: Mariana Cadenas, Judith Vreriks, Panx Solajes, Manuel Contreras, Guillermo Gómez.

Graphic Layout: Mathilde Collobert. Publishing and Distribution: Pedro Caetano.

Project Coordinator: Victor Candeias.



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