And the award for 2023 Pro Moviemaker Filmmaker of the Year goes to…
Before we get into the result (and yeah, I’m totally not expecting you to cheat and skim to the bottom) let me rewind a few weeks to an email I received from Hireacamera highlighting an opportunity to submit a film to the inaugural Filmmaker of the Year awards, run by Pro Moviemaker Magazine.
To be honest, it had never occurred to me to submit any of our films to be judged. Sometimes it feels like the judgement of our clients is enough, haha! But for some reason I was encouraged enough by the wide ranging categories to think that maybe, just maybe, there might be something in this.
After a bit of deliberating I decided I would give it a go. After all, nothing ventured, nothing gained and all that.
Choosing to throw your hat into the ring is one thing, but thinking about which hat to throw is another.
I spent a while reviewing our back catalogue before watching the Canon 100mm Macro Lens film we made with expert Macro Photographer, Explorer and All-Round Legend that is Oliver Wright.
Watching this film back was special as it represents a lot for our little agency.
Since this first film for Canon we have gone on to film and edit many more projects for them, which is awesome. With one such project included filming the dynamic duo of Danny Boyle and Anthony Dod Mantle talking about their series Pistol – which is insanely well shot and edited (Pistol I mean, although our little piece ain’t too bad either 😜).
The 100mm Macro Lens film means a lot for me personally, as it was the first real project that I got to work with one of my all time faves, Timothy Coleman!
Yes, the same Timmo who is now a regular in the Studio 44 game.
The pair of us relished the opportunity to do a post-lockdown shoot with the wonderful people at Future Fusion, the agency who we were working with for this project.
Needless to say, Oliver was brilliant, Tim and I were loving being out of the house with camera in hand. We spent ages sifting the footage, crafting the narrative, working on revisions and really trying to dial into the features of this lens but not in a pushy way. We really wanted to show how you could use this lens and camera combo to get lost in the magic of the macro world.
Tim and I spent many hours in the confines of my micro office (delightfully known as the ‘coffin’) but finally our hard work paid off and we had a finished product that agency and client were happy with.
So, the film was made, Canon really liked it and we created something that we felt really captured Oliver’s experience with the lens but more than that celebrated the man and his story of how photography helped him overcome such adversity.
Right, back to the actual reason I started typing…
I had chosen the film. I submitted it (feeling very proud of myself and a little nervous). And then I got a very polite email from a guy named Adam, informing me that I had missed the deadline 😱 BUUUUT that he was happy to still include the film to be considered. WHAT. A. LEGEND!
So that was it. It was in. Now, we wait.
Actually at the usual speed and I had somewhat forgotten about it until two days ago, when quite out of the blue I thought to myself “I wonder whatever happened to that filmmaker awards thingy? Probably didn’t win anything because you’d have heard by now” and then as if by magic 😏 an email appeared in my inbox…
I mean, like. Actually, what now?!
I had not expected this at all and for a moment experienced a strange sense of validation that has eluded me of late. And here is the real reason for my post today (don’t look at the dates of how regular I am with this sort of thing, it will only embarrass me) –> Why did I feel the need to get external approval for this film in order to feel a sense of validation?
I have always struggled with a sense of inadequacy and a desperate need to prove myself. I don’t know what to call this strange urge, but it often prevents me from sharing work because I feel that if I’m not careful it will become a monster I will want to feed over and over, until I’m just whoring my work for the digital encouragement of others, the dreaded 👍🏼 or ♡ dopamine hit we all love and loathe so much.
But this time our little film was chosen. By a panel of experts (no idea who these people are but let’s assume they’re the giants of the film industry, I imagine Steven Spielberg was getting the coffee and donuts in) and this gave me a boost and a jolt that do you know what, nothing ventured, nothing gained is an actual thing. Yes it might become a dangerous road to travel, but I’d rather learn how to navigate the joys and trials of sharing work than just to sit down and quietly keep filming and editing in the corner hoping that someone might just say ‘hey, I like that thing you did. Good job 👍🏼’.
To close I’d like to say a massive thank you to Tim Coleman for his unwavering friendship, support, camera wangling, narrative shaping, hip shaking (lols), sandwich buying genius. I love the times we get to work together and Studio 44 is the better for having you a part of it, however often or infrequent those times are.
And I’d like to encourage anyone still reading to shake of the demons of inadequacy, share your work, but proud of your craft and try not to pay attention to the dopamine too much!
If you’re interested in sharing your work, I can highly recommend submitting to industry award panels to judge. Since being awarded a winners spot, I was contacted by DesignRush who wanted to include the portrait version of the film in a blogpost about the Best Social Media Videos.
This was such a nice surprise and might well help spread the work of Studio 44! Who knows!
Well, I’ll keep you posted.
In about two years time if my previous blogpost record is to be believed…