Tag Archives: alison abbate

DIRECTORS MASTERCLASSES WITH NFTS & BFI & BUG

This summer, whilst continuing intensive writing and development on my feature projects (lord when will it end/begin?…) I’ve been working with the NFTS and the BFI, both together and separately on a series of director-based masterclasses. Some have had me screening and discussing my own work, with students and schools, whilst for others I’ve been on the other side of the bench and in the interviewers seat…

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I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with directors such as my good friend Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim, The Worlds End), Peter Strickland (Beberian Sound Studio, Katalin Varga), Joe Wright (Atonement, Hanna, Anna Karenina) and Eran Creevy (Welcome To The Punch, Shifty) – I also discussed ‘Frankenweenie’ with Tim Burtons frequent producer Allison Abbate and Grabbers with director Jon Wright, writer Kevin Lehane and VFX guru Paddy Eason. You can read excepts and anecdotes from some of these interviews HERE and although it’s not my preferred position to be ‘the interviewer’ I really enjoyed having the unique opportunity to ask questions and garner candid truths in the responses from this lot. Edgar Wright took us through his incredible career leading up to the recent release of The Worlds End (he heroically came directly from the final day of shooting picks ups to do the master-class) Eran Creevy entertained the packed audience with tales of drawing the performance from actor James Mcavoy using unexpected methods, Peter Strickland spoke of his experimental sound design and the trials and tribulations & nightmares of shooting no-budget in Romania and Joe Wright discussed how fear motivated what he did, as well as giving generous insights into his famed one-shots… It was heartening and inspiring to hear other directors discuss their hopes and fears and tell stories about how they got to do what they love, and how they plan to continue doing it. I’m looking forward to sitting down with Joe Cornish (Attack The Block, TinTin, Antman) in September.

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In April I was also was a lead tutor in the first ever BFI/NFTS Talent Campus, which saw me and a group of intrepid directors, writers and producers including Michelle Eastwood, Ian Knox, Lee Thomas, Brian Ward, Brian Gilbert and Robbie Mckillop ‘mentoring’ 54 students in groups of 9, for an intensive and at times nerve-wracking 2 week crash course in short film-making at the National Film School in Beaconsfield. It was a crazy and rewarding experience and at times I felt like I was on a Jamie-Oliver-Does-Film-Schools number or a ‘Challenge Anneka’ style game show.. Up against the odds as well as the clock we were, but the impressive results (6 completed short films) were screened at the BFI South Bank NFT1 at the end of the 2 week period and they seemed to go down a storm with the packed audience. All in all it was an incredibly rewarding experience.

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While I’m sticking all this workshop business down in this blog, I’ve also enjoyed running assorted masterclasses in film, music video & animation around the UK’s schools and colleges over the years, including workshops at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Chiddingly Arts Festival and The Big Chill Music Festival.. I also took part in last years Film 4 ‘Horror Day’ (along side Ben Wheatley, James Moran, Paul Hyett and Neil Marshall) where we discussed The Horror…

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…finally, a couple of years back, I was honoured to host the BUG ‘Evil-ution of Music Video Halloween Special’, where my fancy-dress-attired special guests included Edgar Wright, accompanied by none other than John Landis, who aside from being the coolest man alive (dressed in a bear mask), told an incredible and hilarious yarn about Michael Jackson and Christopher Lee in relation to his seminal video for THRILLER…

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Its always a rewarding experience getting the chance to chat candidly with these guys, as well as through these sessions and workshops, to keep in touch with the students and hear their progressive take on film, technology, music videos and their own ideas.

Thanks to Pete and Jenny from the Student Media side of things, Venetia, Nik and Jon from the NFTS and Nicky and Stu from the BFI as well as David Knight, Louise, Miland and Phil from BUG for all the cool stuff you do…

CORIN

06.08.13