14 Things I Learned Making An Epic Fantasy Feature Film On A Micro-Budget

Last Sunday I was invited to introduce ‘Arthur and Merlin’ at the BFI, a new British fantasy epic shot on a remarkable budget. It’s released online TODAY at This is the first film you can rent via text message. I asked director Marco Van Belle to share some of his experiences so if we […]

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The four principles every creative needs to use when asking for help for their project: What we can learn from three Mexican schoolkids playing heavy metal

Over the weekend, three girls from Mexico went viral with a cover of classic metal anthem ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica. And these three girls, Daniela, Paulina and Alejandra, simply SLAYED IT! If you haven’t seen it yet, watch above So what can we take away from this success and apply to our own projects and […]

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Neil Gaiman Keynote Speech: Embracing Change and Mantra’s for a successful creative life

It’s the week leading up to the London Book Fair and I came across this keynote from the legendary Neil Gaiman from their Digital Minds conference. So much in this conversation resonates with me. Above all, for creatives, is the notion that we must create and set free our work. We must innovate ideas in […]

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Independent Filmmakers Rough Guide to Aperture, F-stops and Shutter Speed

I just came across this terrific chart (below) that clearly illustrates the impact choices of F stop (aperture), shutter speed and ISO makes on the photographed image. For camera people this is all fundamental stuff that must be grasped in order to shoot, but for many, it can be confusing and opaque. So for non […]

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Monica Lewinsky and the price of shame: Why we ALL need to open our hearts to her message

This outstanding TED talk from Monica Lewinsky highlights for me what the biggest problem the internet poses. While many get all worked up about porn, piracy and other easy internet targets, I am more worried about the way in which we exploit other people’s misfortune, either for personal pleasure, or for profit. That we partake […]

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The Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass: The Final Chapter… Come for just £69

I want to invite you to something rather extraordinary. This Summer I am running the Guerilla Filmmakers Masterclass one last time and I want you to come and be a part of this final and remarkable chapter. I love the masterclass, I have been teaching it for 15 years now and trained over 3,000 filmmakers, […]

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How to best use library music for your film – top 8 pitfalls to avoid

Library music is a great resource for filmmakers. I am a huge fan of Audio Network with their simple and hugely cost effective pricing. I used them first (and extensively) on my Oscar shortlisted film ‘Gone Fishing’ (though not all music was Audio Network, but ALL was library music). However, one down side of library […]

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How To Production Design a horror film: Top Ten Tips from designer turned director Melanie Light

Certified visionary / nutcase Melanie Light just completed her dark and disturbing short ‘The Herd’. Ahead of what promises to be a blazing festival run, I asked Mel to share her insights into how to get the most from the least when designing your own horror film. Over to @MisartressMel Share skills If you know […]

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5 Ways To Get Top Talent Attached To Your Screenplay by JK Amalou

Attaching top talent to your screenplay doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your film made, but it certainly increases your chances. The questions asked in 99% of meetings with distributors, film financiers, and sales agents after you’ve pitched your screenplay or they have read your screenplay is: “Who is the director?” followed by “Who is in […]

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Avoid the fetish of ‘kit’ and allow your creativity to flourish

‘The cameras, lenses, cranes, batteries, tripods, drones… the ‘kit’… will not make you a great filmmaker.’ That was one core message I shared at BVE onstage yesterday, and if the organisers find out, it’s likely I will never be invited back! Taking action now, making stuff now, learning about story now, working with actors now… […]

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Why we should all be embracing smaller film budgets and innovating

On Thursday I will be keynote speaker at the BVE conference in London (Excel Centre). It’s billed as ‘Top Tips for getting your first feature off the ground’. Actually that’s a simple 60 second conversation – get a camera, a script, some actors, a small crew, a bit of cash, shoot it, edit it, make […]

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How best to be a filmmaker in 2015?

Keep the investment to a minimum and the innovation to a maximum. We are living inside a technological and social evolution / revolution the scale of which the planet has never seen before. Being inside it, it looks slow, but judged in historical timescales, it’s extraordinarily rapid. The rules are changing so much and so […]

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Whenever you feel like giving up, remember… Victory is close

More than once I have heard successful creative people complain that it’s too hard for people to break into the business as there is simply too much competition. It’s an easy assertion to make from the top. Made with good intention I am sure. It’s an even easier assertion to make from the bottom too, […]

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Is your film in danger of being lost forever? You may say no, but give it a decade and technological revolution…

Five years ago I was invited to speak to the European heads of Kodak, about why so many filmmakers were switching to digital, and how Kodak could develop new business. Editor friend Eddie Hamilton joined me and he presented Kodak with what I thought was an inspired idea. Kodak should become the gold standard in […]

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Shooting With Drones: Ten tips for filming astounding footage on a shoestring

Guest post by Sebastian Solberg Drones will and are already revolutionising filmmaking, allowing cash strapped filmmakers to achieve jaw dropping, cinematic results that have previously only been available to Hollywood productions. Watch the film above in HD. I’ve been working with drones on and off for a few years now but at the end of […]

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