Congratulations Chris!

If you haven’t already seen on the news page, my writing partner Chris Marshfield, along with the rest of his cast and crew on the movie, were recently the proud winners of “Best Student Film” at the first British Independent Film Festival, held at the Pier Theatre in Bournemouth.

Here he is (on the left), with Finnish director Erik Kentta, after receiving the award. The film “Brennan’s Sacrament” was Chris’ final year graduation film at Newport University where he studied Film & Video. The film is set in the near future and tells the story of Ray Brennan – an imprisoned political activist who plunges himself into a desperate fight to overthrow a religiously perverted prison manager and gain his freedom. Sounds like your average student film right?

Congratulations to Chris and everyone who worked on the film!

More info on the film can be found at it’s iMdb page here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517635/

ITV Workshop

For any aspiring young film-makers out there based in or around Bristol, or further afield if you’re happy to travel, I can thoroughly recommend the ITV Production Skills Workshop, held at the ITV West Studios in Bristol. It’s a 2 hour session that takes place on a Monday evening for a 10 week term (so can easily be fitted in around work or any other courses you might be doing), teaching you all aspects of film-making from operating camera, to lighting, editing, script-writing and more. The course is taught by short film-maker Paul Dudbridge who is extremely talented and knowledgeable about the practical side of making films.

The course is a great way to learn and hone new skills, as well as meet some like-minded people! I actually got some of my first jobs through the workshop – and it also because of them that I met the production company with whom I am currently raising finance for my features!

Their site for more details is: www.itvworkshop.co.uk

They also have a drama workshop so are a great way to hook up with actors for your projects!

To check out some of tutor Paul Dudbridge’s work, go to: www.hanoverpictures.co.uk

Release

I have to quickly plug Christian and Darren’s new film (the creators of “SHANK”) which they wrote and directed together for DVD and festival distribution this year.

It is called “Release” and stars SAG award winner Daniel Brocklebank (“The Hole”, “Shakespeare in Love”). I highly recommend the film and encourage you all to watch it when you can. No DVD release date as of yet, but there will be one soon, probably around the end of the year. However, you might be able to catch it at a festival screening near you if you’re lucky – for more info and trailers go to www.release-movie.co.uk.

They’ve successfully pulled off their tricky second album, now it’s my turn! Yikes!

May 2010

Hello all and welcome to my blog!

This is the first time I’ve done one of these so I hope it’s of some interest to someone. As I’m currently attempting to start up a career as a young director I thought I’d post about my experiences here, not only to shamelessly plug what I’m working on at the time, but also to share my trials and tribulations with other aspiring film-makers as I navigate the minefield that is low-budget film-making. Will I succeed or completely crash and burn? Stay tuned to find out!

You’ll see from the home-page that I already work as a freelance editor and camera-man (sorry, operator – sexist!), whilst I attempt to set up my own films in the hopes of one day directing full-time. I tend to develop these with my long-time writing partner Chris Marshfield, who I’ve known since secondary school and whom I first began making shorts with. Thus far, the projects we have produced together have been under the pseudonym of CBA Productions, about which you can find out more by going to our other site: www.cbaproductions.co.uk.

In 2008, I had my first real success to speak of, when I was given the chance to direct “SHANK”, a low-budget, feature length coming of age drama set in Bristol, written & produced by Christian Martin and Darren Flaxstone. I have to say a huge thank-you to both of them for giving me such an amazing opportunity so early into my career, and for their constant support and encouragement throughout the production and beyond. Since the film’s premiere in Melbourne at their annual Lesbian & Gay Film Festival early last year, I have been absolutely blown away by the success “SHANK” has had, and how audiences have reacted to it around the world. It is currently on DVD in the UK and US, as well as a number of other territories, and continues to find legs on the festival circuit – in fact, it is about to go on a tour of South America! Crazy, for a film that was shot nearly two years ago now – and all of this is down to the hard work of Christian, constantly and tirelessly pushing the film to new audiences and markets. I have learnt a lot from both he and Darren, particularly how strategic marketing can decide a film’s fate – it’s not enough to just make a film and put it out there – in those first few months it’s up to you to make sure the right people see it and then eventually if it goes down well word of mouth should do the rest for you, but you absolutely have to keep pushing and pushing to get it seen. Get it to festivals, critics, distributors and know how to sell it to these people as well – something I am still learning myself – because there’s a lot out there. Don’t be put off if it is ignored or put down by some, if you have confidence in your film and believe in what you’ve made (and you must do otherwise you wouldn’t have made it!) then just keep at it and it should hopefully pay off. There’s a lot of straight to DVD crap out there that people still buy so if they can do it…! 

Now for the shameless plug – if you haven’t seen “SHANK” and you would like to (and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you?) it’s available now from Amazon, Play and all good DVD retailers! By the way, this is not to be confused with another “SHANK” (2010) that was released in cinemas this year, set in a near future London. Ours is the better one. Lol, no I’m kidding – I haven’t seen the other one so I can’t possibly comment…. why not buy both and make up your own minds?

Anyway, so what have I been doing since “SHANK” and will all my blog posts be this long? The answer to the latter is ‘no’. Just thought as this is my first one it would be nice to give you a bit of back-story. Feel free to check out some of the other pages on this site if you’re bored, perhaps you can read this in chunks, or just go elsewhere. (Like cbaproductions.co.uk, or shank-movie.co.uk, or amazon to buy “SHANK”, it’s up to you).

So, as for the former question, I did attempt recently to get myself an agent off the back of “SHANK”, sending screeners and the usual C.V. stuff to a few agencies in London, but most simply told me they weren’t taking anyone new on at the moment, which is fair enough. I did have interest from one who liked the film, but I think they want to wait to see what I do next before they make a decision. So, back to the question – what am I doing next?

Well, you’ll see on the news page that I’m currently developing a feature project entitled “Thieves”, which we hope to shoot later this year. Chris and I spent a lot of time developing feature projects in 2009, but we found the battle and search for investors not only time consuming but also extremely difficult and frustrating. They’re interested, then they’re not – or they don’t want to commit just now, or you can never get them locked into a face-to-face meeting…. I actually think in some ways its easier to make a film for nothing. If you have access to the kit you can just pick up the camera and go do it without all the waiting around.

Thus far we’d been working with a local production company in my hometown of Bristol to raise the finance, and I realised that with everything we had access to between us, why not start developing something that can be made on a much lower budget, but still sell to a market in order to hopefully make a return, and just get on with it whilst we wait for investment on the larger projects to come in?

And so, “Thieves” was born. Now this won’t be made for nothing either, but as I said for a much smaller budget that we know we can get. Chris is about a week away from delivering the first draft and we hope to be able to shoot in August, so it’s an exciting, but also nerve-wracking time at the moment. I also have a short I am currently developing so that’s potentially a second project for me this year, to be made either before or after “Thieves”. Of course I will be keeping you up to date on casting, development and production of all those projects here, so if you want to track our progress then check back here regularly for more info!

I can’t wait to get started, though I’ve been working, I’ve not directed since “SHANK”, and prior to that I usually had a project on the go each year, so the directing part of my brain is screaming to get going on a new film!

I’ll just end by saying that if you want to make films, start now. Get a camera, grab some friends and go do it and keep doing it. You will learn something on every project you work on, even if its your own and you think you don’t know anything. Show it to other people and get their feedback – does the story make sense? What works, what doesn’t work? Watch films you like closely – look at the techniques they use that are successful and think about why. Then, with each film, you can get more ambitious, they can be longer – you can put out a casting call for professional actors instead of your friends, you can strive for more ambitious locations – even if you haven’t got money to spend you’ll be surprised what a polite phone-call to the right person can do for you. The worst thing they’ll say is no. So try somewhere else. There are a lot of sites and email lists like shootingpeople.co.uk and talentcircle where you can find cast and crew to work with, people who are just as keen to get something made and to find someone with whom they can collaborate regularly in future.

By the way, I’m not claiming to be any kind of authority on how to get into the industry, be a director or anything like that, I’m just speaking from my own personal experiences – I myself have a lot to learn!

That’s enough bullsh*t from me for now, thanks for reading and speak to you again soon!

April 2010

Simon is currently in pre-production on a low-budget action thriller for summer 2010, tentatively titled “Thieves.” With a script by Chris Marshfield, the film will be co-produced by Lightworx Media and Sleeper Cell Productions.

Pitched as “Payback” meets “The Escapist” the film is a revenge/heist movie that will be shot in and around Bristol for a release in late 2010/early 2011. The team are currently location hunting as well as seeking their cast and crew, whilst Chris puts the finishing touches to the script.

In other news, congratulations to Simon’s long-term writing partner Chris Marshfield, whose graduation film “Brennan’s Sacrament” has already scooped up two awards on the festival circuit, including an Excellence award at the Canadian International Film Festival and an award for “Best Student Film” at the British Independent Film Festival. Well deserved Chris!

Page 13 of 13« First...910111213

Simon Pearce Blog

Subscribe

Here’s where to come for all the latest news on where Simon is, what he’s doing – and what he is shooting! Through this blog he’ll be keeping us updated on everything from the trials and tribulations of getting a film made, trying to make it as a young director, fighting for work as a freelancer, as well as keeping us abreast of all the news and information related to his latest production.

Check back regularly for updates.

Archives

News Archive

May 2018

Simon’s Stephen King adaptation “I Am the Doorway” had its world premiere in London this month at the Sci-Fi London Film Festival, where it received the Audience Award for Best Short Film! The LA premiere has also been announced and will take place at Screamfest in Hollywood, CA in October! For all the latest festival […]

read more >

@cbaproductions

@hanoverpictures 🤦‍♂️

58 minutes ago

@cbaproductions

If you’d like to get in touch with Simon, you can do so via the email address below:

[email protected]

Thanks for visiting!