Good News And Bad News

There are no two ways about it, ladies and gents. We ain’t gonna sugarcoat it, dress it up or shy away from it: we have some good news and we have some bad news. Let’s start in that most time honoured of all traditions by starting, sadly, with the bad news. But don’t worry too much: no one’s dead.

Little over a month ago we encouraged the Fates to be kind to a project for which we had applied for £30,000 of funding from the good people at IdeasTap through the Sky Arts Ignition Futures Fund.Regrettably this week we learned that our pride and joy, an ambitious web series of linked short films, had not been shortlisted for the funding. Naturally, we are very disappointed. Being extraordinarily enthusiastic for the piece, and having done some preparatory work in the form of storyboards, concept sketches and script drafts, we felt like we had a decent shot. However, there is no shame in failing to make the cut: from a staggering 863 entries, only six were shortlisted for the grand prize, and from them only two will receive the opportunity of a lifetime. If our maths is correct, that meant there was around a 0.7% chance we would make it onto that list, and judging by the incredibly diverse and diversely incredible pieces that were selected it was always going to be a tall order. All is not lost, however: another round of funding begins very soon, which we will be sure to take another run at, and with any luck have more success. If that doesn’t work, then we shall try our best to muddle through as poor penniless artists, and make the damn thing anyway! A huge thanks to IdeasTap and Sky Arts for throwing open the fundy doors in the first place, and best of luck to each and every one of the sainted six who face the extremely enviable task of convincing the judging panel that their project is worthy of such riches. We’re sure we will be hearing more about them in the near future.

And so, what of that good news? Some of you who know this writer on a personal level will know that by day I am a mild mannered billionaire but by night a vengeful crime-fighter the closest thing I have to a day job is being a runner, both for the BBC as part of the BBC Birmingham Runners Pool and for Birmingham based independent companies. From this week that job will be much more day: from Wednesday I will be working for the Beeb logging footage on a brand new primetime BBC1 series. I won’t tell you what it is about, as I am almost certainly not allowed to, but suffice it to say it is a huge block of work, taking me up until two days before Christmas. This is great news, as it is the most substantial allocation I have had for Auntie, and also, on a purely mercenary level, will mean plenty of coin, both for nice little pressies for the festive season, and to fund some of Studio 279’s most cherished projects. Sadly the feast of finances also equals the famine of time: whilst potential monies for those projects will rack up, the amount of time to actually work on them will diminish greatly. We have a few pieces in the pipeline we would like to bring to the surface, so some may have to go on the back burner for a little while, including a new science fiction short script we are working on that we haven’t told you about yet… damn, just told you about it! We were hoping to fast track that to hit some film festival deadlines in the month of December, but it looks like that drawing board we are often returning to will have to be returned to on that and other projects. However, this will certainly be a great experience and one we will not remotely regret taking on. And who knows what it may lead to?

So suffice it to say things may become a little quiet around here. Or fractionally quiet-er, if you look at it another way. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back on the short film horse soon and ride it to greatness. Until then, good people, keep loving us and supporting our work. Pretty please!

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