On Thursday 4 May, two current BSc Film Production Technology students and two former students held their very first film screening at the Nottingham Contemporary to showcase a special selection of work featuring short films, documentaries, and music videos. Not only was this a chance to show the work of their film production company ‘Them Pesky Kids’ to a live audience, but it was also a chance to celebrate the hard work of their cast, crew members, tutors, and supporters.
Them Pesky Kids is a four-piece film production company entirely comprised of Confetti students past and present; Oliver Blair, Jack Booth, Ryan Harvey and Michael Jobling. The four-piece have just completed two productions; a music video for Nottingham music artist BUD’s song ‘Sugar’; and The Chestnut Effect – a short comedy film with the main plot revolving around a missing cat. They’re now working on two very exciting projects over the next year, A Broken Mind (dir. Jack Booth) and Ariella (dir. Michael Jobling).
Ariella Film Trailer
Tell us about the run up to the screening event
We found it extremely rewarding and bonding, we actually planned the event in two weeks, we’d had it in the pipeline for a little while and really wanted to show off our work and of course, the fantastic work that people had provided for all of our films.
How did the night go?
We knew that we’d get a fairly good audience as we’ve all worked with many different industry professionals throughout Nottingham, but in no way did we estimate the amount of love, support and positivity that everyone attending gave us that night. We did have to screen the films a little bit late because we were still waiting for guests to arrive, but nobody seemed to mind! Now we’re just hungry to make more – that includes short films, music videos, promotional artwork, anything. If it’s a well thought out idea, we’re totally on board to assist, whether that be advice, contribution or for us to produce the work.
“We want to push towards working on high budget television and film and we can only do this through good practical practice, and this is what the top up year at Confetti has provided.”
Would you do anything differently?
We do intend on running another event in the new year but we’d give ourselves more time. Next time we’ll hire an actual cinema as there were some serious projector issues which could have been avoided in a dedicated cinema. We’d also make it very clear to guests that the films will start without them if they are not on time. There were people who couldn’t make the screening because of the two-week time window, people that contributed massively to our work which was unfortunate, but it didn’t stop us from singing their praises all night! Apart from that I think any other changes would be down to natural progression.
How did Confetti help you?
Confetti very kindly agreed to donate a percentage of the budget to us, to help cover the costs of venue hire. As well as this, Confetti helped publicise the event on their social media, building the profile of our event and reaching people who we might have missed otherwise. It’s not just the event where Confetti have helped us, as our course and tutors have given us our base skill set. They’ve allowed us to build the foundations of our working personalities and have never tried to stop us when we wanted to reach higher. I think that’s the impact and inspiration that Confetti gives us – the determination, resilience and hardworking ethic that drives us all forward to be able to successfully create films and host events like these.
Why did you choose a top up degree with Confetti?
The film industry values talent and work ethic over any other qualities a filmmaker can offer. During our first two years at Confetti we were able to build these two skills to a level where we are now working professionally. We want to push towards working on high budget television and film and we can only do this through good practical practice, and this is what the top up year at Confetti has provided. We’ve been involved with 5 films this academic year, a level of experience that few courses can offer.
Do you have any advice for students that want to do the same as you?
We’ve learnt that networking is vital. It’s daunting sometimes and I think it’s an innate fear in all of us, that you’re not going to be good enough for people; but you can’t make a film on your own. We’ve seen fantastic projects sink because they didn’t have the crew available for the shoot and so the producer/director had to settle for less than they wanted. It’s hard work and you can push yourself to extremes that even you didn’t know existed, but the result at the end of it is all worth it. Find local film-making networking events (TweetUp, Shooters, Short Stack monthly film screenings) and start introducing yourself to people.
Have you got any opportunities our students can get involved in?
We’re going to be working on a series of shorts over the summer to keep our wheels from rusting, so if you’re interested, check out our Facebook page for more details. We’re always on the lookout for new talent, so don’t refrain from getting involved in our exciting projects. Also, if you’ve got an exciting project you think we’d be interested in and are willing to pitch, get in touch!