The Casting Networks team has been introduced to some amazing and inventive filmmaking initiatives over the years, so we were excited to learn more about the Reel Film Challenge when our good friends at MoFilm mentioned it to us.
Rob Prince, Fin O’Sullivan and John Grigg are the brains behind The Reel Challenge, a 10-day European adventure that challenges teams of filmmakers to get from London to Budapest by any means necessary. Along the way, they must create their own short film in time for submission to the ‘Finish Line Film Festival’ in sunny Budapest!
Casting Networks: What exactly is the Reel Film Challenge and what awaits the filmmakers who sign up to be a part of this?
Reel Film Challenge: The Reel Film Challenge is an opportunity for aspiring young filmmakers to make amazing films with Europe as their canvas. We want to give young filmmakers a stand-out portfolio piece, as well as an awesome experience managing their own production on the road. Our partners – organisations such as The BFI, Raindance Film Festival and Kodak – are providing not only some great prizes, but also their time and expertise! Our Launch Workshop and Film Festival are designed to be great opportunities for participants to get direct feedback and practical support from renowned industry professionals – a real leg up as they step out in to the industry
CNI: Where did the inspiration for the challenge come from?
RFC: The three of us met on an adventure in India, driving auto-rickshaws 4,000km across the subcontinent in search of adventure and all the good times that brings! We all recognised that heaps of great footage was being captured, but nobody had the opportunity to really turn it in to a proper short. We were fascinated by how adventure inspires creativity, and so The Reel Challenge was born! One thing in particular, that we found while on the road, is that you don’t need really expensive kit to make great films: ‘the best camera you can have is the one that you’ve got’, and that’s really inspired our approach.
CNI: What kind of films are you looking for or hoping to see at the ‘Finish Line Film Festival’ in Budapest? Hopefully not too many docu shaky camera travel vlogs I imagine?
John Grigg: I’m sure we’ll get some (and I’m sure they’ll be great!) but I’d be perfectly happy with no travel documentaries at all! I just hope that teams use the vast array of locations available to them and tell us some great stories.
Fin O’Sullivan: I’m really hoping to see a nice array of films from different genres and formats. We’re giving participants lots of freedom because we love that people interpret ideas and themes so differently. By opening up the whole of Europe to participants, I’m really confident we’ll cultivate some really beautiful and incredibly imaginative film.
Rob Price: We’re keeping our rules and expectations as simple as possible and trusting the participants to surprise us with their talent and creativity! Personally, if I see one film that makes me laugh, one that makes me cry, and one that makes me want to grab my camera and go on an adventure, then I’ll be very, very happy!
CNI: Well it all sounds very intriguing and great stories and imaginative films need good performers, can actors make up team members as well as filmmakers?
RFC: Yes, absolutely! The size limit of teams is 5, but the composition is entirely up to the team; it’s one of the ways we’re giving creative freedom over to participants. We’ve got sign ups who are planning to feature in the films themselves, others who are going to involve people they meet along the way, and then some who are specifically including actors in their team. We’re looking forward to seeing how the different approaches compare. We want Reel to be an opportunity for people to make their own paths in the industry, and that absolutely includes actors!
The Reel Film Challenge kicks off on 15 June when the theme for the challenge is released however teams must sign up before 15 March in order to take part.
Casting Networks is able to offer a deadline extension to 31 March, and by using the discount code RCCASTING, members will also receive a £100 Partner Discount! Go to reelfilmchallenge.com now to book your place.
*** If taking advantage of the deadline waiver, please contact the Rob, Fin and John at firstname.lastname@example.org ***