The Amateur Film Project in a Nutshell


The Amateur Film Project grew out of my desire to make my feature film Frozen Lake.
I didn’t really have a plan at the beginning, nor did I know at first which feature I’d make. But I had to do it. And I have to do it in the next few years.
I have my reasons, but that’s another post for another day.

I tried a few ways to  kick-start my feature film.
I went to agencies and studios, actually found a route through. Not one I liked.
It’s essentially like watching someone put your 100 page script into a blender, take out the tiny pieces that they want and stick it to their own idea which had nothing to do with your original screenplay. If you want a chance of getting paid as a writer and have seriously thick skin – this may be the way for you.
But not me.

I then drafted a budget, got people on board and had the first part of the money prepared.
Sounds good, right? Yeah… no. Not as good as it could have been anyway.
As you start making films and working with people, you find that some of them are a lot of talk and not much else.
“Wanna help me shoot my feature?”
“Omg! Yes! That’d be awesome!”
“Great, we are going to start setting up at 4.30am next Monday,”
“Oh… 4:30am this Monday? Sorry man, I’ve…ugh… got dinner reservations then.”
It’s easy to get caught up in the rush with people’s ‘enthusiasm‘. But unfortunately, as I learnt, it will often cost you time and money. Always accept people’s help and always be grateful, but don’t always rely on it and be careful who you trust with your money (again, another painful lesson I learnt).

I then applied for bursaries.
Who knew that there were really strict criteria for bursaries!?
(or have I just been living under a rock for too long?)
Hours of scrolling through page after page to fill in forms for potential extra funding. Only to find out on the 114th question that my film could not apply for a certain grant because it didn’t include a one-eyed genetically modified horse (now that’s a film in itself right there).

So now here I am.
With less money, less time, less equipment and essentially on my own.
But that’s okay.
The Amateur Film Project will hopefully open up doors to other people like me.
Who don’t care about doing it on their own.
Who don’t need to rely on other people’s money or time.
But who need other people’s support and encouragement.
Who want to see other people as excited about their idea as they are.

I hope you all follow me on my journey as I make Frozen Lake and as I make this film for all us amateurs who just want to do things our own way.

Screw past mistakes & Forget all the rules. This is my our story.


2 thoughts on “The Amateur Film Project in a Nutshell

  1. Your post is right on. I’ve had the same response from friends saying,” You bet! Count me in” But , like you said, time of filming, excuses after excuses. Well done Jaz – I hope things turn for the better. It certainly is a long journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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