Meet Filmmaker and New Creative, Elias Williams

Elias Williams is a Bristol-based filmmaker and founder of online media platform, mandemhood.com. As part of the BBC New Creatives scheme, he created My First Love Bite, a film telling the story of a young woman’s last moments in human form before turning into a zombie. We interviewed him to hear about his experience on the New Creatives scheme.

How did you get onto the New Creatives programme?

I applied via the Calling the Shots website and was fortunately selected after the shortlisting process. I’d applied a couple of times before and not made it, but I’m glad that it was my final idea that earned the successful selection.

What was the programme like?

Overall I’ve really enjoyed it and I feel very grateful for the opportunity. It’s been great working with professional crew despite the limitations of Covid restrictions. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a talented director of photography, producer, editor, make up artist and production designer, all of which have supported me through the process.

What was the mentoring process like?

The mentoring process was very useful. I was lucky enough to get partnered with a previous lecturer of mine so we already had good chemistry. My mentor was very helpful in improving my initial script and making useful notes in postproduction.

What did you take away from the experience? E.g skills

I have definitely improved my filmmaking skills throughout the experience. I have learned how to direct a film effectively within Covid limitations and I have learned a lot about scriptwriting. I have also learned a lot about the importance of communicating with my producer and the rest of the crew in order to realise my vision for the project.

Has the New Creatives scheme helped you further your career? 

Yes, the New Creatives scheme has helped me further my career insofar as that I now have another film commission under my belt. Future employers will be able to see that I can produce a film on a budget, thus it will enable me to apply for more prestigious filmmaking opportunities in the future. It has also improved my filmmaking skills which will inevitably have a positive impact on my future career.

What message would you have for others considering a scheme like this? 

I would say go for it! Make sure you have an idea that you believe in and are passionate about. Also, have a reasonable idea of how you can get the project made. Having a budget doesn’t mean you can sit back and let others do the work, but it will give you the freedom to express your creativity in new and exciting ways.

Find out more about Elias’s work at www.vimeo.com/eliaswilliams