Camera Buff – Working with Spike Island on Random Acts

One of the most exciting aspects of working on Random Acts has been building on our existing partnerships across the region and developing a range of new ones.

The Random Acts project , which will see 72 new short films created over three years by young filmmakers aged 16-24, has meant we have needed to match filmmakers with partners who can help us to support the 24 filmmakers a year we are working with.

These partnerships include three university media departments and a number of production companies across the region. Spike Island are playing a key role in this consortium as they are both a delivery partner, supporting filmmakers, as well as undertaking all our on-lining and grading of the completed films.

In addition, Spike Island have set up a commissioning strand within the application process. Camera Buff offers an alternative route into the project with a focus on creating artists films. Camera Buff offers a package of support that may appeal if your background and interests lie more in the areas of gallery-based artist’s film production. Spike offers support to enable participants to work within the industry of moving image and contemporary visual art and opportunities to meet with artists, curators, filmmakers and producers.

Two of our current batch of filmmakers, Nick Popham and Ben Tupper have been supported by Spike Island producer Ali Roche under the umbrella of Camera Buff. They gave a really interesting talk last week here at Spike Island, sharing their experience of creating their films. One thing that really stood out for me was the contrast between Nick and Ben’s approaches to the opportunity. It was really striking how closely Ben’s finished film followed the initial plan he presented in his application to Camera Buff and Random Acts. He had visualised and planned every shot and element of the film and I could see the influence of each of the references he gave in his proposal in his final film. In contrast, Nick’s film evolved, through a very clear process of experimentation, into a completely different film to the original proposal he made in his application.

Nick’s original proposal had been based on the premise that the technology of filmmaking allows you to dissect a moment in time, but once commissioned and underway, his ideas evolved into an exploration of how you can introduce distortion into the process of filmmaking. Nick had documented each step of his creative journey and showed test filming and sketches of the project as it evolved.

We’re really thrilled that the partnership with Spike, alongside all our other partners, enables us support filmmakers with such a wide range of interests, covering artists film, documentary, drama, animation and every combination and variation of these. As it says in the guidance, we want to be surprised and challenged, so get those ideas in!