Director of Trauma shares his London Calling short film fund experience
Date posted: 05.11.2014
London Calling is Film London's short film fund. We asked Mark James Kinsella, writer, director and producer of Trauma, to talk about his experience of making a film through Short Film Fund and LOndon Calling, available to residents of filmmakers who live, work or study in Wandsworth and Kensington & Chelsea.
"Opportunities to fund a short to a professional level, as we all know, are few and far between, so if you're unlucky in your application to the London Calling or the Shorts Film Fund, don't despair!
We were unsuccessful the first time round, but came back the next year with the same script, same project, a more complete team with all our HOD positions filled, better supporting documentation including fresh storyboards and visuals, and a project that was more fully conceived and nearer production ready than 12 months previously. And of course our persistence only helped us in the funding interviews.
The short, Trauma, is an intense six minutes about a young man (Jack Roth) who experiences traumatic flashbacks while on the London Underground and notices a young woman (Ann Akin) at the end of the carriage going through the same PTSD symptoms. For us this was creatively ambitious as the film has no dialogue or music and relies on great performances, great visuals and amazing sound design.
It was also tricky logistically as we filmed in a busy station with a skeleton crew. I felt I was in safe hands with my producers, Nick Laurence and Ann Philips, and it was truly humbling to see it all come together on such a low budget and for the shoot to run so smoothly, everyone giving up their May Bank holiday weekend to shoot in a boiling-hot carriage.
I am so grateful to the Shorts Film Fund for the opportunity to direct, and for all the support we got along the way, especially from the Production Executive, Emily Morgan.
In terms of what's next, Nick, Ann and myself are hoping to make an even more ambitious short next year; that will be mine and Nick's third short after our first, First Time, was lucky enough to get into cinemas across the UK. And mine and Nick's writing/producing partnership has just taken off with our first TV pilot being picked up recently by NBCUniversal.
We've also been working on another TV pilot, about a premiership football agent, ready to send out to production companies in the new year."