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Top Ten Tips for your London Calling applications

Date posted: 08.10.2014

Aspiring filmmakers have been flocking to Roadshows across the capital to get advice on applying to London Calling and hear our top tips. Don't worry if you couldn't make it, or can't read your notes, we've taken the time to jot some down for you here.

1.       Choose your project very carefully

Are you prepared to dedicate the next year or more of your life to it - despite personal sacrifice, lack of money and small odds of success?

2.       Choose the team you journey with just as carefully

You'll be working together very closely, sometimes under considerable stress. Make sure you trust each other and that each member can be relied on to play their part.

3.       Check you have a story and not just a sequence of events

What question does the film pose early on that makes the audience want to know the answer and stick around to find out.

4.       The script is paramount

What will distinguish your film from similar stories? Even if you're not working within a genre, this distinguishing feature will be key to your success.

5.       Don't compromise

Make sure that your film is tailored to the parameters of the scheme - it's a mistake to have big budget ideas that have to be compromised in order to make it for less money.

6.       Be realistic

When writing your script, make sure you embrace the realities of the shoot. Think about the location, budget and schedule repercussions of your story.

7.       Short does not mean small

Making a short film doesn't mean reducing your ambition. You might not be able to have huge explosions but you can have a big story - even if the running time (and budget!) is not.

8.       Images are important

Film is a visual medium, so make sure your application contains images as well as words. Give us an idea of your visual influences for the film.

9.       Curate your supporting information

Don't just give us links to everything you have done before. The person assessing your application won't have time to look at everything - be sure to sign post your best stuff to make sure they see it.

10.   Prepare, prepare, prepare

Do not underestimate the power of preparation. It is your most abundant and valuable resource.

Inspired? Find out more about London Calling

London Calling and London Calling Plus

Our short film funding schemes are aimed at giving more opportunities to London's new and emerging talent. And they're now open for applications.

The first deadline is 12 midday on Wednesday 22 October for:

  • London Calling 18 awards available of up to £4,000 for emerging London filmmakers
  • London Calling Plus Five awards of up to £15,000 for London-based Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic talent with a track record across film, television or theatre

Whichever scheme you go for, it won't just be about the cash - all deliver a comprehensive development and training programme, an industry showcase with awards and an opportunity to screen at London Film Festival.

Apply now for London Calling or London Calling Plus

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