After the dust is settling on The Heart Of Gold Film Festival, I thought I would share with you some of the comments I received from the film makers who attended the two day Guerilla Film Makers Masterclass Redux! It seems the new first day, which is about much deeper and I believe important issues, such as career planning, story choice and a good hard look at oneself, ones dreams, ambitions and skills, really resonated with the group. I hoped it would as I know I could have used this kind of kick up the butt many times over the years. Anway, here’s what they had to say.
Greg Hall, Producer – The Treehive, Australia
I left the masterclass totally inspired and excited by my future. Chris has so much energy and passion for the subject that you can't help but become wrapped up in and enjoy what he is talking about. I have no idea how he manages to speed talk and impart so much information in such a short time! I came to the class wondering how on earth to do my next film, and even if I had it in me. I left thrilled and I am now jumping in with this great new knowledge and energy. I loved talking about fears and what you need to make it work… Thank you for inspiring me!
Hailey – film-maker from Brisbane
It was truly an empowering experience and one that I know Jason, Greg and myself absolutely needed. In fact it was precisely what we needed. Chris was unquestionably the most honest, candid, and generous film maker I have had the pleasure to meet. He met each day with extraordinary energy and crammed those days not merely with information, but with affirmation and ultimately inspiration. He treated every participant with such wonderful respect and patience regardless of experience, and offered to us not only tools and ideas but himself. To be honest, I learned more in those two days than I have in years of filmmaking, not just about the craft, but about myself. If I was weary, frustrated and uncertain of my standing in a filmic world when I arrived, I have departed, energised, focused and tremendously excited about taking our work to the next phase. In short- a life changing experience.
Shane Emmett, Film Maker, QLD, Australia
As someone relatively new to filmmaking I was keen to learn more about the details of the film industry, but Chris Jones’ masterclass gave me so much more than that. It was a 2 day rollercoaster ride of inspiration, motivation and creativity, an invitation to live the dream, to feel the fear and do it anyway. Chris provides a unique insider’s view of filmmaking that doesn’t glamorise the process or dumb it down. There’s plenty of real-life examples and – yes – horror stories but it’s all so incredibly useful and inspiring. Chris shows that the stairway to filmmaking heaven may be dirty and slippery but it’s still there for anyone bold and creative enough to attempt it. I can’t recommend it enough.
Karen Jackson, writer and filmmaker, Gympie, Queensland, Australia
The class was somehow the exact inspiringly motivating kick in the arse that I needed. It was jammed packed full of crucial information that I as a film maker need to be armed with in order to take on the complex game that is Film-Making, Distribution and Production. On the way home on the plane I couldn't stop scribbling down ideas, scenes from films, dialogue. I feel like a new person, a truly creative person.
Emily Bissland, Award Winning Animator, Australia
I was particularly impressed at how you managed to pitch it to such a diverse audience with varying degrees of experience in film making. I also loved the balance you struck between realism and inspiration – a fine line and perfectly pitched I thought. I also loved your choice of content – steering away from the technicalities which anyone can learn / teach, focusing instead on the insider tips, career trajectory, useful anecdotes and sales and distribution ins and outs. Thoroughly worthwhile and interesting, fun and inspiring.
Lucy Mayes, social activist, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Thanks so much to Chris Jones for the Guerilla Filmmakers' Seminar. Delivered with sincerity, enthusiasm and humour, it was a fantastic insight into the world of independent filmmaking and beyond. Chris made the dream of making a film seem so much more achievable and I was inspired and motivated on many levels.
Su Foster, Sound Designer and aspiring Filmmaker – Gympie, Australia
I just wanted to say thank you so much for coming all the way to Australia to do the Guerilla Masterclass! Even though there were almost 30 other people in the room, it felt like everything you were saying was directed right at me – it was everything I needed to hear and learn. Parts of the seminar were challenging and really made me re-think what my goals are and how to achieve them. I feel like I'm a lot clearer on what I want to do now. Every part of the seminar was exciting, positive and useful. It was so great to hear about your experiences and what you've learnt from them. Having the chance to hear about the experiences of the other people in the group was also really interesting. Even though the seminar only went for two days, by the end of the second day it felt like home. I didn't want it to end. So, thankyou for reassuring us all that our movies are worth making and reminding us that every finished movie is a miracle. I really think that's true!
Candice Deere, Writer/Producer from Maryborough
Blimey! What can I say? Just planning the next UK Masterclass, and if you want to come, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Onwards and upwards!
Chris Jones, Film Maker and Author