Artswork Media is off to Cannes!

How do you get your film into Cannes? Bath Spa University's Creative Media Practice student Poppy Baines has the answer! Poppy discusses the creative process of making Touch at Artswork Media this year. We're delighted to announce Touch will be screening at Cannes Film Festival on 23rd May, 2017! 

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1. Can you explain your inspiration and drive for making your short film Touch?

I have always been interested in how sensitive the human body is and how different people react to touch, it is such a personal feeling that is unique to every individual. Much of my work is inspired by conceptual artwork that explores femininity. I am constantly inspired and empowered by the strong creative network of friends that I have, and wanted to make a piece of work that explores a strong personal desire for a woman to touch. I wanted to push boundaries by showing the female with both feminine and masculine traits, which is something that isn’t seen in Hollywood films still. 

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2. Why did you choose Super 8 as your film medium for the film?

I love reminiscing about the past and watching old family VHS tapes of my childhood, its much more authentic. 

Due to my love of the vintage and retro style, I was very keen to shoot on film. Super 8 was a medium that I had never experimented with before but I had an old Nikon 8mm camera picking up dust in my bedroom, then when I met Jamie (cinematographer) and we spoke about celluloid and he was interested in working on my project, the decision was made! The Straight 8 competition (that I highly recommend entering) also helped me choose Super 8. 

Theres something special about film, you cherish it much more and it involves a different version of film making that you are taught. 

3. What's the most important lesson you've learning while making this film?

I ended up loosing 2 of my iPhones on the beach during the recce and the shoot, so for next time I will make sure to either not bring my phone with me or to make sure its in a safe place away from the Welsh stormy weather and the fast tide!

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4. How has making the film at Bath Spa University's production company Artswork Media helped you? 

Over the past year at Artswork Media, I have learned enterprising and creative skills in every area of media production which has massively helped me realise my true passion for conceptual art films. The brilliant Artswork Media team (Dr. Ruth Farrar, Rob Brown and Jamie Harding) have helped me develop as a filmmaker. The year has been very full on. It's encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone which means I've now successfully obtained a huge portfolio of industry projects I have worked on here at Artswork Media. 

In particular, Jamie has been amazing in every aspect of the production here at Artswork Media and I doubt my film would be going to Cannes without his and Artswork Media's help! 

5. Finally, what advice would you give to Bath Spa University students who would like to get their student films into film festivals such as Cannes?

Share your film idea on social media and with the creative community at Bath Spa. If I didn’t push my film and talk about it every second (literally) for months I wouldn’t be going to Cannes next week. I ended up raising over £800 through crowdfunding. Part of the money for the film also came from Bath Spa's Enterprise Showcase Fund, which is money donated by alumni of the University through its Development Office - who stepped up again to pay for my film's crew to travel to Cannes for the screening.....and bought them business cards!' I am very grateful for their help. I needed every penny of it because shooting on Super 8 is very expensive!

I would also advise students to make sure you are certain on your idea and really research into similar films/styles. This helped me with art direction of the film and to cater the film for a specific audience. I believe that making a successful film is all about the pre production. So PLAN, PLAN PLAN! (Oh and make a detailed schedule!)

And…finally enter your film into as many festivals as you can and step out of your comfort zone! Believe in yourself. Good Luck!