It’s been a challenging year, and one where I’ve found it tough to strike a balance between the basics of living life and the challenge of achieving my goals, which require a certain degree of headspace and routine. It’s for this reason that Dope Meat has been quiet since completing Pretty Gone Diggin’ a few months ago. It’s also the reason that I didn’t seriously consider putting a production together to attempt to defend our Film Northants crown.
That’s not to say that I didn’t contribute to this years’ festival at all though, as it was an honour to be asked to edit the promotional trailer earlier in the year. It was great to work with such an abundance of quality footage and I also got to enjoy the additional bonus of learning new editing techniques along the way.
The festival was held over the weekend of the 10th October and featured contributions from some of the brightest of Northamptonshire’s rising film talent. I want to celebrate the two deserved winners of this years’ over 16s competition, two films that make me glad Dope Meat didn’t have an entry competing in there as well…
Clear Sky by Chris Cosentino
My course mate Laurence introduced me to Chris whilst we were at university, and after getting on well we decided to work on an entry for the 2013 Film Northants competition that ultimately fell apart amid mild acrimony. Chris and Laurence regrouped for an entry last year that really should have made the final and so I was chuffed to see them not only get to the judging round this year, but to actually walk away with the Judge’s Choice award.
Laurence first told me about Clear Sky over a year ago and I loved the playfulness of the idea even back then. To see how sublimely Chris executed the final animated film was a real delight, and amid all the films about hitmen and witches that proliferate such contests it really stands out.
Chris has kept a schedule to be proud of with his funny and sometimes thought-provoking Black and White Comic. Do yourself a favour and check it out!
Sprite by Andrew Griffin
Griff has worked on almost every Dope Meat Films production in one capacity or another, and he’s become a stalwart of the Northampton film community since first turning up to a networking evening with a script for ¡Gazpacho!¡ however many years ago. Sprite is his second solo production and shows the big steps he’s taking as he becomes more assured as a director. I love how the story is told visually, economically and with style.
Griff gave me some time last year to produce an edit of Sprite that I didn’t complete, and it remains an opportunity that I regret not taking full advantage of.
As it is the film went one better than Beneath the Wormwood Trees last year and took top spot in the Public Vote, showing the quality of the film and just how good Griff is at pulling a project together. His next film The Flock is picking up some serious steam right now in fact; check out the Facebook page and see if it’s something that you want to get involved in before it goes huge.
So, as far as I’m concerned (and with absolutely zero disrespect towards the other entrants), Film Northants was won by the right people this year. That’s an opinion that makes my lack of productivity a little easier to take, and I sincerely wish both Chris and Griff a productive twelve months and beyond.
So where exactly is Dope Meat Films at the moment?
Between buying a house, learning to drive, a few bits of editing work and a mentally tiring day job I’ve found time to be at a premium, but I’m still working on that career-launching feature script. Tentatively titled The Mars, it’s a revelations-themed adventure story that filters my Spielberg fixation through a decidedly Bill Hicks lens. I can’t say it will be as good as that initially sounds… But then again, that’s what script readers and rewrites are for.
When I move Dope Meat Films will finally have a dedicated production office and writing room, after which I expect things to start moving rapidly. Beyond that I’m looking forward to once again being a proactive member of the local film community, with the time and space to get involved and contribute once more to what makes filmmaking in Northamptonshire so great.
DMF: You gotta be in it to win it.