What’s In A Name?
White Space Films was founded almost exactly two years ago and a lot has happened in the intervening period. So much so in fact that I thought now might be the time to reflect on what we’ve done, what we are doing and what we hope to achieve.
In 2011 my only thought was to make the film which became White Space in a Painting. At no time back then did I think that this would lead to the creation of a company. Although I’d experienced the film industry as a professional writer I’d never directed a film and so this was something I thought I’d quite like to have a go at. It really was as simple as that. I could see no reason for not doing it. I could see no reason why anything should prevent me from doing it. So I did it. But a company? At that stage such a thought was a long way from my mind. And yet life, everything, begins to change, sometimes out of all recognition, with a single step. In 2012 we decided to shoot The Drama Sessions, based on an idea I’d had a couple of years earlier when I’d first started teaching drama. This was conceived very much as a business venture and turned out to be a mammoth undertaking encompassing twelve episodes, approximately 20 actors, easily as many crew, a dozen locations and so on. Overall the whole thing lasts more than 150 minutes and is presently being edited. Also in 2012 we filmed Low Down Alley Blues which has now been edited and is at the sound mix stage. All of this took up the whole of 2012, from January to November. And during that time new ideas were constantly entering the frame, developing and evolving.
The start of 2013 saw an association with Phil Dupee at hellolove.tv to shoot Lift Stories. This had been slated for April of this year but a variety of circumstances contributed to its delay and it has now been scheduled for end September/beginning October. Actually the delay proved a valuable experience. It taught me that as much as possible it’s essential to have a Plan B, something to fall back on if things don’t quite go as envisaged. In this industry, so reliant on people and timings and events, things often go awry. Circumstances can prove immensely challenging as, for instance, anyone who has done any location shooting will know. All the time you’re trying to create a buzz around what you do only to find yourself stuck in the mud, wanting to move, to get things moving, but unable to do so. Having a Plan B, C or D always helps. Of course, if, like me, you’re someone who enjoys challenges and, more specifically, the overcoming of them, then the vagaries of the business will simply be seen as obstacles to be negotiated but nevertheless it can be somewhat wearing and rather exhausting at times.
The delay with Lift Stories created a gap in the schedule which took a while to be filled. Yes, we were in post-production with two films and our first was being submitted to festivals but I like the idea of a work flow that sees pre-production, post-production and shooting happening almost simultaneously with a number of projects. It was with great relief then that we were able to develop and film Violin and that we are now embarking upon our first documentary. Violin will be the first part of a trilogy of childhood, part two, Where Fairyland Begins, having already been written and almost fully cast. In 2014 we make inroads into developing a feature film, Leonardo’s Photograph, and exploring and moving forward with all sorts of other projects.
The company is certainly growing. There is no doubt about that. We are making films and are constantly thinking of diversification and how best to place ourselves within the marketplace. Yes, members will come and go but that’s only to be expected. A company is, if you like, a living organism, forever changing, renewing and reinventing itself. In October our Nurturing New Talent initiative gets underway. We are looking to move into animation. We have recently filled a marketing position with a view to raising the company profile and discovering potential funding opportunities next year. Our White Space Films brochure is now due to be updated. We’ve had a substantial article written about us in Digital FilmMaker and I would like to see more such articles in the future. A logo for the company is being devised. We are gradually building a network of people in the industry who have heard about us and who want to keep abreast of what we are doing. Increasingly we are employing Social Networking sites. More and more creatives are coming on board so that our, if you like, bank of talent is expanding. For that reason it’s getting easier to put shoots together, drawing in dedicated professionals on whom we can rely and with whom we enjoy working.
And now we have moved to a new website, which admittedly looks pretty much like the old one only a little more streamlined and with a different address. White Space Film Productions is yet another reinvention. It doesn’t change who we are. The name at the top of the website still proclaims us as White Space Films but it does give notice perhaps of a more corporate, business-like approach to what we do. Before the year is out we will have become a limited company, which will be a further expansion of the profile. Basically, we have only just scratched the surface with regard to where we aim to go and what we intend to achieve. Ideas generate ideas. For instance, it’s my belief that the internet harbours enormous opportunities for those willing to take the plunge and think outside the box, that there are new and exciting forms of storytelling yet to be explored and that essentially the world is out there for the taking. White Space Films wants to be at the forefront of any such developments, probing and innovating. We are not yet on our feet. We still require the funding to make us fully independent. But I’ve learned enough in these last two years to know that with the right people around you, with talent and determination and a willingness to succeed, everything is possible.