Maximilian Marshall - a member of the Edinburgh International Film Festival's (EIFF) Young Programmers group - attended a Vlogging Workshop organised by the BFI Film Audience Network at Flatpack Film Festival this April. Here he tells us about his experience...
From a networking perspective, it was incredibly useful to meet all these different people – I am still in contact with other participants and we are planning a meet up in August for when many of them come up to the Edinburgh Festival.
On 22 April 2016, I boarded a train as the sole representative of Scotland and the EIFF Young Programmers group to attend Flatpack Film Festival, a six-day event that seized the bustling streets of Birmingham from 19-25 April.
Flatpack started off as a group of friends watching films in a pub, and has grown year on year with this being its 10th anniversary celebration. Alongside the hundreds of films that were shown throughout the festival, there were also a variety of performances including live music and art installations, making Flatpack more than just a film festival, but also an appreciation of the medium of art.
My experience of the festival involved taking part in a weekend event called My Flatpack; this brought like-minded people together, educating young filmmakers in the new craze that is vlogging. Working with two YouTubers, who had a vast amount of experience in the field, My Flatpack offered us a priceless masterclass in how to create the perfect vlog.
The participants on the course were very diverse. I was one of the few film programmers there and most people were involved in the practical side of filmmaking, including directors, costume designers and producers. From a networking perspective, it was incredibly useful to meet all these different people – I am still in contact with other participants and we are planning a meet up in August for when many of them come up to the Edinburgh Festival.
It’s amazing how edited down the final result is and how little content you need to make a good vlog. It’s all about keeping it concise and snappy.
The course was intense and fast-paced – after a range of team building exercises we had the chance to practice speaking and feeling comfortable in front of the cameras. We were then split into groups and encouraged to visit a number of different Flatpack events, which we then vlogged about using the various skills exhibited to us. I soon realised how challenging it is to try to sum up your day on camera. Watching the final video of the event, it’s amazing how edited down the final result is and how little content you need to make a good vlog. It’s all about keeping it concise and snappy.
From giant inflatable phalluses to converted churches, the venues at Flatpack would most definitely not be considered your average cinemas. However, the films shown inside were some of the most experimental and artistic I have seen during any festival run. One definite highlight was watching the Sound Book Project – a live performance combining acoustic instruments, electronics, and sounds made from books – performed against a screening of the short film Le Nez. I had never seen anything like it before and it would be interesting to see something like this at EIFF.
Flatpack was an incredible weekend, giving me a flavour of the range of film in the UK and beyond. Learning about the impact of original, concise communication when talking to an audience is really useful for me as a programmer, and I am keen to explore ways in which the EIFF Young Programmers can incorporate vlogging as a way of talking about and promoting the films we watch. Flatpack is an experience I am proud to have shared and one I am looking forward to returning to in the future.
My Flatpack was a pilot for the BFI Film Audience Network's Young Programmers Network. It brought together young people from across the UK to experience a film festival from the inside, gain skills in video blogging, increase confidence at networking and make new friends + contacts in film & media. Read the My Flatpack Storify here.