It’s only a couple of weeks into 2014 but we are well on our way. Last week I wrote a list of things that we were up to. Here’s the update on each.

Sponsorship: This is always a work in progress but I can say that Grand Independent is going to match the eventual crowd funding campaign £1 for £1. This is a nice little competition between me and the students, because they get particular enjoyment in beating me at things. This way, I’ll find a pound for every pound that they can raise. Similarly, it means that every pound that gets donated is essentially two pounds. I’ve decided to cap this offer at the first £10,000 so that they don’t bankrupt Grand Independent. The crowd funding campaign goes live later in the year, and believe me, it is special.

The event: It’s official, we’re going to base ourselves at Birmingham Film Studios throughout the production and more importantly, we’re going to broadcast the process LIVE on the internet for the whole 72 hours. Whilst we’ve always been transparent to everyone in Galway and Melbourne, it’s not so great if you’re elsewhere in the world. This time round, it’s Big Brother style broadcasting. More details will follow soon.

Building a community: Lots of things are going to happen in this area but three in particular are imminent. Grand Independent are involved in a 48 hour film challenge back at the ranch in Staffordshire University. This is a great opportunity for those who expressed an interest in helping with the 72 to come and get your hands dirty. It’s not exclusive for students and alumni, ANYONE can join in. Secondly, we’re going to have an open production meeting about the 72 Project as part of Stoke Your Fires film festival on the 11th March. More details will follow on this, but put the date in your diary if you’re interested in hearing about all the latest research from the MSc students. Thirdly, I’m down in London in two weeks for this conference on community filmmaking, as I contributed to their research back in November.

Casting: The call went out, 415 applications came in. We’re completely deluged and have no capacity to really deal with this in a hurry, so a holding email went out to explain that it will be February before we can make decisions. What a delightful problem to have! We’re over the moon.

Script revisions: Many thanks for all the notes. Ben is working away on another draft of the script, which he hopes to have ready in time for Berlinale (Feb 6th), when I will join him in Berlin to lock it in some more.

This week I’m off to Dublin to work with the students in Filmbase. They are working on two features this year, which is very exciting. So exciting in fact, that we thought we’d share puppies. We’re good to you sometimes.




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