This week on the show, Giles Alderson sat down with actor, director, and writer Craig Roberts and actor Craig Heyworth. They discussed their newly founded platform for filmmakers, FILMD; as well as their work as filmmakers.
Craig H had the idea of creating a collaborative platform ‘for independent filmmakers, from the position of filmmaking is such a collaborative process that if I want to increase my skill set or show off my skill set, I need cinematographers, writers, directors and all the other skills.’
They believe that independent filmmakers are dependent on each other in order to succeed in the industry, but it can be difficult to make connections, find new talent and crew and get funding for your films. They thought that a platform for filmmakers to work together and manage their projects would be a great idea.
‘From the minimum viable product we originally came up with, on a whiteboard in Chester (this big mind map of what FILMD could be), we brought all of this together: the suite of production tools, the collaboration tools and the community feed.’
How FILMD helps Craig R’s Filmmaking
Craig mentioned that he doesn’t know many filmmakers in London. And particularly when he’s writing he finds the process to be a very lonely one.
‘I’m literally talking to myself over and over again. And the idea that you have people on this platform to keep in communication with, and keep inspiring one another is good for the old head.’
His Process of Writing
‘I don’t love collaborating on the script part that much, because I like to figure it out for myself.’
He finds the initial part of the process fun and time to work it all out. ‘I have my notes open, could be six months, and if I hear a line or if I see a dress that’s cool or a hat or I watch a movie, I just keep stacking ammo, and then I’ll think I’ve got a scene here that I can put together.
I very rarely sit down and go I’m going to make myself write today, because I know I’m going to rewrite it. It’s just a waste of time for me.’ He also mentioned that he doesn’t use an outline, but admires friends who do. His focus is always on the character.
‘And then like playing The Sims or Grand Theft Auto with them, I just let them roam free and see what happens. It’s easy enough to do the structure thing. I’ve read those books and they’re good. But it just feels so clinical, it’s not fun and it’s got to be fun because you spend so much time on it, you’ve got to absolutely love it.
You should know the structure because you’ve got to know the rules to be able to break them.’
Collaborating with the Right People
FILMD helps to bring filmmakers together, in order to make new connections and collaborations and supports first-time filmmakers to make their second features.
Craig H says that there are ‘so many hurdles with making films – let alone if you’re trying to get rounds of funding and names attached, et cetera.’ It’s much easier if you have a team of people that you know and trust, and knowing how people will work together helps too.
He goes on to say that you tend to always ‘work with the same people (in filmmaking). The more films you go through as a little team, the faster’ the processes become.
Craig R’s Thoughts on Collab
‘I’m not that great at collaborating at the beginning of writing something. But after you’ve written something and you start filming it, you have your original idea. And then people come along and you collaborate with them and they put their ideas on top of your idea.’
The ideas begin to stack on top of each other until you get into editing. ‘And then when you get to the edit, essentially your only mission is to remove every single idea and figure out what that idea was originally. That will give you clarity.
It took me a while to figure that out because you can lose your way in the edit.’
Their Last Words of Advice
Craig R says that you should always set ‘realistic goals and don’t be too hard on yourself.
In terms of writing, if you have days you can write or can’t write, that’s fine. Don’t be hard on yourself. Everything’s hard enough, as it is, so go at your own pace; and get off social media.’
Craig H’s advice with regards to the business aspect of filmmaking (and setting up their brilliant platform) is that ‘the larger the barrier to enter, the more likely you’re going to succeed. If the barrier to entry is low, then a lot of people will either do it or try to do it.’
He also says that when you come across hurdles, be thankful ‘because a number of people will get to that point and will decide, this is enough. If you get through those hurdles, you’ve got more chance of making a dent. Knowing how you navigate those hurdles is key.’
And there is SO much more on the podcast this week. So, for more from Craig Roberts and Craig Heyworth, listen here.