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Digital Shorts: Q&A

Judging by the amount of emails I’ve received regarding this scheme, many blog readers are going for this so here’s a few quick questions I fired at scheme director Sarah-Jane Meredith at the beginning of this week:
What’s the mission statement of Digital Shorts?
To support short innovative ideas which present new ways of telling stories.

How did you get such great companies like Aardman, PVA, The Engine Room etc involved in Digital Shorts?
Because it presents a good opportunity for them to work with both the RSA and the UKFC on a nationally recognized initiative; because there is money on the table; but most importantly because it is a way for production companies to work with new talent.

Have you had a particular favourite project come through Digital Shorts? If so, why did you like it so much?
I don’t want to answer this. All films are viewed subjectively. I do have my favourites and they have in common a cinematic approach, a particular approach to telling a story, are personal, look great.

At the July Roadshow you mentioned that “the shorter the better” for pitches, saying “one sentence” would be great, yet on the application form I notice it stipulates a 2 page outline (including a short synopsis) with quite a lot of detail, including budgetary considerations and potential audience. Can you give us some more information on this?
I believe I said one sentence as a way of trying to say don’t go on. One sentence is of course not long enough but is preferable to endless waffle. What I like to see is one sentence which can sum up the proposal with more detail to follow.

Also at the July Roadshow it was mentioned that though some people might be able to write a great proposal and/or pitch well, they *may* not be able to write a great script to back it up, so writing samples might be asked for. Will they be asked from shortlisted candidates only, since there seems no mention of them on the application form?
We have decided not to go for scripts as in further discussion with the partners we felt this might discourage those without a script to apply.

A few people are confused about eligibility – though it is understood you must live in the SW, it was said at the Roadshow you didn’t have to be 18-25 years old necessarily to enter, but on the application form at one point it says you do have to be this age. Which is it?
You have to be 19 – 25 to enter one of the strands but for all the others you can be any age (over 18 and not in full-time education).
Thanks Sarah-Jane: some good stuff there, particularly re: the application form. Good luck to everyone entering!

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