How To Get Ready For The Self Assessment Deadline

No-one really enjoys filing their Self Assessment. It’s that unwanted chore that you put off until the last minute, before flying into a mad January panic when you realise time’s almost up. Our friends at Crunch, the online accounting specialists, take us through a few hints to help freelancers get through it.

It might not surprise you to know that, historically, Self Assessment deadline day (31st January each year) is an extremely busy day at the offices of HMRC. It also might not come as a surprise that they rake in millions from late-filing penalties every year.

Getting your documents together and filing early are the safest ways to avoid a Self Assessment headache. With that in mind, here are three ways you can get yourself ready for the Self Assessment deadline.

Read More

Network Across Rather Than Up

Network. Network. Network.
A word that has been drilled into our heads our entire careers. Here are some tips for anyone starting out in the creative industries.

When it comes to networking; actress, writer, director, and producer of the HBO hit series Insecure, Issa Rae offers a simple but effective solution for aspiring creatives.

“Who’s next to you? Who’s struggling? Who’s in the trenches with you? Who’s just as hungry as you are? Those are the people that you need to build with.”

Issa says she did not see herself being accurately portrayed in mainstream media, so she set out to fill the gap herself. She gained a massive following online through her mini-series The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl on YouTube, which garnered almost 20 million views.

Read More

A Basic Guide To Editing Software

A Basic Guide To Editing Software

Software for professional editing: the pros, the cons and where to start from.
There are many alternatives on the market, but just a few are used by professionals and learning all the tricks of the trade takes time and experience. So what are your options?

Avid Media Composer
The undisputed industry standard for feature films and big productions, which is equipped with the most stable platform for the most complex workflows. Plus, with a complete set of tools to make the most of shared storage and multiple operators working on the same project, it is the go-to choice for post-production companies and editing studios dealing with large teams and complicated setups.

Read More

6 Pieces Of Advice From Award Winning Directors

6 Pieces Of Advice From Award Winning Directors

No matter what they achieve in their career, every director was once a runner, a film student or a production assistant… So they are often keen on giving advice to young filmmakers. Here are our top picks:

Wes Anderson – Always start with your characters
During the 10th Rome Film Fest in 2015, the director from Houston, Texas, met the audience and, in a Q&A session, he shared several directorial tips like this one:

“For me a movie, the project usually begins almost always with a character or a group of characters. Usually there’s a sort of world… that’s tied in. But, for instance, the last film that I did, The Grand Budapest Hotel, there was a person we were modelling this role, this character who Ralph Fiennes plays in the film. There’s a real inspiration for him, and he was someone my co-writer Hugo Guinness [and I] were close to. In that case, if we put a style to it, it could be a literary style because of the way he talks. We wanted to write the way he talks to create a character in that way. But in that case it’s really the character that comes first.”

Read More

7 Tips For Aspiring Screenwriters

7 Tips For Aspiring Screenwriters

Being the dream of plenty of film students, writers and even movie-enthusiasts, becoming a screenwriter can be one of the most competitive and frustrating journeys through the industry. Here are some tips aimed at those who are taking the first steps on this journey.

1. Read plenty of scripts
This should hopefully be obvious, but you can’t learn how to craft a successful screenplay just by yourself. You will need to read a lot of screenplays, from a lot of different screenwriters and across many different genres, from the classics to the latest hits, in order to get a full picture of the different techniques at your disposal, along with examples of good writing that works for the audience as well.

Read More

What To Expect After You Finish Film School

What To Expect After You Finish Film School

As spring term approaches, you are probably getting ready to kick-start your career. Here’s some advice that might help you make your way out there in the “real world”.

As people more experienced than you have already told you, getting your first job can be very hard, and starting to progress further in the industry can be even harder. Film and television are networking-based industries and as, presumably, you don’t have many connections yet, prepare for a slow and often tedious start.

Most industry professionals will advise you to find some work experience as quickly as possible, in order to start creating your network and putting some credits on your CV. Many say that it should not matter if your first experience is an entry level role at minimum wage. However, having your mind set on what you aspire to and what specific path you want to follow should help you select only the opportunities that are right for you.

Read More

The 7 Golden Rules For Outstanding Camera Assistants

The 7 Golden Rules For Outstanding Camera Assistants

Be on time
Always plan to be on set 15 minutes before you are actually supposed to be there, so that, worst case scenario, you will end up being delayed by something unexpected but still be on time to start working. Remember that by being late, you slow down the whole production process, and especially for small productions, seizing every hour of shooting is crucial.

Bring your own tools
A lot of inexperienced ACs spend their whole first job asking other assistants to borrow gear and tools. While obviously it will take you a few years of practice (and savings) to put together a complete toolset, starting with bringing the basics with you will make you look reliable and committed. These basics may include screwdrivers, pliers, scissors, wrenches, hex keys, markers, measuring tape, a flashlight, along with all the gear to keep cameras and lenses clean.

Always take care of the equipment on set
Whether it’s about lowering the camera on the tripod while it’s not being used, or covering the gear from the rain as the sky gets cloudy, doing everything in your power to make sure all of the equipment gets to the end of the day in perfect condition is your main responsibility. By doing so, not only will you help the production save money by avoiding expensive repairs, but you also show your professionalism and trustworthiness.

Read More