Film Northants has a pool of judges from which we select five people each year.
Hear the thoughts of this year’s judges during the 2015 shortlisting day.
Background: Tony’s passion for filmmaking began when he was just a schoolboy, after winning a film-based competition where he got to visit a chocolate factory and eat a mountain of chocolate. After this, he began to work his way up from the bottom as a runner and assistant projectionist before going on to make his own small productions. In the meantime, his father, Michael Klinger had entered the industry and went on to be the producer of Get Carter. Years later, after fighting over every aspect of the business, the two of them went into partnership and joined their two successful businesses.
Experience: He has made over 700 productions as an executive, producer, writer or director and worked in more than 40 countries doing so. Some of these films include The Kids are Alright, Pulp, The Penthouse, The Avengers, The Festival Game and Mister Producer. Tony is also an academic and has been a university director, visiting professor, senior lecturer and taught at every level from GCSE through to Doctoral in the UK and overseas.
On Judging: Tony said: “Good short films that resonate have a simple strong story line, believable characters to care about, and emotional engagement.”
Background: Lifelong friends Alex and Lewis began making films together at the University of Northampton, where they formed The Rest. The pair do everything together and always collaborate on their ideas when filmmaking. They first became a part of Film Northants in 2013 when they won the Judges’ Choice Award and have been making short films and promotional videos ever since.
Experience: The Rest regularly work with street wear shop Commonn, creating their promotional videos, have worked with fashion designer Chelsea Bravo on a lookbook for her collection and have made promotional videos for poet and artist Kojey Radical. They have also made several short films, including Film Northants shortlisted Bottles and taken part in Film Northants Q&A sessions at Errol Flynn Filmhouse.
On Judging: Alex says that they are looking for something that will surprise them. “We want something that feels very authentic. I’m looking for something that teaches me something new I guess.”
Background: Ash fell in love with animating and filmmaking at a young age and went on to study Media Production at university and make educational and corporate films. He has played an instrumental role in the content of the U16s category, by training children from across Northamptonshire in animation and filmmaking at the Cobblers, Silverstone and Steelbacks study centres. In 2008, he founded Shoebox Cinema to teach these skills to primary school children as part of alternative curriculum learning.
Experience: Ash has been part of a number of educational videos for companies such as Learning on the Farm and The Great Primate Handshake, where he travelled to Kenya and Uganda to help film and animate. Ashley’s enigmatic short Disparu bagged him the Film Northants Judges’ Choice and Anniversary Award in 2012. He was previously a runner-up with Space Invaders and Evil DVD 2.
On Judging: Ash thinks that a good short will have a unique style. “To me, trying to do something different is better than making it professional and polished. They should be original in their content.”
Background: International journalist Bruce began his career writing births, deaths and marriages for the Strait’s newspaper group in Singapore before being promoted to entertainments writer. He then went on to become the publisher of Ritz magazine in London where he headed the entertainment and what’s on section, before moving to the USA to work on commercial radio as an expert in stage and film.
Experience: Bruce is now working for a number of companies, as well as having a film review slot on the Bernie Keith show on BBC Radio Northampton. During his time as an entertainment journalist, Bruce has interviewed many celebrities and even played on a polo team with Tommy Lee Jones and Sylvester Stallone.
On Judging: The three things Bruce is looking for as a judge are ‘originality, originality and more originality’, and to grab his attention within the first 20 seconds. “If you want a high score, entertain me,” he said.
Background: Filmmaking entrepreneur Becky knew she wanted to be in charge of making her own films after years of experience as a production manager and line producer. She is MD of Northants-based Reelscape Films, which she set up in 2007.
Experience: Becky’s production manager and line producer credits include Oscar-shortlisted film Hotel starring Art Malik, King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Elevator Gods starring Ralph Brown, and Staging The World for the British Museum. She unit managed Gary Sinyor’s In Your Dreams and Julian Gilbey’s Rise of the Footsoldier. She has also produced Northants-based educational film The Caterpillar and Fly and co-produced award-winning short The Boy With A Camera For A Face, shown on Channel 4. Reelscape Films also associate produced The Devil Went Down To Islington. Her first feature film Fortune Cookies, is in production and will be shot in Northants and is set to star Les Dennis. Becky also helped to set up the Northants Film Network with Film Northants.
On Judging: Becky is impressed by films that capture her imagination. She said: “I suppose I think it’s all about an engaging story that has a bit of a creative flare.”
Background: Since the late 1980s, Tim has worked on a whole array of different films, such as corporate, training, documentary and music videos. He has been a director, producer and editor. In 2003, he set up Lucid Video to produce short films on diverse subjects.
Experience: Tim worked on music videos for a variety of bands, such as Spectrum’s How You Satisfy Me and Timbal, by Natacha Atlas, in a band called Loca. Some of his other work includes Drugs Bursting the Myth, a film about heroin abuse and Hands on History, about maintaining historical connections. His dark short If I Can’t Have Her is currently in production.
On Judging: Tim is looking for a creative and thought-provoking story, which may have an unexpected twist. He said: “A good short, for me, is a film that is perfectly proportioned… films should show and not tell, and I think this is especially true for shorts.”