City Projections - 2020 Update
Updated: Jan 19
Over the past year, City Projections has been a student-led film production company. All six of our members (which increased to seven for our film Weird Dad) were studying at the University of Salford, and our film projects were very much centred around these academic studies and our assignments. But, as you will be fully aware, a lot has changed recently; amongst the chaos of 2020, we all graduated from University and have now begun to put in place a plan of action for developing City Projections beyond a ‘student-led production company’.
Our ethos has always been built atop one simple fact: we want to tell stories. Stories that both mean something to us and to everyone who watches them. We have always maintained the idea that a passionate and personal connection to a film is transferable, and will be seen in every frame, through any theme, genre, tone or narrative. Graduating from University during a universally unique and difficult time has of course posed many new questions, plus there are those posed by the changes in our personal lives - but this drive to tell stories has not changed. It still defines our approach to filmmaking and our work over the past few months has been the first steps in building a platform on which, when the world gets moving again, we can continue to make our films and tell our stories with as many people as possible. Whether that story is telling a fictional narrative, or capturing the energy of a band’s live performance, or highlighting the quality of a company’s product - it deserves to be told.
Although, the term ‘plan’ is very overarching and slightly cryptic. So, to elaborate a little upon what this ‘plan’ is that we have been working on, we are going to highlight a few parts of it, with short summaries of some of our work that we have been developing, alongside a breakdown of our new rebrand. Each section below is written by a different member of our team, and focuses on ideas that we are slowly starting to materialise and build.
From the very start, something which we knew was going to be essential as we took our first steps into the world of freelance filmmaking was the adapting and updating of our brand image. Our previous logo (above) and branding didn’t really portray who we are or what we represent; which will be crucial as we start to reach out to fellow creatives. Therefore, over the past 3 months, I (Rowan Walsh, Head of Development) created a series of different logo ideas that each represented the basic principle of...
Telling unheard stories.
Giving 'ordinary' working people a voice.
After bouncing off ideas and working with the rest of the team, we eventually decided on the silhouette of an old Cornish tin mine as the perfect representation of both of these principles:
In the 19th century, Cornish workers would head to the tin mines everyday with the knowledge that their work, which was often dangerous and unpredictable, would give them very little payoff. In the present day, the mines have crumbled away and have become a striking symbol of a forgotten workforce. It’s impossible not to think about the stories left untold or cut short when admiring their silhouettes in front of a Cornish sunset. I will go into more detail on the stages I took in the development of our brand image in a separate blog post…
Alongside our new logo, we have also launched a brand new website. On it, you will find all of our short films as well as some of our freelance work. Seeing as you are currently reading this, you have already found the blog; we aim to upload a new blog post every month, with each post containing personal and unique writings from one of our team (and, in the not too distant future, other writers too).
The City Projections Network
Manchester’s creative industry is thriving - and we want in! The City Projections Network is a project which aims to connect us, and anyone who wishes to join the network, with as many Manchester based creatives as possible. It is a fully non-profit project which we have developed simply to offer a platform for sharing and networking within the Manchester-based filmmaking community, something which we feel could be a huge benefit to many. There are a few elements within the network: a database of users/creatives, an area to list projects to find crew, and a few discussion forums.
The network is open to anyone who wishes to join (over the age of 18, for legal/safety reasons) and has been meticulously developed with the intention to offer a level playing field for any and all who sign up, with the network focusing fully on user’s creativity. We have removed the necessity to share any personal details beyond your initials, your general location (i.e. Stockport) and your ‘self-assigned level’, which will make it easier for you to connect with creatives that aim to work on similar sized projects. These details will of course then come into play if and when you connect with other creatives for production purposes, but our reasoning behind negating the need for these details at first is to assure inclusivity and remove any possible biases, whether subliminal or direct. Bias and inequality within the film industry is undeniable, and up to this point it has been inherent; we are determined to play a role in changing that.
The network is of course a new development, and is very much in its early, beta stage - initially we will be manually accepting every new user after they sign up, as we need to maintain the flow of the network and make sure its structure works. It will be launched very soon and we look forward to welcoming you!
As we are a new production company coming straight out of University, we want to be able to create as many contacts and relationships with fellow, like-minded individuals and industry professionals as possible. With help from the City Projections Network, we aim to grow a social and energetic space for not only ourselves, but any filmmakers looking to make life long connections within the industry. We also aim to expand and build our crew within City Projections to work with us, not only behind the scenes, but also on future projects. We are always looking for creatives and filmmakers to work alongside on projects; the City Projections Network is a huge step in putting this connectivity and collaboration in place.
The Poem/Podcast Projects (Working Titles..)
Over the course of the last couple of months we have continually discussed what we want to create as a new starting out company.
One of our key initiatives is to give a platform to local writers and creatives alike on poetry projects, which would be small scale productions based primarily around locally written poems or monologues. The writer of the poem will be given the chance to have a creative input into the video whilst working alongside us. Each individual project will be unique and fully demonstrate our community based ethos, which is what we want to represent and put out as a company.
Our podcast, another idea which we have been developing, will also come into play with other local creatives, as each episode will host a Manchester-based creative to discuss different topics within their personal field, which will go hand in hand with helping up-coming creatives to gain more knowledge and sustain a creative voice.
Alongside these project plans, we personally want to engage with our audience as much as we can. Over the coming weeks, months and years we’ll be creating blog posts discussing everything about us as a company, such as the specifics of our rebrand, which Rowan will be doing in a later blog post! And the up-coming projects, which we hope to be materialising soon, will also play a large part in the blog. Alongside a variety of topics, all relating to creativity and filmmaking.
An Update On Weird Dad
The Covid-19 lockdown of course impacted us. Before the world came to a standstill, we were three shoot days into production on our latest film, our final year film at University, called Weird Dad (information on the film can be found on our website, and a blog post focusing on it will be coming soon). The stopping of production was so sudden and out of our hands that we simply had to step back from the film, and up to now have still yet to be able to jump back into it. All of our cast and crew are still devoted to the project, and are determined to finish telling its story as soon as the world sees fit. But, unfortunately, when that will be is uncontrollable, and once the time does come around we will need to readjust and acclimatise ourselves to the 'new normal' that we will be facing. So the film will not be finished for a while, and the course it takes before completion will be one that fully coordinates with everybody's new situations, so that course is also unpredictable. But what is completely concrete, and without a shadow of doubt, is that the story of Weird Dad will be told. It is not a case of if, but when!
We could go on all day talking about our plans and the way in which we are approaching our post-university filmmaking; but we won't. Everything we have mentioned in this blog post, alongside much else, is something which we are currently building and, although right now our team is scattered across the country and the Coronavirus is still lingering, we will soon be back in a position where we can begin to put pen to paper (or... files to SD card?) and produce a variety of video and film with as many people as possible. We have got stories to tell and a drive to tell them, and we couldn't be more excited.
The City Projections Network will be launching soon, and when it does, please get involved!