Interview: Allan Niblo
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Now in its second year Short Stories attracts film-makers from all over the world, who aim to create a film that embodies Relentless Energy’s ‘No Half Measures’ attitude.
This year’s theme is ‘Focus’ with the subjects being taken from the worlds of core sports (skate, surf, snow, BMX) and music (rock, metal, dance, punk, drum nâ€Ÿ bass) and motorsport (road racing).
For Short Stories 2011 a selection of 30 film makers were invited to provide a treatment for the Story they wished to tell. From these treatments, eight directors were selected to make their film.Talking to TNS Niblo explains his involvement in the competition, his career and how young film-makers can get noticed. Why did you get involved with the Relentless Energy Short Stories competition? For me it’s all about working with new film making talent and I have a certain passion for extreme sports, like Skateboarding. Back in the day I was a Scottish Skateboard champion , way back in 1985. The chance to watch movies and extreme sports together is perfect. What made you make the move to film? There wasn’t a lot of money in skateboarding at the point, it did go through a craze and become a cool, cult sport. When I got back from California I picked up a video camera and started making videos for bands – local talent. I went to film school. The first big film I worked on was Human Traffic. What do you think of the films you have seen for the competition? It’s really exciting, and it shows what can be done with very little. There’s some really diverse subject matter like the crowd-surfing documentary, I think there could be a feature film made from that idea. With the crowd-surfer I felt they really captured something . The one that won it last year was really beautiful, really poetic – it captured the spirit ‘one life, one dream, grab it while you can’. What do you look for in a film pitch?
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The problem is, there is a lot of people trying to get into the film industry. When I went to film school there were 10 film schools in the country now there are hundreds. Courses that attract students get more funding, so there is a proliferation of film students every year. But you have to be honest and ask ‘can I make a living at it’ – I would never say to not follow your dreams but you also have to be diplomatic, if you are not going to make it treat it as a hobby, and learn more about it. Was there a moment when you realised that you had made it? Yes, my first film. Sundance Film Festival, even more so than Cannes is the coolest film festival in the world and I went there with my first film and got Harvey Weinstein, at his height when he was running Miramax, buying me drinks. It was an incredible high to get that with my first film. For more information: www.relentlessenergy.com/shortstories