SWOTS 2011


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Franny Armstrong, Director of Age of Stupid, Drowned Out & McLibel and founder of 10:10, doesn't stop talking all weekend. Topics she went on about included  1,000 tips and secrets from every stage of making documentaries... from idea to broadcast... from crowdfunding to Indie Screenings... from cameras to editing... from interviewing to subtitles... from journalist visas to jail detentions... from 20% VAT to 5.1 surround sound...




... - from translators & animators to websites & DVDs... from lighting with no lights to fundraising from your kitchen... from satellite link-ups in the Himalayas to simultaneous screenings in 700 cinemas in 63 countries... from ambushing politicians to arguing on Newsnight... from recording orchestras to persuading Radiohead to play live and from screenings in tribal Indian villages with no electricity to international TV broadcast deals.


Charlie Phillips from the UK's No 1 doc festival (Sheffield Doc/Fest of course) shares his tips and secrets for maximising your successes at international festivals - number one "don't be annoying", number two "don't say 'I never watch TV' to a commissioner".


Jess Search, Director of Britdoc and Founder of Shooting People, explains the myriad different ways to fund an independent doc on the international scene in this day and age.

Franny's other half at Spanner,  Lizzie Gillett, gets to talk about the fascinating world of VAT, archive, contracts, visas, libel and the ins and outs of our world-changing crowd-funding scheme


The first brave SWOT listens to feedback from Dogwoof's Oli Harbottle  (distributor of Age of Stupid, Burma VJ, Restrepo, End of the Line and many others) after a nerve-wracking three minutes pitching his doc idea in front of the class.

Director of Sheffield Doc Fest, Heather Croall gives some hilariously blunt advice. "Don't tell me you have a camera. I have a pen - it doesn't mean I'm going to write a bestseller" 




We have absolutely no doubt that the next Errol Morris and Kim Longonitto are amongst this lot.