My most recent project for my Raindance MA was a Research Methods Report. For this, I researched the Film Communities currently available to London-based filmmakers. This was aimed to help me place Action On The Side within the market, and to determine its USP (Unique Selling Point, or Value Proposition). My overall MA goal is to develop AOTS into a sustainable short film business model.
After doing all the research, I had a large appendix with details on film organisations. And why not share that information?
Here is a list of the London Film Communities…
Of course, since writing the report, new communities have cropped up, or I found ones I should have included. Please add a comment if you see any errors or omissions and I will amend them accordingly.
Appendix: London Film Communities
Below is a survey of the currently available film organisations situated in London. This list serves as a starting point for researching the current market: for developing the questionnaires and to compare what is available currently for the London Film Community to what AOTS offers. This list may be used for new filmmakers entering the London film community.
This list is not exhaustive. It has not gone into script development / scriptwriting groups, nor into meetup groups that are specific to a particular part of London (e.g. South London Filmmakers Group). These are groups that are open to all of London, as AOTS is. It also includes websites of which Actioners and the London Film Community may be a member, even if the sites are not London-specific.
Each is divided into one of the following categories:
- Collectives are groups of filmmakers or actors who work together to produce content.
- Organisations are professional groups, companies, trade unions. They usually have a fee to take part and have multiple factions.
- Online organisations are professional companies that only exist online through their website(s). Users usually set up a profile and apply for work.
- Communities are groups largely for supporting filmmakers.
- Online communities are groups that exist online, usually through Facebook, Meetup, or LinkedIn. They do not usually meet physically.
Please note that these categories are subjective as they are based on my assessment. Some groups have developed from online communities to collectives to organisations. There may be little difference between an online community and a community, or between a community and a collective. Where possible I have indicated what the group offers, as a point of comparison between the group and Action On The Side.
The membership of online groups changes daily. As such, I have listed a rounded down number of members and the month. For Facebook, LinkedIn, and Meetup groups, assume the group is open (i.e. can be viewed by the public and anyone can join), unless otherwise stated as closed (i.e. membership is subject to approval from an organiser or moderator).
The 48 Hour Film Project: London
The London faction of the global 48-hour film competition.
Acting Now Co-Workshop (ANC)
Developed by Lukas DiSparrow. A weekly actor’s workshop near London Bridge, that sometimes brings acting teachers in for workshops. DiSparrow is an actor/filmmaker who uses the group to make short skits.
Action On The Side (AOTS)
A group that runs a one-month film project where filmmakers make a short film in a month. Also runs regular script development meetings, mailing list, and facebook group.
The Actors Centre
Located in Seven Dials, Central London. Members only. Performance and rehearsal space. Runs workshops.
Actors, Producers, Directors, Agents Connection
Meetup group. Posts about castings and sometimes arranges networking meetings and workshops. 700+ members (Jan 2015)
Beyond Illusion Pictures (BIP)
A film production company that runs monthly networking drinks.
British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)
A charity that supports the motion picture arts. Runs workshops, conferences, awards ceremony. YouTube channel. Runs the annual Sargent-Disc BAFTA Filmmakers’ Market
British Film Institute (BFI)
A charity that supports British Film, with funding, workshops, etc.. Hosts British archive material.
Runs BFI Net.Work, funding opportunities for short filmmakers.
Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU)
Trade union with 25,000+ members, set up in 1991. Charges a union membership fee.
Casting Call Pro, Film and TV Crew Pro
Sites for posting and applying for film-related jobs. Run by Blue Compass Ltd. Users set up profiles and pay a monthly fee.
A members-only film night, that runs a monthly film screening and brings in speakers.
Members set up a profile and apply for corporate jobs. Based in London.
The trade union for acting professionals.
Scriptwriter’s group. Runs workshops, mailing list, training courses, script feedback service.
Film Group London
The (govt) organisation that provides funding for features and short films. Offers training, funding, location arrangements and shooting permits, workshops, a directory of London film professionals.
Film London Talent Connect
Facebook Group for filmmakers to find collaborators for Film London funding applications
The Film Space
A not-for-profit organisation for promoting film education and supporting teachers and educators.
Members set up profiles, apply for jobs. International.
Guerilla Film Makers
Chris Jones runs an annual Guerilla Film Makers Workshop, the last one of which ran in 2015. He runs a mailing list and attendees have an online forum.
In-Cahoots Indie Film Night
Meetup group. Founded July 2015. Has only run two events (as at Nov 2015). <500 members (Jan 2015)
Independent Film Trust
A charity that works with groups such as the British Independent Film Awards and the Raindance Film Festival in fostering, promoting and celebrating independent film-making in the UK.
Monthly short film screening event. Part of global Kino group. Also runs Kino Challenges, which brings filmmakers together to make a short film to meet a challenge.
London Actors Network
Closed facebook group for actors. By the same group who run the London Film Crew Network. 13000 members (Jan 2015)
London Actors & Filmmakers
Closed facebook group. 7000+ members (Jan 2015)
London Film Crew Network
Closed facebook group. 8800+ members (Jan 2015)
London Film Entrepreneurs (LFE)
London Film Network
Meetup group. Shares other groups’ events, such as Shorts On Tap.
London Film & TV Network
Facebook Group. Has not approved any posts since July 2015. 4800+ members (Jan 2015)
Closed Facebook group. 3300+ members (Jan 2015)
The London Filmmakers Network
Regular film screenings and networking events. Share resources, post jobs and more.
Meetup Group: meetup.com/filmnetwork/
Facebook Group: facebook.com/filmnetwork
LinkedIn Group: linkedin.com/groups/4264988
London Filmmaking Network
Facebook Group with 1500+ members (at Nov 2015).
London Independent Film Network
LinkedIn group. Arranges networking events. 400+ members (Jan 2015)
London Lift-Off Festival
The flagship for the global Lift-Off Film Festival, an online film festival. The London branch is based at Pinewood Studios. They also run film workshops.
The London Screenwriters Festival
An annual festival run by Chris Jones. There is a Facebook group and attendees have an online forum, as well as the Chris Jones mailing list.
Closed Facebook group for attendees: facebook.com/groups/LSFSalon/
London Short Film Meetup
A film production collective that makes short films. 2100+ members on Meetup
London Short Film Network
Public facebook group. 2000+ members (Jan 2015)
London to Hollywood: Actors, Screenwriters, Film Industry
Meetup group. Arranges networking events. 680+ members (Jan 2015)
A paid website where users set up a profile and apply for film jobs. Now owned by Blue Compass, so no different to Film and TV Pro.
My First Job In Film
Paid website to apply for film work.
No Direction Home
Director’s only community. Runs members only monthly networking events with guest speakers.
Producer’s Alliance for Cinema & TV (PACT)
The Trade Union for Producers.
Paid website to apply for film work.
The Production Guild
The Trade Union for film and television production staff. Offers training, support, workshops.
Set up by Elliot Grove in 1992. Based in London. Now runs internationally.
Runs film classes and workshops, including the Filmmaker’s Foundation Certificate. Runs a postgraduate degree. Runs an annual film festival. Runs Boozin’ & Schmoozin’, monthly networking event. Mailing lists and articles on their website. Premium membership costs a fee and gives discounts, special events.
Premium members facebook page: facebook.com/groups/raindancemembers/
Paid website. Members set up profiles, post and apply for jobs. Online forum for asking questions. Mailing list. Runs Shooters In The Pub, a monthly networking event.
International (not London specific).
Shorts On Tap
Regular short film screenings
Monthly film screenings arranged by rKive Productions, a film production company.
Members set up profiles and apply for work.
Casting organisation for actors.
Paid website. Members set up profiles and apply for work.
Paid website. Set up in London by Kiwis, now runs internationally. Members set up profiles and apply for film and work.
Set up by Chris Jones. Members set up a profile and apply for work.
UK Actors Tweetup
Set up from twitter networking. Runs monthly networking drinks Feb to Nov and runs panels.
Has a website, FB page, emailing list. 1st short film festival Nov 2015
Visual Content Network (VCN)
Meetup group. Runs a monthly networking event. Founded Aug 2015. 230+ members (Jan 2015).
Women In Film and Television (WFTV)
The international trade union for women working in film and television. Members pay an annual fee. Runs a monthly networking event. Mailing list, workshops, mentoring programme.