Browsing Tag

Female filmmakers

filmmaking, Publicists, reviews, Screenings, Still Loved, Women in Film and TV

In the Spotlight – interview with Debbie Howard and Women in Film and TV UK

30th May 2017

On the 30th May, Women in Film and TV UK featured an interview with Director, Debbie Howard about the making of her feature documentary, Still Loved.

Deb WOL

We all know that getting a film made is not easy. But once you’ve achieved that part, what about the Herculean effort needed to get it out into the world?

Over the last few years WFTV has been keeping a keen eye on the progress of Still Loved, the debut feature-length documentary from former WFTV mentee Debbie Howard (above centre). The film explores the complex reality for families surviving baby loss. It’s a brave and moving documentary but – because of its challenging subject matter – it’s not an easy sell.

Undeterred, Debbie has used a number of different strategies to build an audience for the film and make sure its important message does not go unheard. So WFTV decided to catch up with her shortly after Still Loved‘s DVD release to find out how she’s done it and what tips she would pass on to fellow-filmmakers trying to get their film seen.

“From the very beginning I was told repeatedly not to make this film. People said ‘There is no audience. People won’t watch it. It’s too sad.’”

You can read the full article on the WFTV UK website here.

Documentary, Female Directors, filmmaking, Press, Release, Screenings, Still Loved

Televisual blog about Still Loved

28th October 2016

Director Debbie Howard on shooting her first feature doc, Still Loved

Blog
20 October 2016

I set up Big Buddha Films ten years ago and have made many short films, both fiction and documentary. My latest short film, Peekaboo, was about stillbirth. When I finished it I knew I wanted to make a feature documentary about baby loss as it was something I had become very passionate about. So I started work on Still Loved.

I now realise the enormity of that decision. For a first time feature documentary maker to make a film about one of the society’s biggest taboos was no small task. There is so much stigma around baby loss. No wants to talk about it even though one in four pregnancies end in a loss. We dealt with closed doors from the industry all along the way. We were continuously told, “There is no interest in this subject.” This shocked me. I think the point of documentaries is to educate and challenge attitudes, to make change. But I didn’t give up.

Four years later and we are now releasing Still Loved into cinemas across the UK in October, during Baby Loss Awareness Month. We have a Distributor onboard CatnDocs and we screen at our first two film festivals in November. We have made a powerful, sensitive, thought-provoking film that I am very proud of.

We shot Still Loved over 3 years working closely with seven families. Most of the film was shot on a Sony PMW 200. Our DoP, Emma Dalesman did an incredible job. For scenes that needed a certain look we used a Canon C300 with sliders and macro lenses and a Sony FS7. We also used a drone and Go Pro’s and some of the contributors also self shot on small video cameras and phones for a much more personal feel.

We filmed close-up intimate shots of the babies items on motion control with Charlie Paul at Itch Studio. They specialise in working with documentary filmmakers and have a truly creative approach to examining and treating memorabilia, photos, archive film and materials in an innovative way to tailor a unique style for each of the films they work on.  Charlie used a DSLR camera with long focal length macro lenses mounted on the rig. He shot high resolution time-lapse sequences which allowed us to move the camera at exceptionally slow speeds with shallow depth of field and long exposure shutter speeds.

Still Loved was beautifully edited by Joby Gee and the Supervising Sound Editor was George Foulgham. Post production was completed at Molinare, London.

http://www.stilllovedfilm.com
@StillLovedDoc / @BigBuddhaFilms

Documentary, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved London preview

27th October 2015

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On Wednesday 21st October we had our London preview screening of Still Loved at Molinare, Soho, where we did our post production. They have a gorgeous cinema where we held the screening.

Our audience arrived at 6.30pm and we had a couple of drinks in the bar. Our guests consisted of two of the families in the film, Beth and Steve Morris and Michelle and Paul Hemmington Buckley, some of our crew, sponsors and film industry and friends. It was a fantastic turn out.

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Documentary, Screenings, Still Loved

Still Loved previews to rave reviews

21st October 2015

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On Tuesday 6th October, we had our first preview screening of Still Loved in Sheffield at the Showroom Cinema with cast, crew, friends, family, sponsors and film industry. We had an amazing turn out.

“Debbie Howard’s documentary Still Loved really moved me. It was as much about human connection as it was about loss. It deserves a much wider screening. A brave and tender film.”

The audience arrived and had drinks and there was a chance for the families in the film to catch up with each other, and to meet and greet.

Kate Linderholm from BBC Radio Sheffield introduced the Filmmakers on stage and our Director, Debbie Howard gave an introductory speech and thanked our wonderful families, crew and sponsors for all their input.

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Documentary, Post Production

Still Loved picture lock

4th October 2015

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We’re absolutely delighted to have picture locked on Still Loved. This is a massive landmark moment for us and it’s fantastic to have reached this point.

We now have a three more weeks until our on line begins, to give our composer, Jack Ketch, time to complete the score. We’ll then be moving into Molinare to complete our sound mix and grade.

Enormous thanks to our Editor, Joby Gee for all the many months of hard work and dedication getting Still Loved into shape, the team at Molinare for all the technical support and to Blue Spill for their VFX. We had a couple of glasses of champagne yesterday while making the finishing touches.

We feel we have a really beautiful film. The participants in the film have watched a preview and are all very happy with their stories and that the film has been sensitively put together.  We look forward to sharing it with the world very soon.

Huge thanks to everyone that has supported us. To keep up to date with us day to day, join us on Facebook here.

Documentary, Post Production, Still Loved

Still loved is finished!

25th July 2015

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These are amazing words to write! Finally, we have completed the film. After three long years and a great deal of hard work, it is done. That’s a fantastic feeling.

This week we finished the on line with Des Murray and the Sound Mix with Nas Pardesh and George Foulgham at Molinare. Colin Pons, our Producer joined me yesterday to watch and sign off the film and we’re absolutely delighted with the final outcome.

The lovely Molinare team came in with lots of fizz and cake for a celebration at the end. The sound team were joined by Tom Rogers, Sales Exec and Sarah Kinsella our Post Production Supervisor. Molinare have been wonderful to work with, what a lovely bunch of people and a great place to work. They have made a superb job of the post production on Still Loved.

So we still have many months of hard work ahead now the film is finished. Marketing, distribution and outreach. We also have to make a shorter TV version and a trailer. We need to do submissions to film festivals, poster, DVD extras etc. So our work is not yet over. But it’s a huge landmark to have got this far and completed the actual film.

Enormous thanks to every single person that has worked on the film or supported us in any way, that’s a very long list as we’ve had so much help from many fantastic people.

I look forward to announcing our premiere soon!

Hooray!

Documentary, Festivals, Film Festivals

Edinburgh Film Festival 2015

24th June 2015

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Women in Film and TV

Women in Film and Television Mentoring Scheme 2014

20th February 2014

Things are progressing well with the Women in Film and TV Mentoring Scheme that our Director Debbie Howard is currently part of.

Every other week there are incredibly inspiring talks given by the other mentees on the scheme. So far we’ve covered working as a stunt women with Amanda Foster, writer multidimensional female characters with Adeela Sharif Antunes, Motion Graphics with Allison Brownmoore, how a DoP prepares for business with Audrey Aquilina, crowd funding with Lisa Francesca Nand and writing three act structure for thriller with Lotus Hannon. Lots more to come.

Debbie has begun meeting with her mentor Beadie Finzi from Britdoc, who’s advice and guidance is proving to be incredibly beneficial. Beadie’s wealth of knowledge about documentary is just what Debbie needs at this stage of making Still Loved.

As well as the regular meetings and talks there are extra sessions, from looking at improving CV’s to speed dating and networking sessions with other industry professionals. As part of the scheme Debbie is also meeting with Nicola Shindler of RED in a few weeks time in Manchester.

Led by Nicola Lees – TV Mole the sessions are dynamic and hugely productive and have already had a big impact on the mentees careers.

Women in Film and TV

Women in Film and Television Mentoring Scheme 2014

14th January 2014

Our Director Debbie Howard has begun her mentoring scheme at Women in Film and TV UK, in London last week.

The scheme kicked off in style with a full day of getting to know the other 19 mentees and Nicola Lees who runs the scheme. It was a very inspiring day!

Debbie’s mentor for the next six months is Beadie Finzi from Britdoc, they have their first one-to-one session next week.

To find out more about the scheme see here:http://www.wftv.org.uk/mentoring-scheme

Debbie is delighted to be part of the mentoring scheme and is very much looking forward to being pushed to the next level in her career.

Women in Film and TV

Women in Film and Television Mentoring Scheme 2014

3rd October 2013

I’m absolutely thrilled to say that I’ve been selected for the prestigiuos Women in Film and Television UK Mentoring Scheme 2014.

This sounds like a very exiting opportunity and will begin in January 2014 through to the summer. I’ll be working with 20 other dynamic female mentees, taking part in a great program in London. I’m not sure yet who my mentor will be, but trust it will be someone with great expertise and skill who can help me develop my own work.

This has come at a great time whilst completing Still Born, Still Loved, our feature documentary about stillbirth and baby loss.

A big thank you Nicola Lees and all those at Women in Film and Television for selecting me for this program. I can’t wait to get started!

Debbie Howard
Director
Big Buddha Films