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filmmaking

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.

children, children's film, filmmaking, Screenings, short film

Children’s film project in Doncaster

7th May 2016

By Debbie Howard

I’ve recently been working with Hilltop School in Edlington, Doncaster for the past few weeks on a film project with Y3 and Y5 primary school children. This has been fantastic fun.

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I have taught the children all about the filmmaking process from start to finish, and even though they are so young, they have done incredibly well to grasp this information and take it all on board. We watched many short films, looked at different genre’s, shooting styles, types of shot, casting, sound and music.

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Children then worked together in small group’s to come up with their own original film idea. Some chose animation, others documentary, comedy and drama. They developed these over a number of weeks, created storyboards, tag lines, synopsis and posters and scripts.

We then ran a pitching session where each group had to pitch their films to me and the class teachers, Nichola Clark and James Hissey. They did incredibly well and it was difficult to select the seven films we chose.

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In the end we selected two documentaries, one animation and four dramas. We have just shot our first documentary, ‘A Day in the Life of Hilltop’ which went brilliantly. The animation ‘Dogship’ was shot with guidance and expertise of animator James Reynolds and went really well. Over the next few weeks we will shoot the other five films. I will also edit a ‘making of’ documentary, about the entire project.

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The children have loved the project and worked so hard and really well on this. I think there are definitely a few budding filmmakers within their midst.

When all the films are edited, which I will work on throughout June and July, with help from James Reynolds and James Hissey, we will be having our own ‘film festival’ where the children will bring their families and friends to the screenings. There will be awards for ‘best of’ in many categories, and some very worthy winners!

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It’s been so much fun to see children as young as this embracing filmmaking and coming up with such creative and imaginative ideas. Especially the children that don’t usually do so well academically, many of them have really found their moment to shine on this project.

Well done to everyone at Hilltop school for making this project happen. With thanks to Grimm & Co and Cape UK for funding and overseeing the project.

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