The teaching run continues

We are still riding high on confidence after a successful improvised filmmaking workshop for teens at Gozo Film Festival over the weekend. So it’s a great time to share that we have been approached by the Malta Film Foundation, who run the yearly Malta Film Weekend, to teach an improvised filmmaking workshop.

 
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Our course will be for adults this time around and take place The Valletta University Campus, Sunday 15th September 10am - noon. For more details, go directly to the Malta Film Foundation website.

The whole weekend festival is a must for any filmmaker, with both short and feature films screening, plus workshops and discussions from local filmmakers happening over the weekend of 14-15th of September.

This was a lot of fun. For those based in Malta who have not made the trip across to the sister island of Gozo for the festival, we say do it!

On Saturday 24th after a late afternoon swim at Ramla Bay, followed by cave exploring in Nadur and an alfresco seafood dinner on a clifftop, we headed off to the Cittadella, where we enjoyed watching locally produced feature film Limestone Cowboy. It was past midnight when we returned to our AirBnb to rest so that we could wake early to prep for our Sunday morning Improvised Filmmaking Workshop for Teenagers, held at the same venue.

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This is our third year in attendance and each year we are very happy that we made the trip down from Malta to watch films and be welcomed by really passionate and enthusiastic people who love film as much as we do.

And to teach improvised filmmaking, the niche style we love so much, to young students intrigued by the 'no script' process we developed was an absolute blessing. We played games, filmed scenes, and went over everything from different improvisation styles to developing ideas to filming without a script and more. A big thank you to Gozo Film Festival, its volunteers, and festival director Federico Chini.

We'll be back next year. But we'll be teaching another improvised workshop very, very soon.

FUNDED TO TAKE ON IMPROV IN BERLIN

Contract signed! Grant application successful!

Thanks to the Professional Development Grant from Arts Council Malta we will be going back to Berlin in October for five days to take part in an intensive workshop on Character Based Improvisation with Robert Marchand.

We are thrilled to have been chosen for funding and that the workshop generously held two spots for us as we awaited the results.

This year has been full of wonderful blessings and we now look forward to returning to Berlin to further refine our skills and love for improv in film.

Improvised In Berlin

While in Berlin during the most of the month of May we shot our fourth micro short under the Life Improvised banner, called Cry Me a River .

The story centres around one character who has just received some bad news and her the world goes on as she tries to process the news, shedding tears publicly, only to be ignored by strangers who she encounters.

 
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Together with our small team made up of our friends in Berlin, we had a tight knit crew - Laura on sound, Robbert as DP, Kelsey as the main character, and Ivan and Sarah Jayne co-directing, plus two extras and a couple of on-the-spot participants we recruited on the day. Together we managed to shoot this micro short in just 3 hours at the gorgeous Treptower Park in Berlin on a perfect day.

We are very happy with the footage but It may be a while until we post it on our YouTube and Vimeo Channels as we have a backlog of projects, including the previous Life Improvised film shot in Melbourne called XChange to edit and share.

More news to follow shortly on this film and the progress.

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Ladinkino Cast & Crew Screening

When the cast and crew that had worked on the Berlin chapter of In Corpore stepped out of the Ladenkino cinema room there was one word to describe what they had just seen – intense. All round we had a wonderful night, not only catching up with everyone who attended, but also sharing all our hard work we had put into the film so far.

Although the film was still in a rough stage with more sound design and colour grading work to do, it was good to see In Corpore on the big screen with one of the four teams that made it possible.

Only two people were not in attendance due to having filming projects in other countries (so jealous) and they were greatly missed.

While it poured rain outside, inside we shared laughs and stories from on the set and it was a cosy cast and crew screening in gritty and artistic Berlin.

 
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Daughter & Il KINO

When Daughter screened in Berlin’s Il-Kino as part of Grrl Haus Cinema’s Screen your Film in Berlin Seminar’, it was a mainstream affair due to Il-Kino being a more traditional cinema setting with a single screen. The audience was a mix of the general public people who attended teh first screening at LoopHole for the same Seminar. It was a medium size crowd and the film selection was a mash up of traditional film, docos, and mix media video pieces.    

On the big screen, the sound design from Mark Farrow was outstanding and really added an edge to the performances. Unfortunately the aspect ratio was incorrect, but that is something filmmakers have to deal with often. No questions came from the crowd to director Sarah Jayne, but host and curator of Grrl Haus cinema Anastasia did ask the director about her educational intent for the film.

Overall the experience was one ING and Sarah Jayne were proud to have had the opportunity of being part of. It’s always a thrill to have your work show to a neutral audience instead of your own film community and acquaintances, which was often the case at our Melbourne screenings.

Spreading the word about what you and your company do at any opportunity is something that we truly believe in. 

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Sarah Jayne centre, with fellow filmmakers including the other program participant Adina from New York on the right.

Sarah Jayne centre, with fellow filmmakers including the other program participant Adina from New York on the right.

Hello from Berlin

Written by Director Sarah Jayne

What a fabulous time I am having in this wonderful city, Berlin. I am currently enjoying a mix of work and play and have found that it is a huge city with so much to see and do. My Airbnb is in Neukölln, which gives me easy access to not only a lot of wonderful middle-eastern foods, hipster cafes, but a very reliable train line to anywhere I need to go.

 
Riding through Berlin on Monday

Riding through Berlin on Monday

 

The Grrl Haus official first meet-up took place last night and everyone is so lovely and creative, it is great to be in that space with likeminded identifying females. The other women all seem to be from America, mostly New York, which is really cool as New York is a city I also adored and felt connected with during my travels a couple of years back. I know have Grrl Haus merch that I will be parading around Berlin, a tote, some postcards, a few posters a brochure with my profile and picture in it and soon, I will receive my t-shirt.

For those in Berlin, the first screening of my work (and NPG’s) is on at the 15th May at Loophole, where we will screen the Berlin section of In Corpore. The second takes place at Il-Kino on the 21st May, where we will screen Daughter.

 
The Grrl Haus social media event banner for the first screening at Loophole.

The Grrl Haus social media event banner for the first screening at Loophole.

 

There will be much to announce on our Instagram page as things progress, which is where I am uploading a video of the day as part of my 20 Days in Berlin series, which gets stored in Highlights afterwards. Plus I also post one picture a day of my Berlin adventure for that day, This is the best way to keep up-to date on the adventure.

 
Oblomov Kreuzkoelin Bar where the Grrl Haus first meeting took place.

Oblomov Kreuzkoelin Bar where the Grrl Haus first meeting took place.

 

Ivan joins me tomorrow, Wednesday 15th, just in time to come and show his support and work with me in Berlin for 11 days. On the 16th we also have a private cast and crew screening with our In Corpore Berlin people and on the 25th we will shoot our next Life Improvised story, reprising the complex characters of Milana and Rosalie from In Corpore Berlin section.

 
Skype meeting with Savo and Sarah for Malta to Berlin regarding Life Improvised

Skype meeting with Savo and Sarah for Malta to Berlin regarding Life Improvised

 

So many good things for NPG happening in Berlin. Please follow our progress on social media and if you want exclusive BTS photographs of the Life Improvised shoot, you will have to sign up to our newsletter.

Grrl Haus chosen for social media promotion of our film In Corpore (Berlin section only)

Grrl Haus chosen for social media promotion of our film In Corpore (Berlin section only)

Mediterranean Love

Our director Sarah Jayne, who is of Maltese heritage made it into the Maltese press yet again, it was not the national TV station that broadcast us this year, but local online pop-culture news site Lovin’ Malta.

The press comes as the lead up to Friends, Foes & Fireworks screening at Spazju Kreattiv edges closer, and we are thrilled that our work got a mention, highlighting SJ’s roles within Nexus Production Group.

With the imminent release of In Corpore, which was partly shot on the Maltese islands, we are excited to show our work to a part Maltese audience in the hope to gauge their interest in Nexus Production Group’s work overall. Obviously being based in Malta, we would love a local fan-base who anticipate our films and that truly shows in the numbers.

Nexus Production Group look forward to the May 9th event at their favorite Art House cinema. There will be a talk on improvised filmmaking run by the directors, with an open to audience Q&A session, where the mystery of how to shoot a feature in one night will be answered, and much more. If you are in Malta, come join us by booking your tickets now!

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BERLIN CALLING

NPG are happy to announce that writer / director Sarah Jayne is one of three artists selected to take part in GRRL HAUS CINEMA's 2 week intensive "Screen Your Film" seminar in Berlin with her short film Daughter.

GRRL HAUS is a space for underrepresented female voices in the arts today, with an emphasis on low budget and DIY artists, and their cinema program is celebration of women artists, showcasing works through ongoing programs, made up of short films and video art, created by women.

For GRRL HAUS’s monthly events a mix of local, national, and international artists present work from a variety of disciplines: narrative, documentary, experimental, and conceptual. And it is pretty much the same concept for the inaugural 2 week intensive "Screen Your Film" seminar in Berlin.

MONTHLY GRRL HAUS CINEMA SCREENING IN BERLIN - IMAGE GRRL HAUS CINEMA WEBSITE

MONTHLY GRRL HAUS CINEMA SCREENING IN BERLIN - IMAGE GRRL HAUS CINEMA WEBSITE

Sarah Jayne will be attending in May from the 13th onwards, and during the two weeks, she has the chance to network at events set up by GRRL HAUS during the evening, explore Berlin and immerse herself in the city’s culture by day, shoot her own Life Improvised micro short and meet new people.

Two events Daughter and Sarah Jayne will be a featured part of are the main screenings - the first her own individually curated film screening (at a yet to be announced art space) where she has the chance to speak directly to the audience after the screening about the film. The second event is the main, GRRL HAUS CINEMA event, held at Il- Kino Cinema during the second week of the seminar, where all the artists take part in a Q&A after a screening of the films.

This experience is Sarah Jayne’s first major push of her work as am individual director, her first seminar and film networking event outside of Australia and an experience she, as well as NPG are looking forward to for many reasons.

Sarah Jayne hopes to document as much of her experience as possible, to create a small visual diary of sorts of her experiences. Of course, she will post regularly on her Instagram account. Let’s see if she can fit all this into her busy two week schedule.

Watch this space.

New Year, New Project

New Year, new film in development.

That’s right, while on a break to visit family in Australia we spent most of our lead up to Christmas plotting and planning a double shoot day for our new improvised, experimental relationship drama titled To Hold the Moon.

To Hold the Moon is an indirect sequel to Friends, Foes & Fireworks with Whitney Harris and Asleen Mauthoor reprising their roles as Lucinda and Summer, as we follow the relationship two years on.

What we needed to capture while in Australia was several images for a proposed poster and some footage for a teaser video as we prep for pitching the project to potential investors in Malta and apply for funding.

The double shoot kicked off at Lightdrop Studios Kensington, where our photographer Kristian Pirotta and hair and makeup artist Mirjana Laferlita helped us to create the concept art director Sarah Jayne proposed around the theme “the relationship between the Sun and the Moon”. Our team, including our acting duo perfectly pulled off all the concept variations and we all walked out of the shoot content .

We finished off the day shooting way past sunset with commercial DOP Daomay Keo and our talent on Half Moon Bay Beach. The theme for this shoot was more of a dream like sequence made up of quick shots, as if dreamt up by the character of Summer showing her ideal oasis with her lover, Lucinda. A short but sweet and dreamlike sequence to introduce our characters and tease about the storyline.

For now we work on completing both of these two creative materials for the film, plus the written documents and then we must move on to applying for funding through the Malta Film Commission, which opens in February.

In the meantime, give our To Hold the Moon Facebook page a like to support the film and also you you can join us on this exciting journey of bringing the film to life.

Director guest blogs on Filmmaker Freedom

This month writer/director/editor Ivan Malekin was featured as the Filmmaker Freedom guest blogger and his article about our improvised filmmaking technique, links back to our Udemy course and how we shot Friends, Foes & Fireworks in a single night, without a script.

Read the informative blog via the link here, which also includes a free chapter and a direct link to the course. Big thanks to Rob Hardy for letting NPG utilise the Filmmaker Freedom blog. Be sure to sign up the the Filmmaker Freedom newsletters, as we believe they are one of the best our there for indie filmmakers to learn the craft and get informed.

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS MICRO SHORT

Late October saw NPG dive into a second Life Improvised shoot, this one titled First Impressions. The story for this improvised micro short shows an out of touch man who is doing through a divorce attend a first date with a younger arts student. Both he and his date make a lasting first impression on each-other, but not in a positive way.

Like all of NPG’s micro shorts under the Life Improvised banner, the film explores relationships, everyday interactions between humans, awkward moments and times of disappointment.

Just like it’s predecessor Our Lady, First Impressions was set in Malta. The Lower Barrakka Gardens (Il-Barrakka t'Isfel) in Valletta, with its eye catching views of the Grand Harbour sets the backdrop for this story and stars local talent.

Expect to see this film up on NPG’s YouTube Channel in January.

NPG educates on improvised filmmaking

After filming Friends, Foes & Fireworks in a single night on New Years Eve, completely improvised, co-producers/co-directors Sarah Jayne and Ivan Malekin were approached by Alex Ferrari of Indie Film Hustle about the potential he saw in their style of filmmaking. 

Alex interviewed Ivan for Indie Film Hustle's podcast earlier this year and then the discussion about how NPG could take their improvised filmmaking process and share their knowledge in an education capacity transpired. 

Indie Film Hustle is all about educating and informing indie filmmakers and aspiring filmmakers about the biz. Tthe site Alex has built is an online bible of sorts for filmmakers. Everything from interviews, courses, resources and podcasts plus much more can be found on the Indie Film Hustle website and it is a showcase of Alex's passion as well as a testament to his 20 years in the industry.

NPG teamed up with Alex to produce a video titleed "How to Shoot an Improvised Feature Film in 24 Hours" through online educational site, Udemy. With Alex's assistance and four days of shooting, plus a few months editing and a weekend in sound design the final product is here.

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