Pink - UPDATE

It seems like a lifetime ago that cast and crew were crammed into a bedroom in a Devon bungalow desperately trying to get the re-shoots done in time. And yet even writing it down still induces a dull sense of impending doom within me. 

Turns out it hasn't even been a year yet, who knew? But since then Pink has gone on to premier at the Two Short Nights Film Festival at Exeter Phoenix, and be selected for the 2017 Corvallis Queer Film Festival in the USA of which it featured in the program earlier this year. 

Pink will go on to be a part of the program at the 2017 Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival in Greece from the 29th of September to the 4th of October and I am pleased to announce that it has also been selected to feature at the 2017 World of Film International Festival in Glasgow, which runs from the 28th of September to the 1st of October.

Our lovely cinematographer James and I are aiming to be in Glasgow at the end of September to cover SQUIFF for the LGBTQ Review, so who knows, we might even get to actually see Pink at a festival for once! 

Once again thank you to everyone that was involved in making Pink happen, you're all my favourite people in the world!

Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes Sea Interludes - Film Commission

During July I was commissioned to create a short moving image film to accompany the ‘Storm’ Interlude during two performances of Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes at Dartington Hall on the 24th and 26th of August.

The performance, organized by Dartington Arts was to take place in the iconic medieval Great Hall venue. A venue which I just so happened to be rather well acquainted with, having spent 10 days at the beginning of July freelancing as a Venue Manager for the Ways With Words Literary Festival.  

The shoot involved sourcing a large fish tank from the back streets of Torquay –don’t ask, and doing a lot of experimentation with an underwater camera and some brightly coloured inks. This was probably the most 'work fun' I've had in a long time, and the results were rather mesmerising. 

Unfortunately I was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival wafting smelly pots under the noses of members of the public (a story for another time), so I was unable to attend either performance. But I've had some sneaky peaks at the other Interlude films and they all looked great!

Thanks to everyone at Dartington Arts that made the commissions happen, and to everyone that trudged around rural Devon with me looking for a cheap giant fish tank!  

Art Reveal - Issue 24

Back in January my work was featured in the 24th issue of the visual arts magazine Art Reveal.

If like most people you've never heard of it, heres a bit more info on Art Reveal Magazine in their own words: 

"Art Reveal Magazine is dedicated to promote and publish independent artists from all countries and all genres of visual art. Each issue of the magazine will present several contemporary artist portfolios and their artistic statements."

The article and interview were a great opportunity for me to reflect on my practise over the last few years and look forward to where I wish to go with it in the coming years. And if you want to hear more about it check out the link at the bottom of this post and have a flick through issue 24!

Thanks to the guys at Art Reveal for having me, it was a privilege to be featured in an issue with so many talented and inspiring artists. 

Access to the online version of the magazine can be found here: http://www.artrevealmagazine.com/issue-24/

Pink - Premiere

Two Short Nights Film Festival @ Exeter Phoenix

2nd of December 2016

2016 was not the best year for a lot of people. And at points it felt as if it were never ending, but finally –thankfully, time did move along and December rolled around.

With it came the Two Short Nights Film Festival. At which my Exeter Phoenix Raw Commissioned short film Pink had its premiere. 

It felt like a very very long time since I first got the phone call in April to say that my application and interview had been successful and that they wanted to take the project forward. The 7 month process had involved meeting all the other commission recipients, hearing about their fantastic ideas, developing our projects together, script workshops and camera workshops. All of which was included in the Raw Commission package, and all of which I am incredibly grateful for. It was an invaluable experience to be in the same room and share ideas and skills with some of the most creative and promising emerging film makers in the South West. 

Sitting in the auditorium at Exeter Phoenix with the cast and crew was nerve-racking, but also very exciting. And seeing all the other commissioned films for the first time was a treat in itself. Theres something magical about seeing a story play out in front of your eyes that you know was just an idea in someones head 7 months earlier. 

There was jazz, giant snowy brussels sprouts and a lot of complimentary Prosecco. And it all went by in somewhat of a blur, but a blur in which I was surrounded by some of my favourite people in the world, and a blur that I will remember forever.

If you want to read more about Pink Devon & Cornwall Film did an interview with me shortly before the premier which you can read here: http://www.devon-cornwall-film.co.uk/2016/11/09/interview-bethan-highgate-betts/

And they also did a feature on the festival which you can find here: http://www.devon-cornwall-film.co.uk/2016/11/23/discover-short-film-exeters-two-short-nights-film-festival/

Since the premier Pink has been selected for the Corvallis Queer Film Festival in the USA (Feb 22-25 2017). You can find a link to the program here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1199626383

And it will also be part of the program at the Thessaloniki International LGBTQ Film Festival in Greece in September 2017.

Massive thanks to everyones thats pitched in and helped out with Pink: my brilliant director of photography and spectacular best friend James Mccoll, who's resilience to my nonsense knows no bounds. Producer Zoé Fidel who has yet to say no to one of my ridiculous ideas since we met 3 years ago at 6am on a cold, wet beach in Portabello. The effortlessly talented Drou Constantinou and Sofia Murwadon without whose performances there would be no Pink. Elly Forty who never ceases to amaze me with her range of talents, Daniel Davis who is too kind and good and who I will never be able to repay. David Robbins who held things like no one has held things before. All my fam that helped out endlessly and also put up with my 4 month state of panic. Bristol City Council for lending us the locations and everyone at Exeter Phoenix Digital for making the whole thing possible. I am eternally grateful to you all, you're all too lovely! Thanks. 

GranDram Workshop

 

One dreary morning in early August I was lucky enough to take part in a GranDram workshop. Programmed as pat of the PopUp! Scotland –Great Scottish Make Off week and partnered with C Venues. I headed to C South, nestled in a beautiful church hall on a little residential road just past the Summerhall turning. 

The venue is one of those rare Fringe venues that comes with peace and serenity. The main theatre accompanied by an open lawn for outdoor performances and interactive arts. It almost doesn't feel like you’re in the city at all. 

GranDram itself is the brain child of theatre practitioner Joseph Travers. Aiming to support and engage with residents of care and support homes and inter-intergenerational schemes, using methods of Drama. Joseph focuses on character development, movement, self-awareness and the sharing of life experiences, to encourage and expand communication structures, histories and narratives. 

Throughout the Fringe Joseph teamed up with PopUp! Scotland as part of their Great Scottish Make Off program, to deliver these workshops daily for anyone that wanted to experience the work that GranDram carries out. An hour of sensory exploration and development. Taking inspiration from familiar sounds, songs, smells and stories, this workshop allows the participants to play with their own narratives whilst getting an in-depth look into the main practises for drama-based dementia workshops. 

Joseph creates a space in which you feel safe exploring the many avenues of interest. Allowing the participants to play and explore as much or as little as they wish. There are games and scenarios, allowing us to look back on our own lives and those of our loved ones. Throughout the workshop Joseph reveals the power of everyday objects, using something as simple as a bar of soap to conjure up memories within the participants. 

The whole workshop is very ‘play’ based. Which is something thats been significant in my own work over the last 12 months. Having created the interactive piece Play Time for The Camden People’s Theatre last October, I know how important play is, not just to children but adults too. As children play they build the structures in their brains that allow them to deal with things. And playing as an adult strengthens these, so it makes sense that engaging people with dementia in pay would only have a positive effect. 

This type of workshop is something which I hope we begin to see more of in coming years. With more money and time needing to be spent on quality of life. Joseph is doing some incredible work with GranDram and I’d encourage anyone thats interested to go over to his website and take a look. 

https://grandram.wordpress.com

Edinburgh Fringe 2016

For the 3rd year in a row I will be returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and for once I will not be staying in a shipping container in a swamp, or half an hour out side the city! Although both did turn out to be enjoyable, if not slightly muddy experiences. I’ll will be in the actual city this year, almost.

This year I was lucky enough to be awarded a place on the Emerging Producers Development Program, so not only am I able to shave 7 hours off my journey from Devon to Edinburgh by travelling on the train instead of the Megabus (I’ll miss you 3am service station stops), but I will also be able to see lots of excellent performance without the impending doom of having to dissect it. I'll have the opportunity to meet lots of other Emerging Producers and attend some great industry workshops and events, which is something I am really looking forward to.

I’ll be returning to Three Weeks magazine to review what the 2016 festival has to offer, and also be reviewing a couple of comedy shows for the Arts Award Voice Magazine.

The wonderful Forest Fringe will be in it’s 10th year this Fringe, and they’ve got lots going on in celebration. I’ll be heading back to the Drill Hall, holding buckets, guarding doors and desperately trying not to knock anything over for the duration.

AND if that didn’t all seem like a scheduling nightmare, I’ll also be doing a little something something for PopUp! Scotland at C Venues. Their theme this year is Inner Peace/Inner Demons, and I’ll be running with it on Saturday the 6th of August. 

'Pink' Commission Update

 

 

It’s been 2 weeks since we wrapped our final day on the Pink shoot and almost 4 months since I was first awarded the Raw Film Commission by the lovely people at Exeter Phoenix Digital.

We shot the present day and flash back scenes separately, with Bristol City Council Arts Development Team kindly agreeing to let us use the Edwardian Cloakrooms to create 1940’s Iran. The actors we found could not have been more perfect and brilliant to work with, with Drou and Sofia bringing our main characters Leleh and Shirin to life.

We were approached by the fantastic Tom Berge to do our music and we’re really excited to see what he comes up with.

There’s less then a month to go until our deadline and we’re getting stuck into the editing process. Really looking forward to sharing it with everyone at The Phoenix’s 2 Short Nights Film Festival in December.