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SXSW Film 2015

Finding Big Power in the Small Moments

Join us : Charlie Phillips (Director of documentary at The Guardian) and Filmmaker & artist Jeanie Finlay (Orion, The Great Hip Hop Hoax, SOUND IT OUT) as we explore the allure and the power of ‘small’ filmmaking, showing a plethora of examples in a clip-heavy session from films where the small moments make for something special.

Do you need big drama and cinematic scale to sustain a feature film? We’ll show how smaller stories and microcosmic filmmaking have the capacity to connect with audiences; creating human connections and magical scenes where small revelations and discoveries make for something truly transcendent.
SXSW Film has always championed the small and the DIY, but beyond the smallness of the production, what does it mean creatively to make a film that is purposefully small?

In this panel, Jeanie and Charlie will offer a guide to how to make a small film that hits the heart big. We’ll mainly talk documentaries, but we’ll also talk about other kinds of films. And we won’t talk too much, we’ll let the clips speak for themselves and see if they touch your soul like they touch ours.

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  1. How do you know if a story has the potential to sustain a feature film? Unpicking the moment when the world stops spinning and you realise - this is an idea that could be a film.
  2. How is it possible to sustain a career as an independent filmmaker? How to juggle traditional and more maverick approaches to financing and rotating projects. The value of 'just making the work'. How traditional routes to finance and distribution with more experimental approaches can work together.
  3. How do you find an audience for your work and hold them tight, taking them on the journey as you make more work? How can you allow them into the story as contributors and provide opportunities for them to share their passion.
  4. Do you need a "big" story to sustain a feature film? How smaller stories and microcosmic filmmaking have the capacity to connect with audiences. How uncovering or discovering a series of small moments can unravel a web of a story underneath.
  5. Why is irony the enemy of creativity? Why pleasures should never be guilty, what Dolly Parton can teach us and how Status Quo can save your life.



Jeanie Finlay, Artist / filmmaker, Success Takes Courage ltd

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