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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

The 16th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place on 9th-11th April 2021. Now open for submissions!




For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at




Going Underground. Filming on the Paris Metro with Paul Bryan

By Claire Leonard, ÉCU Writer

Underground systems throughout the world have long held a magnetic
attraction for filmmakers.  Be it the perpetual bustle of commuters, the
transient nature of encounters, the stark strip-lighting or the endless
labyrinthine, white-tiled corridors –there is a quality which brings
filmmakers time and time again underground into these man-made
environments to explore our inner lives.

Earlier this year, the young filmmaker Paul Bryan captured the
essence of the Paris Metro in a mesmerising 6 minute music video for
Sovnger’s track “What I like“. 
Upon hearing the dance track on the radio, Paul’s creative juices were
stirred and he was flooded with ideas and images for a film that would
accompany the DJ’s tune. The concept for the film is the daily
subterranean rat-race—the frenzied, grey rush of modernity that is the
daily commute for many city workers.

Following extensive location scouting, story-boarding, test-shooting
using his newly acquired Olympus iSpeed 3 camera, and enlisting the help
of “Jacques Lecoq Theatre School
recent graduates, he was ready for the week long shoot in Paris.  What
Bryan has achieved is a film with a very natural and unlabored feel. 
This is someone who is already, as a recent Graphic Communications
graduate, fully in command of his craft, knowing exactly the aesthetic
he intends to attain.

He used no additional lighting, relying on the Olympus iSpeed 3’s
capabilities under low-light conditions, with the SIGMA 24mm f.1.8
lens.   Using a friend’s BMX bike, coupled with the 6Kg weight of the
camera itself to get the steady cam shots he needed, he directed and
filmed each sequence himself.  The pulsating lighting effects were
achieved in-camera, by adjusting the frame rate speed to capture the
‘natural’ flicker of the Metro’s neon lights themselves. With some
tinkering done using Final Cut Pro, he achieved the exact variable frame
speeds you see in the video.

So how did he get to film in the metro? Paul applied for the permit
long before his intended shooting dates.  He received the OK to shoot,
pending the payment of the location fees- in the range of 500€ per
hour.  So after a little head scratching and a lot of pre-planning, Paul
and his cast went in guerrilla style late at night and early in the
morning to shoot.  He had a quiet word with the RATP staff, explained it
was a “school project” and workers kindly agreed to turn a blind eye.  
Sneaky, but effective!

What inspires him?  Robert Rodriguez’ book Rebel without a Crew, Lars Von Trier’s film The Five Obstacles, Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and the website

What’s he been working on since? Interning with,
learning all he can, coming up with more film concepts for shorts and
music videos. Enjoying every minute of being “in the zone”. This is a
young filmmaker to watch.  Visit Paul Bryan’s website to watch new
videos, follow his blog and see what inspires him at

Watch the Making of – Behind the Scenes video

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott



Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 




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