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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 www.ecufilmfestival.com

 

 


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Sharing more creativity – an interview with the pro film winner of Driven Creativity Competition!

The professional film winner of last year’s Driven Creativity Competition was Adrian Westbrook with the fantastically engaging ‘Et Miaow Alors‘ – a coherent, out-of-genre ‘hybrid’ short about some of the basic difficulties inherent in independent filmmaking; created using a DSLR shooting still jpegs over 24 hours at 1 minute intervals. We recently chatted to Adrian to get an insight into his creative mind…

Were you expecting to be revealed as the pro film category winner of our Driven Creativity Competition?

‘Et Miaow Alors’ was conceived as pure experiment, without any idea of how it would be received or whether the end result would even be worth showing… I had no idea the film would eventually wind up in a competition, let alone win a prize.

Have you had a chance to use your G-RAID prize yet? If so, what do you think of it? What technology do you use it alongside?

My G-RAID is already in place as the storage hub for all my rushes, including my latest project, ‘Impermanence’, which, like Miaow, has a workflow that starts with a Canon 7D and goes through Final Cut Pro and Photoshop via MacBook Pro. It was an added bonus that the prize in this particular competition was a G-RAID drive, as I already own a 2TB G-Drive and use a G-Drive Mobile for on-location work. I find it reassuring to have all the drives of the same manufacture, especially when the data is irreplaceable.

What inspired you to get into filmmaking and what challenges have you faced whilst pursuing this art?

Ouf. Tough questions. I’d say for the first that filmmaking is a vocation; you have to be somewhat reality-challenged to go forth and make a living as a filmmaker. Which is to say, you don’t choose it, it locks on you like a neurotic terrier. As to challenges… filmmaking never stagnates- there’s always new challenges. But I’d say the ongoing challenge is to be true to one’s own vision of things while being ready for the collaboration and compromise needed to get the job done. It’s a recipe that has to constantly be re-calibrated in order to create something palatable.

Tell us more about what drives your creativity and what creativity means to you?

My creativity is driven by aesthetics, which means anything that I find beautiful: a concept, a color, a story, a turn of phrase, the way light hits a stained-glass window at a certain time of day, whatever. I believe creativity is generated and received somewhat indiscriminately by what we can call the collective unconscious, so it’s a question of purposely setting one’s receiver to the right frequency. If I stay focused on what I find aesthetic about life, the creativity flows.

What filmmakers or films do you admire?

Quite a few, of course, but my current fascination is with filmmakers like Frank Capra and Jacques Tati – meticulous, idiosyncratic craftsmen who observe the fragility and general insanity of humans while still arriving at a mostly optimistic message. And then there’s Kurosawa – while not always an optimist, he is, to me, the most comprehensive ‘artist’ and Seven Samurai is probably my favorite film.

Then there are others; Kubrick, Kitano, Welles, Leone… we could be here all day..

What advice would you offer to filmmakers just starting out?

Learn the rules, then break ‘em. Take the feedback, parse the useful from the merely opinionated, then move on to the next project. “First there is a mountain. Then there is no mountain. Then there is.” And yes, I generally sound like incomplete travel directions when asked for advice.

Have you entered film festivals before? How useful do you think the festival circuit is?

Broadly speaking, I find festivals useful as a source of feedback, and as a way to meet and share concepts with other filmmakers that I wouldn’t necessarily have met otherwise. What I particularly appreciate about the Driven Creativity competition is that it emphasizes and encourages the creative process itself: Creativity needs input to thrive- and exposure, recognition and feedback are part of that fuel, so hopefully this year’s competition was only the first of a long line.

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Partager plus que de la créativité- rencontre avec le gagnant de la catégorie film professionnel de notre Driven Creativity Competition!

Le gagnant dans la catégorie film professionnel de l’année précédente est Adrian Westbrook avec le fantastique et engagé ‘Et Miaow Alors’ un film cohérent, «hybride» de genre court avec des difficultés de base inhérente à un tournage indépendant. Créé en utilisant un tournage toujours en JPEG avec un intervalle de 24 heures et une minute. Nous avons récemment rencontré Adrian pour obtenir un aperçu de son état d’esprit créatif.

Vous attendiez-vous à être révélé comme le gagnant dans la catégorie des films professionnel de notre Driven Creativity Competition?

‘Et Miaow Alors’ a été conçu d’une manière purement expérimentale sans avoir la moindre idée de comment il serait reçu ou si le résultat final serait montré… Je ne pensais vraiment pas que le film pouvait éventuellement remporter la compétition, et encore moins gagner un prix.

Avez-vous déjà eu la chance d’utiliser votre prix G-RAID? Et si oui, qu’en avez-vous pensé? Quels procédés utilisez-vous à coté?

J’utilise déjà mon G-Raid comme centre de stockage pour mes tournages, notamment pour mon dernier projet, ‘Impermanence’ qui, comme Miaow, comme un workflow cela commence par un Canon 7D et passe par Final Cut Pro et Photoshop via MacBook Pro. Le G-Raid était un bonus supplémentaire dans cette compétition, je possède déjà un 2TB G-Drice et j’utilise un G-Drive Mobile pour un tournage à l’extérieur. Je trouve ça intéressant de travailler sur le même matériel, spécialement quand les données sont irremplaçables.

Qu’est-ce qui vous a donné l’envie d’entrer dans la réalisation et à quels défis avez-vous du faire face en poursuivant cet art?

Ouf… Quelles questions! Je dirai que la réalisation était une vocation, vous devez être un peu fou pour vous lancer et en faire votre gagne pain. Je veux dire, vous ne choisissez pas, c’est ancré en vous comme une névrose. Un réalisateur ne stagne jamais : il doit sans cesse faire face à de nouveaux défis. Mais je dirai que le vrai challenge, c’est d’être fidèle à notre propre vision des choses en étant prêt à collaborer et à faire des compromis pour terminer le travail. C’est une recette qui doit être constamment ré-adaptée pour créer quelque chose d’acceptable.

Dites-nous en plus sur ce qui inspire votre créativité et ce que cela signifie pour vous?

Ma créativité est guidée par l’esthétique qui signifie que quoi que ce soit que je trouve beau: un concept, une couleur, une histoire, une tournure, la façon dont la lumière frappe une verrière à un certain moment de la journée, indépendamment. Je pense que la créativité est produite et reçue quelque peu au hasard par ce que nous pouvons appeler l’inconscient collectif, donc c’est une question qui suppose un receveur qui est en accord. Si je reste focalisé sur ma vision de ce qui est esthétique dans la vie, la créativité s’écoule.

Quels réalisateurs ou films admirez-vous?

Un certain nombre bien sûr, mais ma fascination actuelle est pour des cinéastes comme Frank Capra et Jacques Tati, méticuleux, des artisans particuliers qui observent la folie des gens en parvenant toujours à délivrer un message optimiste. Et ensuite il y a aussi Kurosawa- qui n’est pas toujours un optimiste- il est, pour moi, l’artiste le plus complet et les Sept Samouraïs est probablement un de mes films préférés.

Il y en a encore d’autres; Kubrick, Kitano, Welles, Leone… la liste est encore longue…

Quel conseil donneriez-vous aux cinéastes débutants?

Suivre les codes et ensuite les rompre. Voir les réactions, analysez les opinions et passer au projet suivant. «Au départ, il y a une montagne, ensuite il n’y en a plus. Puis il y en a une.» Et oui, généralement je donne des conseils qui ressemble à des chemins incomplets.

Aviez-vous participé au festival auparavant? Dans quelles mesures pensez-vous que le circuit du festival soit utile?

Pour parler généralement, je trouve que les festivals sont utiles comme source de retour d’informations et c’est également un moyen de rencontrer et partager des concepts avec d’autres cinéastes que je n’aurais pas nécessairement rencontré autrement. Ce que j’ai particulièrement apprécié concernant la Driven Creativity Competition est qu’il souligne et encourage le processus créatif lui-même. La créativité a besoin d’apports pour évoluer et l’exposition, le retour d’informations fait partie de cette démarche, avec l’espoir que la compétition soit cette année en continu.

 

 

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott
(ECU)

 

 

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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