2018 Masterclasses

Every year, the Aesthetica Short Film Festival welcomes industry leaders from a range of disciplines to speak about their craft, offering a unique opportunity to gain first hand insights in areas such as animation, VFX, documentary production and camera operation. In 2018, ASFF was joined by representatives from Aardman Animation, Spring Films, Industrial Light & Magic, BBC Writers Room as well as filmmaker Mark Cousins and Actor / Director Alice Lowe.


Branded Content

Emerging Directors:
Focusing Your Ambitions

Wednesday 7 November
13:30-14:30
York Theatre Royal (Studio)

Compulsory works with international directors and artists including GERIKO and Juno Calypso, creating stylish content for brands and musicians such as Adidas, Google, Hugo Boss and Bonobo. Director and Co-founder Chris Toumazou offers advice on navigating the various creative directions available for emerging filmmakers, highlighting the advantages of concentrating on specific goals and aspirations, establishing yourself as a brand.


Screenwriting

BBC Writersroom:
Where to Take an Idea

Wednesday 7 November
13:45-14:45
Yorkshire Museum

Simon Nelson, Development Executive for BBC Writersroom, has over two decades of experience working across a multitude of genres in both theatre and TV. In this insightful masterclass, Nelson offers advice about realising the potential of your ideas and how to break into an increasingly competitive industry, whilst considering techniques for refining your creative voice and creating robust and compelling dialogues for today’s audiences.


Film Festivals

A Filmmaker’s Strategy:
The Festival Circuit

Wednesday 7 November
15:00-16:00
York Theatre Royal (Studio)

With over 10 years’ combined experience of festival submissions for an array of clients, Festival Formula’s Katie McCullough and Ian Bignells explore the current landscape of international film festivals. Offering detailed tips and strategies on a range of topics, McCullough and Bignells will help you to identify your niche, as well as providing advice on how to maximise budgets whilst marketing your film effectively, finding a place within the wider festival circuit.


Distribution

The International Marketplace: Maximising a Film’s Potential

Thursday 8 November
12:30-13:30
York Theatre Royal (Studio)

STUDIOCANAL has produced award-winning titles and handles the distribution and international sales of one of the world’s largest collection of films. Production executive, Marion Comengre, speaks about producing films with the intent to distribute, outlining the importance of working closely with financiers, distributors and sales agents. Marion will also discuss what distributors look for in a potential project, considering various development goals.


Commissioning & Production

A Commissioner’s Guide to Award-Winning Ideas

Thursday 8 November
13:30-14:30
Yorkshire Museum

Film4 has become synonymous with high quality filmmaking, having developed and co-financed some of the most successful UK films of recent years including Academy Award®-winners such as 12 Years a Slave, Slumdog Millionaire, Room, Ex Machina, as well as the record-breaking documentary Amy. Lauren Dark, Commissioning Editor for new talent, shares insider knowledge of identifying a worthwhile project and how to make your film stand out.


Documentary

Documentary Filmmaking: Telling the Story

Thursday 8 November
14:00-15:00
York Theatre Royal (Studio)

Spring Films’ portfolio of factual work includes the beautifully crafted, Emmy, Peabody and RTS Award-winning Night Will Fall and Werner Herzog’s Emmy nominated Into the Inferno, as well as Herzog’s latest work, Meeting Gorbachev. Executive Producer Richard Melman offers his extensive experience in documentary production, discussing methods of finding and following a compelling subject, acquiring commissions and producing unique films.


Screenwriting

Screenwriting:
Creating a Breakthrough Story

Thursday 8 November
15:00-16:00
Yorkshire Museum

Award-winning screenwriter Matt Greenhalgh (Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, The Look of Love, Nowhere Boy, Control) provides an insightful and engaging look into the world of writing for the big screen, discussing the development of creative ideas, bringing realistic characters to life and penning engaging dialogue. Greenhalgh offers a comprehensive overview of a hugely competitive industry, with tips on making yourself known and getting your voice heard.


Branded Content

Branded Content:
Visual Dialogues

Thursday 8 November
15:30-16:30
York Theatre Royal (Studio)

Caviar has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands, creating visually stunning campaigns for clients such as British Vogue, Google, Netflix, Adidas and Nike. Executive Producer Ellie Goodwin explores the changing landscape of branded content, looking at everything from initial approaches to obtaining commissions, working with clients to develop exciting and innovative ideas, and producing both memorable and communicative campaigns.


Video Content

Video Content:
Reaching Your Online Audience

Friday 9 November
10:00-11:00
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Style and culture magazine Dazed & Confused is renowned and revered for championing radical fashion and youth culture. But staying relevant in today’s increasingly connected world calls for new ways of distributing content. Bec Evans, Film and Video Producer for Dazed Digital, examines the ways in which video content is changing the way we receive information. She also looks at the importance of establishing a recognisable brand aesthetic.


Film Curation

Film Curation:
Cinema for the Public

Friday 9 November
11:00-12:00
York St John, DG 125

For cinephiles, film curation is the dream career – but what does that entail? Pooling his years of curation, programing and filmmaking practice, Jason Wood, Artistic Director for HOME Manchester, dissects the role of curator, revealing the importance of knowing your audience and identifying cinema that is unique, challenging and stimulating. Wood also highlights the possible entry routes in to such a position – a must for any aspiring film aficionado.


VFX

Visual Effects:
Achieving the Impossible

Friday 9 November
11.15-12.15
Yorkshire Museum

Julian Foddy, VFX Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ready Player One, Transformers: The Last Knight) returns to ASFF to discuss the creation and implementation of visual effects in film. Covering the conception of new worlds, undiscovered territories, unique character design and impressively realistic effects, Foddy will show how the impossible can be made possible with VFX, whilst exploring what the future holds.


Development & Funding

BFI Network:
Nurturing New Talent

Friday 9 November
11:30-12:30
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

The BFI NETWORK works across the UK to discover, develop and fund emerging filmmaking talent and helping them to realise their potential. Successful projects include ASFF 2015 Documentary Winner Across Still Water (directed by Ruth Grimberg) and Riz Ahmed’s Daytimer. Looking at development and short film funding opportunities, Jess Loveland and Alice Ramsey give advice on making successful applications and building new, collaborative networks.


Fashion Film

Fashion on Film: Insights from British Vogue

Friday 9 November
11:30-13:00
York Theatre Royal (Main)

Vogue is undoubtedly the world’s most recognisable fashion publication. Minnie Carver, Video Producer for British Vogue joins Fashion Film Consultant and Curator, Niccolo Montanari for a curated screening of original films and discussion. This groundbreaking session provide an overview of both editorial and branded approaches to fashion film, analysing its role in establishing a consistent brand identity within contemporary culture.


Gaming & Virtual Reality

On the Horizon:
Immersive Gaming

Friday 9 November
12:30-13:30
York St John, DG 125

Realised Realities specialises in helping individual developers realise their VR and immersive projects. In this session, Founding Members of Sony Playstation’s VR project and Company Directors, Simon Benson and Jed Ashforth, define the role of changing technologies in gaming, as well as the possibilities it provides in the evolution of producing truly immersive stories, environments and experiences in an industry that continues to push boundaries.


Animation

Style and Success:
The World of Animation

Friday 9 November
12:45-13:45
Yorkshire Museum

A household name, Aardman Studios is responsible for hugely popular animated titles such as Chicken Run, Early Man and the long running Wallace & Gromit franchise. Animation Director Merlin Crossingham joins ASFF to share insider knowledge of Aardman’s instantly recognisable style, character profiles and stop-motion technique, commenting on the studio’s commercial success as well as the relevance of its titles in today’s cinema worldwide.


Filmmaking

Inspirational Narratives:
Mark Cousins in Conversation

Friday 9 November
13:00-14:00
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Mark Cousins is an acclaimed filmmaker and author known for Atomic: Living in Dread and Promise and I Am Belfast. His upcoming film, The Eyes of Orson Welles, was nominated for the Golden Eye award at Cannes Film Festival. Cousins’s work explores themes of adolescence, personal and political legacies and the human gaze. In this Q&A, Cousins discusses his career, including the influences behind crafting a distinct cinematic voice.


Filmmaking

Individual Methods:
Finding Your Voice

Friday 9 November
14:00-15:00
York St John, DG 125

Chris Shepherd is a BIFA-winning and BAFTA-nominated filmmaker whose work is a hybrid of live action and animation. Chris works in the short form, with commended films such as ASFF’s 2017 Animation winner Johnno’s Dead, as well as a collaboration with Illustrator David Shrigley, alongside well-known commissions for the likes of BBC, Channel 4, Canal+ and Arte. In this session, Shepherd focuses on  defining yourself as a filmmaker.


Fashion Film

Filmmaking as a Tool:
Fashion and Branding

Friday 9 November
14:15-15:15
Yorkshire Museum

Fashion Film Consultant Niccolo Montanari is joined by Ananda Pellerin (Nowness), Tom Ivin (i-D), Raquel Couceiro (SHOWstudio) and Luke Toyne (Maker Projects) in an exchange of approaches, techniques and experiences in filmmaking. Touching on the development of individual concepts and the creation of bold and dynamic campaigns, they will discuss the cultural relevance of film today and its impact as a tool for marketing international content.


Artists' Film

Art on Screen:
New Directions in Practice

Friday 9 November
14:30-15:30
Bootham School

Artangel specialises in art installation and artists’ film, commissioning and championing leading practitioners that include Clio Barnard and Francis Alÿs. Curator of Artangel’s collection, Phoebe Roberts, gives an overview of the organisation’s vast archive, discussing the development of video art as a standalone genre and its steps into the future. She also highlights how the artists’ film is benefiting from interest in moving-image, curated content and augmented realities.


Producing

Comedy and Drama:
Making an Impact

Friday 9 November
14:30-15:30
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Baby Cow has produced some of the UK’s best loved TV, including Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh and Alan Partridge’s Scissored Isle, as well as features like Philomena and 24 Hour Party People. Speaking about the company’s huge portfolio, Producer / Editor Joe Fraser and Development Executive Meghan Cruz investigate what it takes to make productions that endure, looking at developing character-driven narratives that truly speak to a variety of audiences.


Music Film

Sound on Screen:
A Home for Music

Friday 9 November
15:30-16:30
York St John, DG 125

Film and Television have transformed the way that we listen to music and engage with artists. Craig McNeil, Director of Creative Projects for the Beggars Group of record labels (XL, 4AD, Rough Trade, Matador, Young Turks), looks at how capturing music on screen can build figures to icon status through heavily stylistic music videos, unforgettable live performances and enlightening documentaries that define genres, eras and subcultures.


Spotlight

Alice Lowe in Conversation:
Women in Industry

Friday 9 November
15:30-16:30
York Theatre Royal (Main)

Actor and screenwriter Alice Lowe (Prevenge, Sightseers, The World’s End, Hot Fuzz) has a wealth of experience both in front and behind the camera. In this insightful and encouraging session, Lowe shares her diverse experiences of the changing film industry, looking into methods of taking an idea from script to screen, as well as overcoming the career obstacles presented by an industry that still adheres to a certain amount of imbalance and adversity.


VFX

Narratives Without Boundaries: VFX Redefining Cinema

Friday 9 November
15:45-16:45
Yorkshire Museum

The rapid development of VFX allows audiences to experience entirely unique and wildly imaginative stories. But what role does VFX now play in the narrative process and how will it evolve in years to come? ASFF is joined by Academy Award-winning VFX studio Framestore (Blade Runner 2049, Avengers: Infinity War, Gravity, Christopher Robin) as they examine the changing nature of storytelling in the 21st century and how VFX opens up new possibilities.


Diversity

Diverse Perspectives: Creating an Inclusive Industry

Friday 9 November
16:00-17:00
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Minnie and Fraser Ayres, Co-founders of Triforce Creative Network, shed light on the pressing issue of underrepresentation within the film industry as a whole. In this enlightening session, they will highlight the perceived career obstacles posed by gender, sexuality, race or disability, offering practical advice on training initiatives and opportunities, whilst addressing the urgent need for a more diverse industry that is all-inclusive.


Sound

Elements of Sound:
Bringing Cinema to Life

Saturday 10 November
11:00-12:00
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Home to some of the most successful features of the past 80 years, Pinewood Studios have become synonymous with world class international productions. Sound and Foley editors Jemma Riley-Tolch (Tomb Raider, Mute) and Lilly Blazewicz (Wonder Woman, Annihilation) from Pinewood’s audio post team join ASFF to discuss the importance of combined sound elements in crafting the sensory experience of cinema.


Festival Programming

Programmer Insights:
Finding Success at Festivals

Saturday 10 November
12:00-13:00
York St John, DG 125

A panel of programmers from Aesthetica Short Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, London Short Film Festival, Underwire and Sheffield Doc/Fest let down their guard to answer any questions you might have about the complex world of film curation. This is an ideal opportunity to find out about the selection process, discover what makes an eye-catching film and how to succeed in a competitive and highly subjective marketplace.


VR Filmmaking

New Technologies:
Is VR The Future?

Saturday 10 November
12:30-13:30
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Somewhere Else has produced VR films and immersive experiences for globally renowned brands such as Canal+, Adidas and UEFA. In this session, Creative Strategist Daniel Fraga highlights the use, practicalities and challenges of virtual filmmaking, considering how behavioural design, world-building and Audience Experience (AX) changes approaches towards storytelling and narrative. Why is “presence” so powerful and how does it work?


Camera Operation

Life Behind the Lens: The Role of the Camera Operator

Saturday 10 November
14:00-15:00
York St John, Fountains

The Association of Camera Operators returns to ASFF to share their renowned experience. ACO members have worked on some of the most iconic films and TV series of all time, including The Phantom Thread, Wonder Woman and Black Mirror. Drawing upon their time within the industry, a panel of seasoned ACO members will discuss how camera technique and knowing your equipment contributes to successful and iconic visual storytelling.


Animation

Exploring Animation in a Digitised World

Saturday 10 November
14:00-15:00
York St John, DG 125

The Brothers McLeod are BAFTA-winning animators and filmmakers whose work spans short film and commercial work, collaborating with the likes of Aardman, BBC, Disney and Dreamworks. Drawing on their own experiences and extensive portfolio, the duo will cover the process of bringing a simple sketch to life using digital technology, and consider the question of whether traditional animation techniques are still relevant in today’s globalised, digital world.


Women in Film

Rethinking Roles:
Women in Industry

Saturday 10 November
14.30 – 15.30
York St John, De Grey Lecture Theatre

Sara Putt – Deputy Chair of Women in Film & TV and Managing Director of Sara Putt Associates – leads a celebration of women working in the film landscape. Joined by three past participants of WFTV’s mentoring scheme, the panel discuss their successes and experiences in production and technical roles, highlighting new opportunities and career progression whilst commenting on the issue of underrepresentation in a complex artistic industry.


Editing

Editing in the 21st Century:
The Digital Cutting Room

Saturday 10 November
15:30-16:30
York St John, Fountains

Mick Audsley is a BAFTA-winning Editor whose portfolio spans over 30 features, including Murder on the Orient Express, Everest, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. His current project is Armando Iannucci’s new film, The Personal History of David Copperfield. Speaking about his comprehensive experiences, Audsley considers the editing process as a transformative tool, whilst providing a glimpse into the  increasing challenges of digital filmmaking.