For those wanting to forge a career in the filmmaking industry it can be difficult…
Met Film School Alumni screens first feature at Raindance Festival and offers career advice for students
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One-Year Practical Filmmaking alumni, Robert Osman, enjoyed his first taste of film festival excitement this September when his debut co-directed and co-written feature film, My Hero, received its World Premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in front of a packed out crowd at Vue Piccadilly.
My Hero – an expansion of a short film Rob made while at Met Film School – tells the true story of a small-time criminal in a British seaside town who, on the eve of a turf war, is forced to go on the run with a nine year-old girl after a fatal accident. LA based Aldamisa Entertainment have already picked up worldwide rights to the film and UK distribution is destined to follow soon.
My Hero team on the red carpet at Raindance Film Festival
Read our recent interview with Rob about his exciting first project.
How did you start your career?
I launched my career straight after completing the One-Year Practical Filmmaking course at Met Film School. My Graduation short film from the school starred Nathanael Wiseman, an actor who runs his own production company – Redeeming Features. We discussed how to take the short and make it into a feature; we then started writing and the rest is history. Within 3 months of my graduation we were shooting the feature.
So your first production role coming out of the Met was Directing?
Yes, it really was a baptism of fire. I had to take everything I had learnt from my year at the school and run with it. Having Nate as a co-director was useful but due to him being in ninety five percent of the film, I really had to learn quickly how to work with multiple key HOD’s and the DOP, making sure we got the coverage we needed for each location in tight, high pressured situations.
What skills did you learn at Met that helped you in your current position?
Whilst at Met I learnt everything I needed to succeed. From how to structure a screenplay, how to pitch film ideas to “the room,” taking onboard both positive and constructive feedback, actually having the opportunity to direct and crew on multiple short films and finally showing your work to your fellow peers and tutors- these are the essential skills needed for the filmmaker. Not to mention in depth editing and camera modules which are essential for any real filmmaker.
What has been the most challenging thing about making your first feature film?
Everything. The battle lies in making the best possible film with the budget you have available. It can also be difficult to adapt to the obstacles you are undoubtedly going to face during shooting. For example, we were lucky enough to be able to shoot in a real working hospital, but could only access the ward we were allocated on a weekend/evening. We shot our first couple of scenes with no real problem, but when we came back the following week to complete the hospital scenes, we found our ward had been cordoned off and was in the process of being knocked down. Needless to say we found another location within the hospital, but there is no book to teach you how to deal with that.
How was the process of getting your first feature to premiere at Raindance?
It was actually relatively simple. We registered the film with Withoutabox via IMDB and sent the film off to festivals we felt would fit our criteria, along with a pack with all the relevant information about the film’s production. Raindance was one of the first we approached, and when they came back to us we knew they were a big supporter of independent film so we decided to give them the premiere.
It’s interesting that My Hero is a co-directed and co written film. Would you advise this approach to other first time filmmakers?
It depends. Co-directing is all about trust and being on the same wavelength as your co-director and you need a united front for the vision you share. As long as you have that you will be fine.
What factors are you considering in finding UK distribution?
Who is the best fit for a film like My Hero? What have they sold before? Do they get us as filmmakers?
As I said it’s about finding the right collaborators across the board.
What are your future aspirations?
I feel like me and Nate are on a bit of a roll at the moment, so just looking to move on to bigger projects. I have literally just finished a draft for my second feature entitled The Hunted, which we are in the process of taking to financiers and sales agents. As well as developing and writing my own TV series, I have a whole host of other projects within Redeeming Features that we are currently working on. It’s now just a case of getting them out there…
What advice would you give to current students regarding employment?
The advice I would give:
- Be relentless – Be the first person to arrive and the last person to go home. Never take no for an answer and always believe in yourself.
- Collaboration is key – Make sure you get on and trust the people you work with, otherwise you will find the industry very difficult indeed.
- Make your own work – If no one is offering you a script to direct, write one yourself.
- Take on other professionals’ habits – If you are lucky enough to find your way onto a set, learn from others who have been in the industry longer than you. Take on their good habits and remember there is always something new you can learn that helps advance your skills as a filmmaker.
You can follow My Hero‘s journey via the film’s official website.