10 Minutes: Would You Put Your House on the Line for a Career in the Movies?
by Marcus Chidgey
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Two years ago, young twenty-something Producer Dean Fisher set out to make a film that looked like any other you would go see at your local cinema. All he had was a self-penned, (though award-winning) short film script called Ten Minutes, and not a whole lot else. No cast, no crew and certainly no equipment.
Recruiting a small production team to help him under his company Scanner-Rhodes, Dean pulled all of the elements he needed together. By day the Scanner Rhodes team blagged everything from discounted camera hire through to a celebrity cast, free locations and editing facilities. By night, Dean Fisher regularly went back to his job as a local DJ.
Even though Scanner Rhodes got some incredible deals through helpful and willing suppliers, in the end, money still had to be found to make the film happen. When a business associate offered to back the film with £20,000, the Scanner Rhodes team thought they were home dry. In fact, it turned out things weren’t going to be that easy.
“My financier pulled out of the project with three days to go before the shoot. By that stage, there was only really one thing for it … I had to sink my own money in to the project. It was the point of no return, it was either a flat or a career in the movies!”
Today, Dean Fisher stands triumphant. Still only 29, he’s produced a film that not only stars a host of celebrity names (including Lock, Stock’s Nick Moran and Red Dwarf’s Craig Charles), but has participated in over 19 international film festivals around the world—winning awards for “best screenplay” and “best original music score”.
The film was shot with crew more used to working on major features than short films and it even had it’s sound mixed at Pinewood Studios. Dean puts his success down to the team he built him, though the quality of the production perhaps boils down to Dean’s dogged perseverance combined with his ethic of “never settling for second best”, as much as anything else.
Ten Minutes premiered to over 700 people at BAFTA in April 2003 and went on to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival with a party splashed all over the national press. Not bad for a local DJ from Ilford, Essex.
To show others exactly how he and the team at Scanner Rhodes did it and, to prove that with enough guts and determination, anyone with a dream can make a movie, Scanner-Rhodes Productions has released “Ten Minutes: The Film Maker’s Guide” DVD.
An in-depth and fully interactive DVD, it tells the no gloss, no frills story of how the Scanner-Rhodes Productions team made their award-winning short film. The DVD contains the not only the documentary and Ten Minutes film itself, but also a complete collection of extended cast and crew interviews and a filmmaker’s bonus pack containing a raft of handy features for aspiring film makers everywhere.
Furthermore, the Ten Minutes Official website has launched Ten Minutes TV—the industry’s first ever online resource for frank face-to face interviews about grassroots filmmaking. What does a director do? How do you get a celebrity actor involved in your first major film? It’s all up on the website. (www.tenminutesthemovie.co.uk). A new interview is put up online every two weeks.
All in all, it’s been one hell of a rollercoaster ride for Dean Fisher and Scanner-Rhodes. His vision of making a top-notch film and in the process producing a resource to help aspiring film makers everywhere has been achieved. And, with the acclaim he’s getting from leading figures in the film industry, it won’t be long before he lands his first big budget blockbuster.
Marcus Chidgey is a writer living in the U.S.
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