03 Sep 2018

Catching up with our 2017 Pitch Winners

In 2017 we ran The Pitch competition with Shorts TV. The competition was for short filmmakers to pitch an idea for a film, and win a £3k budget and support from Shorts TV and TriForce Short Film Festival to make their film. The winning film was screened at BAFTA as part of the festival.

One year on from the pitching day, the winning short, Baghead, has been on a rollercoaster ride through many festivals with a huge amount of success. We caught up with the director, Alberto Corredor to find out more…

How did you hear about The Pitch competition?

Lorcan Reilly, the writer, saw the competition on Shooting People and decided to apply.

How did you come up with the idea for Baghead?

Lorcan was writing micro-budget short films for an amateur film-making group. In micro-budget you need scripts that can be shot in one day, in one location, with a small cast and crew and very little money. So, that was Lorcan’s challenge. One room, two people are sitting at a table, write a story. He went through different scenarios, until he settled on a story of a man visiting a medium who can channel the dead. The story snowballed from that concept into the creation of the witch.

What are your pitching tips?

Be confident, and clear about what you want to achieve. Having worked as creative director and editor for over 20 years, I approached the pitch as any other pitching with clients: preparation, preparation and preparation. Be ready for questions about budget and logistical restrictions. I prepared a concise and professional info package for every member of the jury, with a breakdown of the costs (budget), moodboard, team bios and possible locations. You have to make clear to everyone that you know how to make it happen and that you are realistic about what you can achieve with your budget. It is not only that they are giving you some money to produce your short, they are also putting their name and reputation on the line, so they will look for someone who they think can deliver. Rehearse all possible questions, that would give you the confidence when you are in front of people trying to sell your project.

How did you feel when you won?

In shock at first, as even if we thought we had a good chance, we never quite believed it was going to happen. Then we were delighted, excited, proud of ourselves. We ended up at 14.00 in a pub drinking pints to let it sink, with two massive cardboard cheques to take home in the tube. Quite a surreal experience.

How was the filming process?

I spent two months preparing it, getting a good team together and looking for the best actors through auditions. The shooting itself was frantic, as we only had two days to shoot it and two locations to cover. The main photography was in a studio in East London that used to be a foundry, so we had underwater coming up every hour and we had to stop for 15 minutes to pump it out. The other location was a pub (The Bonneville Tavern) where we got two hours to shoot the Barman’s scene. I was lucky to have a great team with very experienced people in each field that made it possible in such circumstances. We also rehearsed with the actors beforehand so they knew exactly what I wanted before the camera started rolling.

Did you enjoy the TriForce Short Film Festival and would you recommend it to other filmmakers?

The Triforce Short Film Festival is a treat. The fact that your film is going to be screened at BAFTA is unbelievable. The organisers take good care of you and you are going to meet loads of interesting people there. And the after party rocks! Highly recommended.

What has happened with the film since the TriForce Short Film Festival?

It’s been quite a trip with Baghead, and it has only started. We started the official festival run in June with Dances with Films at LA and since then this has taken completely over my life. We won Best Short, Best Director and Audience Award at the Cryptshow Festival in Spain and Best Thriller at Hollyshorts in LA. Baghead has been at Fantosfreak, Madrid IFF, HorrorHound Indianapolis, FrightFest in London and now Dragon Con in Atlanta. But the big news is that Baghead has been selected as one of the nine finalists of Manhattan Shorts, which makes it eligible for the Oscars. That and being official selection for Sitges, the biggest horror and fantasy festival in the world, are unbelievable achievements.

What are your future plans?

I’m using the platform of the festival run to look for investors and producers for a feature-long version of the story. We are finishing the first draft of the script and until now it all looks very promising, with some producers in the USA and the UK very interested in the project. It is early days but having such a strong short to show as proof of concept for a movie has opened many doors. Stay tuned!