Film Matters lectures

These lectures are designed for anyone looking to develop their film making skills and keen to learn directly from experienced professionals in the film industry.

They are ideal for anyone looking to pitch an idea for funding to a film body, and anyone working on a concept for The Pitch.

How to get the best out of a shoot with Rob McLellan

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

77 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2EZ London

The Pitch 2010 winner Rob McLellan will join us to share a vision to empower and enable you to reach new heights in your film making. Join Rob for an insight into the world of LA and pitching to Hollywood, from executives playing football during the pitch or falling asleep through to asking that you change your accent (with one hours notice). Beyond the anecdotes (and horror stories) come and find inspiration and fresh energy for the hard work you are already putting into your film projects. This will be an interactive evening hosted by producer Luke Walton.

The evening will begin with a screening of The Pitch winning film Rahab (2011). As ever this will be a great opportunity to network with others.

Biography – Rob McLellan

Rob McLellan is director working with MGM on his first feature and working on several games using the latest Oculus Rift technology. He trained at Lincoln and Lancaster Universities and was teaching at Norton College in South Sheffield when he pitched Rahab in 2010. His winning Pitch film starred Jessica & David Oleyowo. He has a cat called Henry whom he will save by not bringing him to the event or talking about story structure!

‘So you want to be a filmmaker/director?’ with Debs Paterson

Tuesday, 1 September 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

77 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2EZ London

A two-hour masterclass from director and screenwriter Debs Paterson (Africa United - Pathé /BBC films), looking at the practical realities of breaking into the film industry - covering everything from short films to representation to script development and avoiding common mistakes. Ideal for: Anyone with dreams of breaking in who wants to know more about where to start.

Debs Paterson

Without going to film school, Debs directed her first feature film at the age of 31 with a multi-million pound budget and the backing of Pathé, the UK film council (now BFI) and BBC films. The movie, Africa United, received a standing ovation at its world premiere in Toronto and also its European gala premiere at the London Film Festival. It was nominated for several awards, including the Best Debut Director BIFA for Debs and released in cinemas across the UK and internationally. Debs has spent time in Hollywood and the UK film industry and will talk about how new filmmakers with vision but without much experience can hope to break in - using examples and clips from her own story and work.

Pitching a produceable film with Jackie Sheppard

Tuesday, 29 September 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

77 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2EZ London

Need to sell your film project? Want to learn how to make 10 minutes count? This is a great opportunity to learn from Producer Jackie Sheppard on the best steps to prepare for Pitching to executives. An experienced producer, Jackie will talk through preparation and delivery skills that can make your idea shine. Jackie will also present a "fly on the wall" view of the Pinewood experience of pitchers over the past few years, the highs, the lows, the challenges and the triumphs for those seeking the £25,000 prize. Don't miss this chance to hone your skills.

Film, Distribution & marketing

Tuesday, 13 October 2015 from 19:00 to 22:00 (GMT)

77 Great Peter Street, SW1P 2EZ London

Learn more about how to develop your feature film whether fictional or documentary, then market and distribute it. Pip will share his experience based on producing feature projects for the cinema. He will talk about the whole film production process, from development through to financing and on into production and distribution. Discover some of the possibilities and issues around crowd funding and independent hybrid distribution, as well as new emerging digital models.

Pip Piper

In 2006 Blue Hippo Media ltd (BHM) emerged as the new business platform for Pip after several years running a media charity working with young people. BHM has developed an excellent reputation both nationally and internationally for its diverse media work. Filming work has taken the company to Europe, the Middle East, USA, New Zealand and South Korea.

In 2008 BHM won its first major film award for its international documentary Andy Parkin : A life in Adaptation about world-class alpinist and artist Andy Parkin. The film was shot over two years in France, Switzerland and the UK. The film won the special jury prize at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, one of the world's foremost festivals for this genre. It also went on to win best film at the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and has travelled the world as part of the prestigious touring BANFF Mountain Film Festival.

In late 2009 BHM made their first feature film, a UK/NZ co production with Lord of the Rings producer Tim Sanders. The Insatiable Moon was released theatrically in NZ and the UK and has gone onto win Best Film at the Moondance Festival USA and Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the NZ film and TV Awards.

Last Shop Standing, a feature documentary about UK indie record shops shot in 2011/12, was screened in over 100 cinemas in the UK and internationally and won critical acclaim and was Record Store Day film of 2013 globally. It is regularly aired on Sky Arts.

Pip’s most recent film Bicycle is a feature documentary about the history and impact of the bicycle in Britain. The film received its World Premiere at the 2014 Tour de France and has screened across the UK often to sell out screenings in over 100 cinemas. It is being sold globally by its European and USA sales agents. Pip produced the film and it was directed by double BAFTA winning director Michael B Clifford.
More info here:

Pip teaches very part time on an MA in film distribution and marketing which he helped set up and is the CEO of the Producers Forum.

How VFX began with Andrew Dymond

27 October 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Details to follow.

Film Matters lecture with Nev Pierce

24 November 2015 from 19:00 to 21:00 (GMT)

The Victoria, 88 Victoria Road, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 3BD

A talk and Q&A with Nev Pierce, a film journalist and screenwriter. Pierce is writer/director of the short film Bricks and has several features in development. As Editor-At-Large for Empire, the world’s biggest film magazine, he has interviewed everyone from Angelina Jolie to Jack Nicholson. He will talk about what he has learned from observing the world’s best filmmakers at work and how films themselves change you, for good and ill. For more information about him visit

Please note that Film Matters lectures are subject to change. If you have any questions, please contact us