(You had me at) HELLO!
My name is Matt Thomas and I've managed to get myself into The London Film School! I don't want to sound like I'm bragging, but this is like a dream come true for me, as I'll be joining a league of graduates that have gone on to do great things in the film industry and I hope to be able to follow in their footsteps.
I'm asking for your help because I was offered the place in February and the course starts in May - this gives me only 3 months to find the necessary funds to get me through. As you can imagine, many sleepless nights have been had making these arrangements, but with your help I will be able to turn this dream into a reality and in return, I'll hopefully be able to entertain you with tales of my time at the school and by making your next favourite film once I've graduated!
Who am I? (You talkin' to me?)
Growing up in the deepest darkest parts of Cornwall, I developed an unhealthy relationship with the local village shop because they had a video rental (yes, VIDEO) section. I actually went so much I used to get free sweets with every rental. But since then I've only grown more and more fond of film and since graduating university with several short films under my belt, I set out into the big wide world. Struggling to make it in London, I found myself constantly behind the camera, making films. I have over 20 short films, music videos, and short documentaries to my name and all that on-set learning is what got me into the school to start the next stage in my life's dream of making films.
Why film school? What's so special about making films? (Go ahead, make my day)
Because this is an opportunity that will set me up by putting me ahead of the fierce competition for jobs in the industry as well as providing me with contacts that would otherwise be unavailable to me. The school offers me the chance to learn to shoot on film (one of only a handful of places left in the country that still do) - an education that I believe will make me a better filmmaker no matter what format I use because of the sheer discipline needed. And I'll always have a romantic attachment to celluloid, those flickering images in the old cinema near my hometown, the cigarette burns in the top corner that signalled a reel change, the smell of old popcorn and sharing an experience with a hundred people in that darkened picture house. It was a large part of my childhood.
Making films for me is something I do because I want others to experience the things I do when I watch films. Cinema is one of the few art forms in the world that truly tap into the most raw of human emotions. They ignite debates, cause rows, bring people together in laughter, joy, and sorrow. It's a rare combination of sight and sound that offers a conversation on our best and worst qualities as people. Films can cause epiphanies, outrage, protest, and even spark an international incident. In short, I want to share my love of cinema with the world in a way that is meaningful.
What's the money for? (Show me the money!)
I have arranged plans to cover my tuition fees that stretch to over £50'000 and the relevant people are poring over my applications for that as we speak. But I still need money to live on. Now I'm not asking for money to fund my entire studies, that's not fair to you. What this money gets me is something that is incredibly valuable, time. A rare thing that not many of us seem to have these days. This money will support me and provide me with more time to find the necessary funds that will see me through to the end of my course in March 2017.
As the course is full time, I will not be able to work during it and have been advised against any sort of part time work during term time (the course is pretty intense). But by the time I start my course I will have saved between £1300 and £1500 from my current job - enough to fund my first term. I am asking for an extra £2500 because this will allow me to get through to the start of next year, which gives me 11 months to find extra funding instead of just 3. This in turn will elevate the stress levels and decrease the sleepless nights in order for me to focus on my studies and create the best work possible.
These living expenses will include rent, food, bills, mandatory termly subscriptions within the school (they equate to roughly £200 per term), personal debts that were ongoing long before I considered film school and general money to keep the wolf from the door.
I have set a minimum target of just £1000, enough to buy me an extra 2 months and a little extra just in case. Now, if the 100 people who liked my facebook status declaring my acceptance into the school donate £10, that's my minimum target made already. Plus, you get a super cool reward for that amount.
Speaking of Rewards... (I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse)
Check out the rewards down the side of the page and choose the one for you. The more I get, the more you get. I want to be personal, because I am so grateful for anything I may receive, but also informative of my time at the school as well. I would also like to help those who love to make film as much as I do.
Please note that any reward marked for a December delivery date is to allow for short films to finish postproduction and festival submissions. Showreels and script analyses will be completed much before that.
Here are some stills of my work as a cinematographer (Say hello to my little friend)
A little bit of showing off, plus you also get to see the quality of the work you're helping to build upon. Imagine these images, but better!
Thank you! (Here's looking at you, kid)
Anything you wish to contribute will be greatly appreciated. Even if you can't, please just share this page with all your friends and family. I honestly believe that down the line I will be delivering films for you to enjoy or detest. It's all I want. And when that happens, you will have been a part of that.
To keep up with the campaign and my general ramblings, follow me on twitter @mattwise88
Once again, thank you!