Animation Hot House Q&A: Maria Grund
Our Animation Hot House competition has now closed and our esteemed panel of judges will soon be settling down with popcorn and a notepad to watch all your entries. Join us as we meet judge Maria Grund, Founding Editor of The Smalls, an online community for film makers, dedicated to the discovery and promotion of new creative talent and content. Discover how Maria created The Smalls, her top tips for budding film makers and add her favourite short films to your must-watch list. Hi Maria! You're Founding Editor of online community The Smalls. What inspired you to create it? The Smalls was created to turn the spotlight onto talented short form storytellers and to help champion new voices in filmmaking, because we have always believed that short film is where bold new ideas dare to emerge, where new techniques are first tried and tested and where new storytellers each find their unique voice. We wanted to create a showcase to support all the talented short filmmakers out there, and when Apple in 2006 released its first video iPod we decided to host our first exhibition of “Small Films for Small Screens”, at a gallery space in London. It was a huge success, and from there we set up our online community which to date has attracted 7,500+ independent filmmakers from around the world. It has also always been part of our DNA to try and bridge the gap between talented short filmmakers and opportunities within the world of short form content, so we have collaborated with many broadcasters, music labels and other great brands throughout the years. And as of January this year, we are also inviting brands and agencies into our community as members so that they can directly post creative briefs and connect with writers, directors, producers and others to commission films or find films to support and distribute. So in a way, I guess all the things that inspired us to create The Smalls are still part of our core values and goals and we keep developing to bring our members more opportunities to do what they love - making films. Do you have any advice for upcoming filmmakers, screenwriters and animators? Don’t be afraid. Just write, shoot and try different things. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you want to make films, chances are that you are already part mad and part adventurer. Embrace it. Be true to yourself and your ideas, and just do it. Tell us about your favourite short film/animation: There are so many incredible animated shorts that it would be impossible to choose just one. One possible all-time favorite has to be “Overtime”, a tribute to Jim Henson. It is a three-minute opera featuring small puppets, and while charming and warm it also deals with death and hardly leaves anyone untouched. You can watch it here. Other favorites include Shave It! and Ce Que Je Suis. But like I said, there are too many. I could go on, and on… In your position as Animation Hot House judge, what will you be looking out for in the entries? Creativity. An exciting and original idea. A strong beginning. And, a unique style. Thanks, Maria! We can't wait to watch Shave It! and explore The Smalls for upcoming film makers of the future.