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2013 BUFTA Winner – Benjamin Griggs

1. How did you hear about the BUFTA competition and what was your main reason for entering?

I first heard about BUFTA through the media department at my school. I’ve always had a passion for making short films and considering that, due to the course requirements, I was going to be making two of them anyway, there was very little reason to not enter the competition when the rewards that are offered are so large!

2. Your winning film is of a comedy genre, do you have a favourite genre and why?

I think now my favourite genre is definitely comedy. Creating a film is a joy in itself, but when you mix the whole process with comedy and laughter it's even better. The final product makes everyone happy and you often end up with a bloopers reel, which is an added bonus.

Filming takes twice as long because half the time is spent laughing and trying to re-take shots, but that’s hardly an issue to complain about. Except maybe when certain individuals are waiting for you to hurry up and exit their library so they can go home…

3. How did you get the idea for your film?

“Well we had to make a documentary. And I was talking to my friend about how I wanted to make it about a small local area and I was giving him an example like “like for example making a documentary about the library”. And then we thought it was a funny idea to make a mockumentary about librarians.”

4. In your opinion, what do you find is the most difficult stage in the film making process and why?

Every aspect of making a film can be a challenge in itself, but in my experience, the most difficult element of the process happens just before a shoot. Organizing the cast and crew, ensuring ALL the equipment is ready and that there is a location available, all while hoping for the best conditions, can be a very stressful task.

5. How confident were you that you might win the BUFTA competition?

I’m not going to lie and pretend I wasn’t aware that I had created a pretty good video, but to that end, there were also a lot of other great videos in the competition. I was very hopeful about winning a category award, but never did I think I would be a potential candidate for the overall best filmmaker award. So that was shocking.

6. What is your advice to students thinking of entering a film into BUFTA and what tips and tricks can you offer to assist them in creating a winning film?

Never rush anything. If a shot isn’t working out the way you had intended, don’t give up and move on for the sake of making the cast and crew happy. Take a moment to work out what needs to be changed in order for that mediocre shot to become the perfect picture you had envisioned it would be. Films are art, and art can’t be rushed. I guess you can apply the saying “your team is as strong as the weakest member” to film, a film can only be as great as your worst shot, because every element really does count.

7. Share your memories of winning BUFTA and explain a little about what opportunity it has given you.

Ever wanted to be at the Oscars? The BUFTA event replicated a sense of that environment pretty well. Especially with an Academy Award©  winner as the night’s host. And who knows, it could be the first doorway for anyone to the actual Oscars.

Other than the providing me with ability to continue filmmaking, I can’t really describe the opportunities it has brought about, but I’m definitely excited to find out…

8. Upon visiting the campus for the BUFTA Gala Ceremony, what were your initial thoughts of Bond University?

“I wouldn’t mind studying here.”

And on top of that, it felt and operated differently to any other university I had visited. It’s not easy to describe, but it felt less like a school and more like the actual industry; where talent and skill was put directly into practice, rather than trying to be learnt from theory. It was an exciting place.

9. What is your ultimate ambition?

To make films long enough to be able to find my own style, and to make films good enough to be appreciated by wide audiences.

10. In one sentence, sum up your BUFTA experience.

If I hadn't already set my sights on filmmaking before I attended BUFTA, I definitely had afterwards; it was an experience unlike any other.