Noel Clarke and Jason Maza on their new partnership with Short Film Funding company Genera
Actor and producer Noel Clarke best known for his work on Brotherhood and Star Trek into Darkness, Jason Maza known for Welcome to the Punch and Christian Parton, founder & CEO of worldwide Short Film Funding company Genera talk to Mandy News about the new partnership between the trio and the passion they all share for supporting rising talent within the industry.
How did you three meet?
[CP] – Genera has grown fast and attracted attention from companies and filmmakers. The opportunity for Genera to partner with Noel and Jason at Unstoppable felt like a natural partnership. As a trio, we share the same goals in supporting up and coming talent and supporting the independent film industry.
[JM] – I and Noel have always shared a passion for new talent, whether it’s discovering it or supporting it, it’s a huge part of Unstoppable’s DNA. A big part of how young film-makers get their breaks is through creating short films and It’s no secret, that there is a huge lack of support for short film funding, so when we discovered Genera, what they represented and could do and then meet Christian the CEO, it was clear that our passions and goals were aligned, so it made sense to become partners.
[NC] – I love short films and new talent and Genera was promoting both. Jason mentioned the opportunity to get involved and I agreed we should make it happen.
Tell us about the new collaboration and short film fund you have announced?
[CP] – Genera was set up to provide alternative funding to the options currently out there. We are independent and receive no public funding, because of this we don’t have to tick boxes or take creative control. We put the stories first and aim to fund as many brilliant films as possible.
We have partnered with 60+ festivals and companies around the world, all of which provide deals and discounts to our filmmakers. We recently launched our SNAP rounds where we give filmmakers the opportunity of sitting down, getting advice and discussing their projects with influential industry professionals. We have now backed 36 films since launching in April 2017.
[NC] We’re trying to add more weight to what Genera was already doing. We want to be the first place people approach if they have a short film to make.
[JM] – It’s simple really, a no strings attached fund. It’s open to anyone; we’re of course looking for exciting ideas and well-executed scripts and I think me and Noel will be drawn towards newer less experienced talent, but saying that it is all about the idea, so if you’ve made a feature but want to give a short one more shot, go for it. There is no board, no box ticking; it just comes down to the project.
How difficult was it to make a living when you first started? Our recent survey Pay and Opportunities within the Entertainment Industry shows how many actors have to take on unpaid work to help their careers. What is your advice for actors struggling to sustain a career?
[JM] It’s extremely challenging when you first start if you want to pursue a creative career you’re just going to have to accept for those early years (or longer) you’re going to be poor. My advice would be, get a job that’s flexible, you’re going to need to be able to drop out a moments notice to rush to an audition, or what I did, I worked Friday Saturday and Sunday, you never get auditions on the weekend, and it means Monday through Thursday I could fully focus on my passion. Whether it was doing a class, auditioning, studying. It seemed to work well for me.
[NC] Don’t be too proud. I worked in a gym 6 years into my career in this business. I also made and produced a short so I could just keep learning about the business. I spent all my money and hardly anyone has ever seen it but it was just to keep going. So my advice is never to stop finding ways to do what you love.
What advice do you have for actors and also those looking to move into writing/directing/producing?
[JM] – Do it! I recently read if you write just one page a day, within a year you’ll have 2 and a half screenplays. I think I really believe in this, spreading those creative wings whether its producing, writing or directing, look it’s not for everyone (it’s bloody hard work) but it’s incredibly rewarding and satisfying to know you created something, you were integral for a project to happen. Acting can be a very vulnerable, at times you can feel like it’s not in your control (it kind of isn’t) this is a way of taking some of that control back.
[NC] – Just start doing it is the best advice. It may come to nothing but it’s a good thing to keep your mind active when not acting, and of course, you are learning a new craft.
For Noel and Jason. What was it like working on 'Brotherhood' together, how did the project come along?
[JM] – Hated it… Jokes. Noel felt it was the right time to finish off the story and of course being a fan of the first two, I was incredibly excited. It was a very easy decision to say let's do it. We’d be working together daily for at least a year or two prior to shooting the movie, we own a company together (Unstoppable) so working together on set was a very smooth transition. Also, he’s not a bad director either ;)
[NC] – Good. Same as every other day. I see Jason more than my family. I think when you work with someone constantly you just have to have a respect and like for each other and constant communication. It wasn’t stressful for me at all on the film as I know he had my back.
What projects are you working on now?
[JM] – Not too much I can talk about. Season 2 of Bullet Proof has been announced, there is a couple of movies we think will be up and running this year as well as another TV show, so watch this space.
[NC] – Yeah. That.Tags: