Never mind the glitz and the glamour; this is a game-changer!

More on this weekend’s little bash in a moment.

First - where are we up to on the money?

We now have
£7,500 in donations or pledges. That’s a fantastic amount after just one month since launch!

A massive thank you to those who’ve given or pledged to reach this amazing figure in so little time!
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You can still give by pledging any amount here. See the join us section above to see what’s in it for you.

To date, we’re almost a third of the way to our budget of
£25,000. We’re now looking at widening the campaign.

If Rome was built in a day, film financing takes a long weekend.

It has to be said that the journey to making a good short film is a long one.

That’s because it takes time to raise the money. Having reached £7.5k from family and friends, I am now looking at funding from people I don’t know. But this will take time.

The government have abolished the UK Film Council - up to now a major source of short film financing. The role is passing to the British Film Institute, but the transfer will be gradual, and funding decisions are on hold.


There’s no free lunch in business. Any potential sponsor needs to see a return. And that makes short films a poor bet - they don’t make money because they can only play at Film Festivals, not in cinemas with a paying audience.

The alternative ways of funding require full campaigns launched across various online platforms. They eat time. For breakfast, lunch and dinner. And the rest.

So we may be in for the long haul. They’ll be setbacks among the successes. But hey, be sure of this. We will make this film. And even if it’s later rather than sooner, you’ll be at the Premiere seeing it on the silver screen!

So - Sunday night sees the biggest event in the movie calendar.
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Live from the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, the great and the good, along with those we’ve not yet heard of, will tread the red carpet to see those rewarded with the industry’s highest honour - a 13.5-inch gold-plated britannium knight holding a crusader’s sword - otherwise known as an Oscar.

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If you see any of the ceremony, remember this is where we want to be next year to collect the Oscar for Best Short Film. Not for the party, but as a way in to making real movies. That is my passion and longing, and I believe I can do it.

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But it’s not the trophy or even the Hollywood razzmatazz that’s enticing. I’m really quite uninterested in everything celebrity. I thought Heat magazine was the publication of the Association of Radiator Installers.

I was once in London’s Groucho Club when a friend pointed out Jude Law. I’d probably just been at the urinals with him, but I didn’t notice.

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No, the real power of the Oscar is in catapulting your career.

When former short film and EastEnders’ director Tom Hooper walks off with the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday for
The King’s Speech, he will be guaranteed his next big budget film.

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Movies cost a lot, so to the big studios like Universal it’s all about reducing the risk on their investment.
The King’s Speech cost $15m to make. It’s taken to date $236m at the box office. A 220 million-dollar profit will probably warm most studios to Tom Hooper’s next idea.

Those takings are
boosted hugely by Oscar nominations. One quarter of a film’s overall take can come from the period between the Academy Award nominations and the ceremony.

The power of the Oscar to change lives and open doors to making movies is no less a reality with short films.

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Director, Ian Barnes is, like me, making programmes in his day job, but with an eye to directing films for the big screen. He will be sitting nervously on Sunday night to see if his Oscar nominated short film, Wish 143 wins the prize that will open the doors to make the dream possible. He will probably already have had interest from LA agents and the like. If he wins, you’ll probably see his feature film at a screen near you in the next few years.

That’s the power of the 8.5lb statue they call an Oscar. And that’s why I’m aiming so high with Happy Birthday.

Take a look at
Wish 143, up for the Oscar on Sunday. It’s a funny and moving story of a young man desperate to come of age before time runs out.

Will it win? There’s some stiff competition this year, but who can call it? Good luck, Ian!

A teenager with only months to live is granted one wish from the Dreamscape Charity. But David doesn’t want to go to Disneyland or meet Gary Neville; he just wants an hour alone with a naked woman.

Thank you for your interest in this fantastically exciting journey to see a movie made. Don’t forget to check out all the latest news on the right.

It’s great you’re coming with us!

Steve Bookbinder
writer and director
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