Commissioning short films.

Blink commissioned more than 50 micro budget short films in all, mostly funded by the regional screen agency and never with a budget of more than £2000 for each film, almost all of which went on to festival screenings in the UK and internationally.

One of the reasons that the commissions were so consistently good is that we also ran the Short Circuits screenings network.

This was a programme of regular short film screenings at non-cinema venues in five cities across the Yorkshire region. It ran for about seven years, with 10 or 15 events per year.

Because we showed films from local film makers, my colleague Lisa and me had a really good idea of who was around. We'd been able to judge their work in front of an audience and we could use this to encourage the right people to apply for the commissions. Rather than trying to guess the quality of a visual narrative from the written answers to a terrible application form imposed on us by the funding agency, we could more or less ignore the application form and trust people whose work we already knew and liked, and let them get on with it.