At a time when arts funding in the UK is under pressure from vast cuts, upcoming independent filmmakers are likely to find the financial rug pulled from under their collective feet in 2011. With an air of uncertainty suddenly falling upon the creative future of a highly active British industry, there is likely to be a noticeable rise in the level of brand funded film projects.
LG is one such brand, recently highlighting its support for independent film with a series of shorts as part of its 'Life Is Good’ campaign in Portugal. The promotion, launched in May, has so far delivered two short films - ‘Momentos’ by Nuno Rocha, and ‘Something Good’ by Rui Vieira - and now follows them up with a gritty urban kitchen sink love story, entitled Orion House.
London-based director Chris Hewitt, who has previously been involved in work for EMI Records, the BBC and the Discovery Channel, directed the six-minute short film in conjunction with LG Portugal. Shot over the course of one day it silently tells the story of loss from two different perspectives, a man who has lost his brother in a car accident and a Portuguese woman struggling to cope with her new estate based London life and the loss of her homeland. Over the course of the film a series of events manages to bring the two people together under the shadow of a lunar eclipse.
It’s a highly emotive and stylised production which sees the technology brand opting for a hard-hitting and considered campaign as opposed to the average fleeting 30 second TV commercial. Viewers can also see behind the scenes with a gallery of stills and making-of videos uncovering the creative work on the other side of the camera.
The problem with the 30-second spot is that it has to condense emotions, distilling them into a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it time frame. Short films, although requiring much more buy in from the viewer, enable a brand to position content and a story driven narrative at a pace more akin to people’s actual lives. In addition, by supporting independent directors the brand also manages to flex is cultural muscle as a facilitator of a body of new creative work.