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We caught up with filmmaker Luke Pilbeam, whose film ‘Out of the black and into the blue’ (below) won LS/FF Shortie of the Year in 2014 to find out about what it takes to create an award winning film.

16 – 24 October 2015 the 5th Edition of the London Surf / Film Festival x Reef brings to the UK the cream of international surf, film, art and culture. The LS/FF Shorties strand is all about celebrating homegrown talents, showcasing the very best shorts from emerging and established filmmakers from or based in the UK and Ireland, on the big screen as part of the festival programme, giving them a platform on the world stage.

Submissions the 2015 Shorties are open to 9th September.



What was the big idea behind Out of the black and into the blue?

Well I guess after being away for the whole winter with Jayce Robinson and Lyndon Wake making the ’Live the Search’ series for Rip Curl, I really wanted put it all together to showcase the beautiful things we had seen around Europe.  I wanted to make something that wasn’t specifically aimed at captivating surfers, which I guess is where the voice over comes in. I love everything about the ocean and the people that surround it so just flowed into place really. A friend had written this piece a few years back and we’d been wanting to use it for a project. Then this came up and I hope it worked well.

How long did it take to bring to fruition?

We spent most of the winter searching Europe, shooting every swell possible, but at this time I didn’t have the short in mind. I was just shooting for the ‘Live the Search’ series. There were a number of shots that I hadn’t used throughout the series because they didn’t fit and I really wanted to use them. Sometimes in editing, you have to kill your angles. The beautiful thing about film is that they often fit in other projects. If I see something that makes me smile I film it. I had so many angles that had to be cut that they filled a edit. Nick Tsang is one of the most talented musicians in London and I was living with him at the time, so his soundtrack and Matt Holloway my colourist and all round photographic wizard, a big influence of mine and Nina Symons from Cornwall – The girl with the voice!

Luke Pilbeam picking up his award at the annual event

Luke Pilbeam picking up his award at the annual event

You won the LS/FF Shorties last year, what did winning the award mean to you and what have you been up to since then?

Well I had to go up on stage in front of everyone and try and talk. Definitely not my strong point. That’s one of the reasons I started filming in the first place I think, so I didn’t have to do stuff like that! It was a great feeling to win it, and totally unexpected. There were some incredible shorts shown throughout the festival. I really liked Patrick Blades film ‘Stray’. I love the sounds design on it and the vibe of the film was pretty captivating.

Since last October I have spent a lot of time moving around staying with different friends, in Ireland, Portugal, Cornwall and London. I spent time on the organic farm with Matt and Mitch. I have been staying in Portugal with my brother Tom who also works in film. Cornwall shooting Brother and Bones and Ben Howard and London shooting anything and everything. Getting involved in a range of different project, basically trying to practice the craft of filming. I still feel like I’m pretty new to it all and I just want to get better.

What do you think is the secret to making a good short film?

I don’t really know, I can’t imagine there would be a secret, I’d say it’s all about practicing. Being honest from the idea all the way through to the end product and making sure you are happy doing anything you do, then whatever happens you will enjoy it and even if it is just you that likes it at least it was the truth. I am still a long way from knowing any secrets. I’d imagine that the best short films out there are born from a really strong idea and someone with a lot of drive and belief in that idea and want to create it!

If you had a piece of advice for an up and coming filmmaker, what would it be?

Get a camera of your own and start shooting, as much as possible. It doesn’t matter what! The bigger the range of subjects the better at the start. And just keep feeling excited about it all. Make sure you are smiling. Success is how much you laugh and dance! 🙂

For more information on The LS/FF Shorties, or to submit a film:

Luke Pilbeam picking up his award at the annual event

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