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Country Focus: Czech Republic

MIDPOINT Smash Cut begins in Tallinn


- Three short-form series projects from Cyprus, Slovenia and Romania are embarking on their development journey

MIDPOINT Smash Cut begins in Tallinn
The participants in MIDPOINT Smash Cut 2021

MIDPOINT Smash Cut is a development programme (see the news) that is entirely focused on and dedicated to the development of short-form series. After an online kick-off session, the residential workshop is already running, having started on 14 November, and it will conclude on 20 November. It is being held in partnership with Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event. Furthermore, the programme will offer one open lecture for the TV Beats audience.

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Alexandra Gabrižová, programme coordinator of Smash Cut, offers her insight: “Smash Cut aims to give an opportunity to new voices and fresh ideas. This form is much more open to experimentation with the narrative construction of storytelling. We mainly wanted to attract the upcoming generation of filmmakers who can either use this ‘playground’ to create their proof of concept or discover new ways of reaching a wide audience. While programming this workshop, we intended to cover all of the important elements from script development to the preparation of a financial strategy, as well as giving hints on how to use social media as a strong promotional tool, or how to create a unique and custom-made pitch for a project.”

A total of three projects have been selected (see the list at the end of this article), and the participants are working under the leadership of programme tutor and short-form series expert Sullivan Le Postec. He is accompanied by several expert guest tutors – namely, Kirsten Loose, Hyppe Salmi and Michaela Sabo – who are sharing their expertise within individual consultations and subsequent lectures.

Furthermore, on 18 November, Sullivan Le Postec will offer an open lecture entitled “Web Series – An Exercise in Narrative Efficiency” to all accredited industry guests of the TV Beats Forum. The episodic length of web series has been on an upward trend in recent years. Still, most web episodes last between 5 and 20+ minutes. Their core audience watches them mostly on phone and computer screens, sometimes on the go. For these reasons, web series need to catch the attention of the audience quickly, as there are always millions more YouTube videos just waiting to be seen. Web series must deliver as many emotions and thrills, and as much drama and comedy, as TV episodes that are two or three times longer. They require an intense narrative efficiency: the shorter the set-up, the longer the engaging pay-off can be.

Other lectures include those by the tutors of the programme, such as “Make Your Pitch Custom-made” by Michaela Sabo, “If You Can't Beat Them, Join Them (How to Use Social Media for Developing, Creating and Promoting Drama Series)” by Hyppe Salmi, and “Finding the Right Partners - A Guide to Financing and Distribution for Web Series” by Kirsten Loose.

Here are the selected projects taking part in MIDPOINT Smash Cut 2021:

ATAXIA (Cyprus)
Director/writer: Christina Tryphonos
Producer/writer: Andreas Phylactou
Writer: Andreas Sheittanis

Break a Leg (Slovenia)
Director/writer: Miha Šubic
Producer/writer: Maja Zupanc

Deadlines (Romania)
Writer: Răzvan Dutchevici

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