'Something Blue' is November's Film of the Month

09 Dec 2016 in Film of the Month

7 mins
'Something Blue' is November's Film of the Month

We're delighted to announce that our Film of the Month winner for November 2016 is Something Blue, a film made by Joe Johnson - with the help of five friends - from Alton College, Hampshire.

Recommended for those aged 11+, Something Blue is an intimate scene that shows a couple striving to stay together, even as they yearn to find their own space. With emotionally taut performances and clever use of close-ups and shifts in focus, this is a mature piece of filmmaking accompanied by an emotive, original score.

This film was heartbreaking. The use of camera shots and the fantastic music really moved me and underlined the story well.

Film of the Month judge on 'Something Blue'

We caught up with Joe to talk about his film, how it was made, and what winning Film of the Month means to him.

I wrote the film when I was 16. My friends critiqued it to get it as good as possible; they all worked with me very closely. I worked closest with my friend Jonny when planning the film. We organised it together and worked everything out ourselves. We contacted our actors who kindly agreed to help, as did the DoP (a friend and recent leaver from our college). The location sorted (gran's house!), we shot just after my 17th birthday.

I found Into Film via the BBC website calling for young people to submit their works. Seeing the links with the BFI and the wonderful enthusiasm for young people getting involved in film, I knew it was something I'd love to be part of. It feels fantastic to have won. To be involved with an organisation with a message and mantra that I so wholeheartedly share, but also to receive some recognition for everyone's hard work on the film, is lovely.

I've made films collaboratively with friends and classmates before, but this is the first that I wrote and directed myself. That said, I wouldn't have been able to do it without the support of my friends. I'm always looking to improve and better myself and that's something that I think will continue throughout my filmmaking career, no matter how many films I make.

I love film and television and have done since I was very young. I've always been interested in art and music and the way film is able to amalgamate the visual as well as the aural was, and still is, truly exciting for me. I'm also deeply fascinated by the way the world, and the people on it, work. From a very young age, I've wanted to explore all this in the cinematic medium. I know that there's so much to delve into and so much that hasn't yet been done, and for me that's absolutely compelling. 

Winning has been a massive boost of confidence and helped to motivated me even more to pursue writing and directing. I know that all I want to do is make films. I'm always writing and planning new projects and for my first short to win with Into Film is a huge step in the right direction and a great start to my future in the film industry.

My advice to aspiring young filmmakers would be to write. Write any ideas you have and keep them. Leave them, revisit them, grow them into something special. Often people are discouraged by budget limitations… Don't be! We made the film with absolutely no budget at all. So, even if you have nothing in terms of cameras, lights or editing software, you can always write.

Some of my favourite filmmakers include Ben Wheatley, Ken Loach, Andrei Tarkovsky and Lynne Ramsey, but I think my favourite director is Stanley Kubrick. I'm genuinely astounded by the way he manages to master entirely different genres one film after another. His films utterly mesmerise me; they are hypnotic, cerebral, humorous, and terrifying, often all at once. My personal favourite is 2001: A Space Odyssey. I love everything about it from its visuals, its music, its story to its incredible performance from Douglas Rain. 

If you've been inspired by Joe's film, be sure to enter this year's Into Film Awards. Entries are open until 31 January, and there are a whole host of filmmaking categories, from animation to documentary.

Joe's film will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and on the Into Film YouTube channel, and the pair have also secured a £100 Amazon voucher plus an Into Film goodie bag with which to help further develop their future films. If you've been inspired by November's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you liked Something Blue, why not try these related films:

  • Far From Heaven (2002, 12, Suitable for 14+) A husband and wife struggle with desires they are forced to suppress in order to maintain their standing in society in this beautiful drama that reveals the stifling attitudes of the time.
  • Revolutionary Road (2009, 15, Suitable for16+) Despite living comfortable lives in a well-to-do American suburb, married couple Frank and April are seething with dissatisfaction about what their life offers, and together they cannot pursue the dreams that appeal to each of them.
  • August: Osage County (2013, 15, Suitable for 14+) Adapted from a play, this film shows cracks appearing in a family unit that comes together as they attempt to deal with one of their members having gone AWOL.
  • Husbands and Wives (1992, 15, Suitable for14+) Woody Allen takes a more serious tone than usual in this film about the trials of falling out of love after having committed to a life together.

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