Welcome to the brand-new Happen Films blog!
This feels like a good time for us to start blogging: we’re at the end of a 5-week tour with our new feature film Living the Change, we’re about to start releasing new short films to our YouTube channel for the first time in nearly a year (yay!), and our little team of two is growing and changing and things will be a bit different for us from here on.
Happen Films is not just a production company making films for the love of film, we’re 100% about the message of our films and the message is and will stay consistent: these are challenging times and big changes are needed from the bottom up and from the top down. Our mission is to tell solutions-focused stories for a changing world – and on a personal level our mission is to learn and live those changes ourselves. Through this blog we want to take you along for the ride and we hope you’ll be as inspired and educated as we seek to be ourselves.
Here’s our news – feel free to comment below!
It’s a wrap! – Living the Change film release tour
Phew!! What a busy 5 weeks. We organised four screenings of Living the Change for our road trip, and attended another seven community screenings in New Zealand’s North Island and in Vic and Tas, Australia (our route was determined by where we had family to visit and new films to shoot). We loved the Q&A sessions post-screening! Our hope is for this film to generate discussion and there was plenty of that. It was fascinating to discover what subjects most animated each community.
In some places, it was gardening, in others it was the economy, the question of land access was big. As self-taught filmmakers with only three years’ experience, we found the feedback incredibly useful – wonderful that so much of it is glowing; essential to have some productive critiques. One guy said he found the film fundamentally flawed, but we accept we can’t please everyone 🙂 If you’d like to hold a screening for your own community, check out our Host a Screening page for details. If you haven’t seen it yet, check the Find a Screening page in case there’s an event coming near you, or you can purchase a copy to rent or own.
What’s Coming Soon? A new series of short films!
We’re so excited to begin releasing short films to our YouTube channel again after nearly a year. We’ve loved the process of working on a feature film and we’re already planning the next one… but we’ve missed making short films! In Australia, we shot footage and interviews for three short films, all with a focus on urban resilience. The first we’ll be releasing is about the amazing Artist as Family, in Daylesford, Victoria.
We were so inspired by this family, whose philosophy and day to day life are completely in line with how we think and where we strive to be. Artist as Family live on a ¼-acre section on the edge of a small town. They grow food, ferment everything in sight, home-school their son Woody (wait till you see this kid’s smile!), are car-less and eat seasonally only within their own climate region. They are deep-thinkers and we’re expecting this to be a thought-provoking film. If you’re not receiving our newsletter, sign up below to be alerted when this film becomes available.
We have a new team member!
Happen Films has been a team of two for three years now, and everything we’ve done has been possible because we’ve had a whole lot of help from our friends and family. We’re fortunate to receive regular offers of help from complete strangers too. Last year a guy by the name of Ray Milidoni wrote from Australia to say he loves what we do and to get in touch if he could volunteer marketing ideas. We said thanks and we’d be in touch and then we weren’t for months and months (because we were making a feature film 🙂 ) and then we had a film and we needed to market it and we remembered that nice-sounding guy Ray.
A whole lot of Skype calls and Slack messages and brilliant advice and generously gifted time later we reckon Ray is a Marketing Wizard and we’re not sure we could or would even want to go on without him. He’s just doing the hours he can fit in at the moment but we have a secret plan to take over his life. So, if you’re interested in working with Happen Films in a joint venture of any sort, you can now get a coherent response from ray [at] happenfilms.com. We bet you’ll love Ray as much as we do.
And Jordan is moving home…
And the big big news: after two and a half years in New Zealand Jordan has decided to move back to Australia, while Antoinette has chosen to stay on in the country where she was raised. Our beautiful friendship is for life and our partnership in Happen Films stays firm and fast, so while this will be a big change for us personally, Happen Films will continue to be everything we’ve created together and more. We look forward to continuing the journey together – and with you.
On that note… We need your help!
As we mentioned above, we receive lots of emails from people generously offering time and skills to Happen Films. Our favourite example is the call-out we made this year for volunteer translators of Living the Change. We received 60 offers for translating the film into over 20 languages. Amazing! You can see which languages are underway on the Watch the Film page of our website.
As a small team, with two of us trying to make a living from the films at present, we are super happy to accept help where we find it. We’ve put together a form to complete for folk who would like to contribute in any way. Check it out if you’re keen! We’re serious, no idea of help will be ignored.
That’s all from us for our first blog post. Be sure to sign up for regular updates via our newsletter and feel free to comment below!
Wishing you well,
Antoinette & Jordan