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Set Design for Screen graduate Jack Perry receives £3,000 BFI short film grant


Written by
Sophie Kassay
Published date
19 April 2018

Jack Perry, a BA Set Design for Screen 2015 graduate, has received a short film grant of £3,000 from the BFI and Film London as part of the London Calling 2016 Slate.

Jack’s short film, entitled ‘A Girl Goes For Dinner’, will be shown at the BFI in September, with the potential of then going on to be shown at the London Film Festival later on in the year.

The design and production team of the film also features several other Wimbledon graduates – Sara Stanton and Mia James from Set Design for Screen are on board as Production Designer and Art Director, respectively, and Costume Interpretation graduate Marie Due will work the on costume design.

We spoke to Jack about the process of applying for the film grant and his hopes for ‘A Girl Goes For Dinner’ and beyond.

Given that Jack is a fairly recent university graduate, he was quite surprised to be presented with such a huge opportunity so early on in his career.

Two men in a garden wearing hats.

“I only graduated from Wimbledon last year, so the idea that I could even be considered for any kind of film grant from the BFI was quite a shock. It seemed like everyone else that I was competing against had studied at film school, had experience, or had made loads of short films before, and I felt I wasn’t quite at their level,” explains Jack.

“But in the end, when we had to give the presentation, we were very successful with it. The judges liked the fact that we were focused on making this film a very production design heavy short film. The emphasis on focusing on production design definitely came from my studies at Wimbledon.”

Jack is excited for the exposure the BFI project will grant him as a filmmaker and his hoping his career trajectory will continue from there.

“The best thing about it is that it gives us a really great platform. It’s not just that people are allowing us to go and make a film with their money, which in itself is an unbelievable opportunity, but also the fact that it’s something lots of people will be able to see,” says Jack.

“Because it has the BFI’s name attached to it means that it will have a certain level of exposure that really allows not only me but my whole team to show what we can do.”

Jack is reluctant to give away too much detail in terms of the plot of ‘A Girl Goes For Dinner’, but the premise is very intriguing.

Three people in a kitchen with one man holding a script.

“The film is set in a post-modern fictional world, which is made up of lots of aspects that people are familiar with, but some are a bit modern and some are more retro,” explains Jack.

“The film is about a young woman who travels to an older man’s house for her evening meal, and as the two sit down to eat, the conversation flows and through that we begin to learn more about why they’re both there.”

Despite receiving a £3,000 grant from the BFI, Jack and his team are aiming to raise more money to make the film via an Indiegogo fundraising page. Their target is set at £5,500.

“We need to be able to pay for all of our equipment, which is normally the most expensive thing to get and the thing filmmakers need the most. We also need to fund all of our transport and most importantly, we’re committing to paying all of our crew for the days that we shoot, and I think that’s a fantastic thing. It’s a great opportunity to offer these people paid work. That takes up one third of our budget altogether, and it’s more than the money we’ve been given by the BFI,” says Jack.

“We need to raise enough funds to get everyone to the location and feed everyone. We’ve got to get everyone in the right place at the right time and make sure everyone is happy, especially because we are going to be doing night shoots and everyone hates that. So you have to have good food!”

It’s clear from viewing the Indiegogo promotional video that Jack and his team have a very strong vision for ‘A Girl Goes For Dinner’, particularly in terms of production design, something that Jack attributes to his Set Design for Screen studies at Wimbledon.

A group of people posing for a photo in a house.
The cast and crew of A Girl Goes For Dinner

“How strong our vision has been of where the story takes place definitely comes from my studies. What time of day, where the man lives, and what the house looks like on the inside all comes back to what we were taught on Set Design for Screen of thinking about the world and the universe surrounding a story. We were always taught to consider how something as mundane as the weather, or a certain affectation in a room, could colour a narrative so it could help tell the story. That’s been really important,” explains Jack.

“The story we’ve got is good, but it’s definitely been supported a lot by thinking about the whole world that exists around the story. Especially because the film will be quite stylised. That comes from a lot of the things I was taught at Wimbledon and a lot of the things that Sara, Mia and I, in terms of our taste in films, became interested in while we were studying there.”

You can donate to the Indiegogo fundraiser for ‘A Girl Goes For Dinner’ here.

To see more of Jack’s work, follow him on Instagram or visit his website.

BA Set Design for Screen and BA Technical Arts and Special Effects have combined under a new course called BA Production Arts for Screen. Learn more about studying BA Production Arts for Screen on our website.