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KILLIN’ IT

Savannah Fox Cub Films Savannah James-Bayly is a 22-year-old film producer, currently living in Peckham. Having single-handedly established her own production company, Fox Cub Films, at just 20, she’s also assisting industry veteran Paul Raphael. How did you get into the film industry? Both my parents are in the industry, so I was fed on scripts and

What’s next?

rushes as a kid, but in my pathetic teenage rebellion I tried to forge

I am eager to get going on my first feature as lead producer, and

my own career path, and so I initially pursued an academic interest

have a few scripts at development stage. I’m also enjoying working

in Molecular Biology. In my gap year I went to visit my dad, who

as an assistant a few days a week, learning from someone who’s

was teaching at the International Film School in Cuba. I was meant

working at a larger scale and really knows their stuff. Alongside that

to stay at the school for four days before going off elsewhere, but I

I’m line producing a short film, Bricks, co-written & directed by Nev

stayed for over a month. I got back to the UK, started university, and

Pierce, editor-at-large of Empire magazine. It’s a brilliant script with

my heart wasn’t in it. I joined UCL’s film society and met all these

some great talent attached so I’m pretty excited about that

crazy creatives making shorts for zero budget. I found that I knew a lot more than I expected, and quickly I could see that there was a

Which actresses and female directors do you admire?

lack of good producers!

Only 18% of speaking roles in films are female parts – that’s devastating! But I think that trend is bucking, slowly but surely. Tilda

The following summer I worked at the National Film & Television

Swindon, Emma Thomson, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jessica Chastain

School as a fundraising assistant, where I met one of their very tal-

are not only incredible actresses but are also some pretty inspiring

ented graduating writers, Maurice Caldera, who I partnered with to

human beings. Behind the camera there is a lot of great emerging

produce a short he’d written, Camilla in the Looking Glass. Emily

talent. It’s appalling that only about 4% of box office films are direct-

Morgan, a producer from the school came on board as an Executive

ed by women. Lone Scherfig is awesome, and Clio Bernard is mega

Producer, and so we ran the production through her company, Quid-

talented.

dity Films. Half way through the shoot an accident meant a pretty expensive bit of kit got broken, and although we were insured, I spent

Favourite thing about being a young woman in 2014?

about a week feeling horrible that somehow it might come back to

There’s been a re-emergence of feminism and discussions about gen-

bite Emily, and so I decided it was time to form my own company

der inequality. The rhetoric that women-led films don’t make money

so that all responsibilities were mine in the future. About a month

is finally being shattered. Lots of people are now raising their voices

later Fox Cub Films was born, and we’ve since produced five more

against the status quo.

short films and are now looking towards our first feature. Somehow amongst all that I also managed to get a Molecular Biology degree,

Favourite songs at the moment

which I’m pretty chuffed about!

Jeff Buckley - ‘Lover, you should have come over’. I love Fleetwood Mac, The Band, Creedence Clearwater, Tom Waits, and pretty much

What does your job entail?

all funk.

As a producer you’re basically responsible for all elements of a film. Your job is to see the idea go from the page to the screen and be-

What piece of advice would you give to someone looking to enter

yond. You report to yourself so you have to be self-motivated. A

the film industry?

typical day for me might be spent researching funding opportunities,

Perseverance is key. Also your contact list is your biggest asset. It’s

checking out upcoming talent, reading scripts and giving feedback,

such a collaborative industry that you won’t get anywhere alone.

checking in with everyone working on active projects to make sure they’re all on top of their work, keeping up to date with industry

On the 15th December a program of short films that Savannah has

news, and planning for my next week. I have a very good relation-

produced through Fox Cub Films is screening at The Arthouse Cin-

ship with my laptop, and a very efficient to do list. The reason I love

ema, Crouch End.

it is that you get to be involved in every stage of a project, so it’s

Get your tickets at: http://www.arthousecrouchend.co.uk/

very varied.

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