Brain Wash: Anthology winners

Brain Wash: Anthology winners

By NellFrizzellIdeasTap 21/02/12

They're young, they love film, they used to live together in a big house in Willesden and they want you to join their gang. Meet Brain Wash: the winners of our Anthology brief. We caught up with this colourful collective to find out how you can get involved in their anthology and why they've been inspired by David Cronenberg's Videodrome...

We watched David Cronenberg’s Videodrome for the first time, two weeks before the Anthology brief closed.

We just really liked the themes that it played with and thought it could work really well as an umbrella for the things we wanted to explore. The themes it addresses are really interesting, but the aesthetic is like a B-movie. We liked that combination. 

One of the themes from the film that we’ll be exploring is called “Long live the new flesh”. It’s basically the new breed of filmmakers, illustrators and creatives that we think are the ones to watch out for.

That’s what we’ve been doing from the beginning. We all met at Westminster University and were living together in Willesden. We were poor and couldn’t afford more than one house or to go out, so we watched a lot of films and would sit around talking about them. Actually, we’re all still in that position now.

We started showing films in the pub where Liam worked. The first one was a showcase of the films we’d been making at and after university. None of us could get jobs, so we decided to do things together. Even though we were working in different directions, it all came together under the umbrella of Brain Wash. It worked out well because so many people were making these really good films, but no one was watching them. That’s why we got so many great submissions every time we did a Brain Wash screening.

There is a tendency for students at film school to try and reproduce films they’ve seen before. You’ll have all these 20-year-olds sitting around writing about guys in their mid-40s having marital problems. It’s just not very honest or real. We want to bring together people who don’t consider themselves part of the art world, or the film world, but are still making this relevant, visceral work.

We’re really excited about getting IdeasTap members involved in the Anthology. We’re running a brief to create the cover of the whole Anthology. If you’re thinking of applying, then watch Videodrome – that’s your first piece of homework. Maybe also look at the work of someone like Nicolas Provost but, we’re looking for diversity. To be honest, as long as you watch Videodrome and respond by doing your own thing, we’ll be happy.

We’ve also got an open submission policy around the theme – whatever your discipline. We’re looking for short stories, poems, comics, illustrations, anything. We don’t want to dictate what people take from the theme or how you interpret the film.

There will be a number of main features, which people may want to respond to:

Memetacular: This double page spread will focus on internet virals and meme culture. We do love cats. 

Long Live the New Flesh: This will be a celebration of new filmmaking and filmmakers. It’s about people and stuff that are changing the form and how people look at film. All that old dogma is falling away.

Return of the Living Dead is a nostalgia section. We’ll be looking back at past films and how people like Midnight Movies and Cigarette Burns have made a living out of showcasing old movies. We’re also looking at how those old films are still relevant today.



In Focus: How to work as a collective

Have a group on Facebook where you can all post things and respond to them. Honestly, that’s probably the most useful thing we’ve done. 

We don’t have specific roles, but we all know what things we like to do.

Try and work with people that you like and know enough, so if you get a bit rude or angry, they won’t run away and never talk to you again.

Be ready for constructive criticism.

Have someone who can be horrible and will force people to do their work. You need a taskmaster.

Allow everyone to decide their own level of involvement. If someone wants to take six months out, that’s okay. But if someone wants to put on an event somewhere then that’s okay too.

It’s all about keeping in touch.



To design the cover of the Brain Wash Anthology, visit the brief. If you want to get involved in the Brain Wash Anthology in another way, email Also, have a look at their website.


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