The pitches have been made, the judges have spoken, the waiting is over: We are very pleased to announce the winners of round two of the Sky Arts Ignition Futures Fund. Congratulations (from left to right) Felix Mortimer, Laurence Payot and Drew Roper…
Laurence Payot, 30, is a performance artist, based in Liverpool, who has won £30,000 funding over an entire year for her project Backstaged, which will work with groups of spectators –to create collective performances that infiltrate mainstream events.
I’d convinced myself that I wouldn’t get it – I didn’t want to get my hopes up. So when I got the message yesterday I just couldn’t believe it. I feel like screaming every five minutes.
I had told everyone that I was applying – I like to set myself challenges like that because once you’ve told people, there’s more pressure to actually do it. It’s nice that I can now tell them all that I got it.
I couldn’t sleep last night, so I made a huge list of all the things I want to start doing.
Once you’re in front of the panel, you just have to get on with it. I imagine it’s the same as being a performer, going on stage – the worst bit is before you start.
This is really what I needed at this point in my career. It feels like perfect timing – I am now able to deliver the project confidently. It’s a fantastic boost.
Drew Roper, 24, is an animator and director from the West Midlands, who successfully pitched his project At-issue: a five-minute silent motion animation about a man who changes state from stop motion puppet, to 2D drawing, to CGI.
I honestly didn’t think that I’d won it. For once, I was completely speechless – I felt like crying.
Knowing that I can dedicate all my time to my idea is so great. I’ll be able to use some of the best equipment and materials, which will make the animation look better, build relationships and learn from some of the best.
To people applying next time I’d say, just work as hard as you possibly can on your application. I’m not a writer, so I went to copywriters to give me advice and asked people who did journalism and PR to see what they thought. I also took the idea to a couple of directors who do pitches all the time and mentioned it to people at all the film festivals I went to.
I applied for the first round and didn’t get it, so, I went to the Sky Arts Seminar in Manchester to find out what I’d done wrong. I learned there that it’s all about you as a person and how the fund will help take your work to the next level.
Felix Mortimer, 25, is the third winner of this round of the Sky Arts Ignition Futures Fund and has won a year’s worth of funding for his theatre project RETZ – three productions titled Trial, Colony and Process, which lure participants into a desperate hunt through cyberspace across cities.
I don’t think it’s really sunk in yet. I just didn’t think it was true.
The best way to prepare is just to write about your project a lot. Write a lot of funding applications and get used to articulating your ideas in writing. If you can make your application jump off the page, it will have a big impact on the people judging it.
Often you spend a drizzly Sunday afternoon writing a funding application, drawing up this imaginary wish list of all the things you’re going to do, but it’s quite different when someone actually asks you to do it. This is one of those threshold moments in your career.
I had a little mini-celebration last night, by going for a curry. But I think I’ll only really be able to celebrate next Easter when I’m sitting in a large warehouse that’s been made to look like a pseudo government department, and we’re having a massive party to celebrate the end of the project.
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