Anyone who tells you that breaking into the creative industries is easier these days than it used to be is half-lying. Access to indie publishing, a plethora of resources and the self-promotion opportunities of social media might make it easier for writers and artists to spread themselves around, but competition is ten times as fierce as it once was and standing out can be almost impossible. This is particularly true in the case of filmmaking, more limited than any other medium in terms of cost and practicality. One man who knows this well is Third Contact director Simon Horrocks.
Evidently, this synopsis was enough to secure the attention of many a prospective viewer, sticking out amidst the fog of projects on Kickstarter and raising no less than £15000 in donations to secure a theatrical release. Having premiered at the BFI IMAX in September, accompanied by a live stream and an in-theatre follow-up and Q&A session the director viewable in 37 countries, it was selected by the Internationale Hofer Filmtage and screened in the picturesque Bavarian town the following month.
It seems then, that the film is more than mind-bending. Whilst a weird-for-the-sake-of-weird pitch might secure the support of internet donors, the attention of audiences and critics has proved that Third Contact is something worth seeing. Thomas Rothschild said of the film “It is no exaggeration to say it’s quite a masterpiece and a sensational debut by Horrocks, director and cameraman.” Katie-Jane Hall of The London Film Review added “It is difficult for me to convey the sheer artistic brilliance and visual beauty that the work possesses.”
The whole endeavour has been carefully planned out and details for prospective donors can be found on Third Contact’s inidegogo page. Not content with the initial splash, Horrocks and co. are determined to ensure that this project, said to be a lifelong notion finally realised in 2009 at the expense of an otherwise comfortable suburban life, will make its mark for years to come and highlight the new direction of the film industry and the power of popular support and independent distribution.