Are you looking to screen your film to an audience in London?
Have you made a short movie and would like to see it on the big screen with free entry for friends or cast and crew?
If so, you are in the right place.
Today our special guest is Harry Joao Woodford, CEO, and director of Cinebooth.
Cinebooth is a revolutionary project that allows you to connect with fellow creators/artists, having your time on the mic to introduce who you are and your work to an entirely new audience. All of this for free.
Where’s the catch?
There’s no catch. There are no hidden costs, no deadlines whatsoever.
So keep reading, in this post, you’ll learn how it works directly from the founder.
Harry, can you briefly describe Cinebooth?
Cinebooth aims to change the general public’s perception of indie cinema.
Although London may have some cinemas dedicated to showing independent films, those are nearly always focusing on them being feature films and/or award winners at festivals alongside numerous other nominations. This is totally understandable because how else would a cinema attract people to show up and purchase tickets.
But at Cinebooth we value all the hard work of those that did not win all these festivals and nominations and could only afford enough money and time to make a short film, and we find it an utter shame to let these talented people only be known on YouTube or Vimeo with little to no recognition.
We’ve been running events this year and noticed elements of the general public leaving our screening nights with a smile way larger than having seen yet another Disney remake! We believe to have found the secret to make short films enjoyable and we’ll keep running events like these until one day we’re able to open up our own London short film cinema.
Could you tell us a little about your background?
I spent most of my life growing up in Spain, and working in many jobs related to customer service and hospitality. I started off as someone who rented out sunbeds on the beach to become a waiter, a bartender, a TEFL teacher, a personal gym trainer, a hotel entertainer… You name it! But my core has always been entrepreneurial and therefore I knew that stepping into London would be the place to gather inspiration to start something remarkable.
Upon arriving here, I faced some struggles: I sofa-surfed, I worked 3 jobs at one stage and I had also 2 near-incapacitating knee surgeries… Yet, I still did not give up and refused to fly back to Spain to my family. Then after 3 years I finally got what my parents would call a “real job” while working in an office as a web developer and graphic designer, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5.30 pm.
How did you get started?
After years of trying to climb my way up from zero academic qualifications to having an office job that would normally require going to a university, I rather felt like I hadn’t unlocked my full capacity and there was way more to give.
The story was that during the time of Avengers Infinity War coming out in the cinemas, there was this idea that struck me whilst thinking of treating my girlfriend to some fun film nights, with a projector, to go and watch every episode leading up to final installment of the saga.
Then the following year I felt the urge to build something of my own and cinema had always been my escapism after constantly facing repeating boring days, and seeing the same miserable faces, stuck at a desk. So I looked into setting up a cinema and as I dug deeper, after realizing how corrupt the whole industry around films was becoming, I could not help but fall out of love with my very own idea.
What motivated you to get started with Cinebooth?
Cinebooth suddenly was in the making, but I wasn’t quite sure just what it was yet. I knew I was disgusted by all these big corporate businessmen running the film industry and I eventually grew curious as to what goes on with filmmakers, actors and all the other cast and crew before even making it to Hollywood. So I attended events only to find folks I felt far more connected with than the office staff I worked with on a daily basis. I saw their passion, their goals, their struggles, the difficulties of constantly having someone telling them to “just get a real job” but above all, l saw talent I never thought someone could have unless they were part of a big studio like Disney or Warner Bros. So I thought incessantly about how to stop these incredible people from giving up on their dreams and how to provide the recognition they deserve.
Tell us more about your mission.
My main task, for now, is to keep running my two types of events: 1) a networking event – to help people find likeminded individuals to collaborate with, giving them a mic to pitch their projects alongside a screen to show their showreels, trailers, slideshows or even audio files for composers. 2) a screening event – which is the closest to the final goal of Cinebooth, which is projecting indie short films – that have been submitted to us – onto a big 3m widescreen with our own devices.
Our mission is to change the way the general public perceives cinemas and more precisely indie shorts and to change the whole industry in order to open even more opportunity doors to the independent cast and crew community. We believe that by providing a space in which short films are screened daily to the general public, on the big screen, not only we will promote and help short filmmakers with some financial support to make a bigger and better project, but we will also enable them to observe the public’s reaction to help them learn and grow with it. And who knows who might be watching their films one day, maybe someone who could potentially hire them for a big blockbuster!
What are your goals for the future?
So how can we grow into this cinema one day and how would it even work? Well, for now, we know that if we keep growing with our events and create a large enough crowd base, our concept will become more realistic. We do not charge at our events because it fits the whole philosophy of helping the community without leaving them any shorter most of them currently are out of pocket! We know that through social media if we grow enough, we could achieve sponsors to financially support our growth until reaching a comfortable state to invite investors into our events to verify what we’re all about. Great ideas on paper are never enough, but in our opinion a room of over 100 people twice a month is definitely something to be taken seriously. We know it can be done because I was warned that with any event these things take time to even have one person show up but thanks to our hard work, stubborn dedication, and passion we’ve grown each time to the point we had 70 attendees by our 5th event and ended up needing to move into a bigger venue already. Our recognition has grown vastly and several film festivals have reached out to us already to collaborate with them. So if all this has been accomplished in just 2 months, we can’t wait to see what 2020 holds for us!
Where can we go to learn more?
As mentioned above, if you’re part of the film community then please follow us and like us on both Facebook and Instagram to help us grow! This isn’t just another meeting group for a few beers and random films. Our mission is far greater and deeper, we truly want to revolutionize the way the mainstream spectators understand short films and give everyone, from graduates to veterans in the indie community, the chance to have their work shown to a larger audience, on a screen larger than a living room wall!
So we invite all of you in the film community to spread the word, visit our website www.cinebooth.co.uk and… Let’s make this happen together! From 2020 less talent will be lost and more fantastic work will be seen, by more eye!