About Martin McCallion

I've been the website administrator for the BSFA since around Easter 2012. In my day job I'm a programmer so I know my way around a computer and the web. I also do some writing.

48-hour film challenge

This came in via the contact form:

Wildseed Studios partners with SCI-FI-LONDON Film Festival to offer 48hr Film Challenge winner £10,000 towards a micro-budget feature

Wildseed Studios, the next-generation content and talent incubator which supports grass roots talent with funding, creative mentorship and strategic advice, has partnered with SCI-FI-LONDON, The UK’s leading genre festival at London’s BFI Southbank to offer one of the shortlisted teams in the 48hr Film Challenge £10,000 cash plus additional production resources, creative mentorship and strategic advice sufficient to develop and produce a micro-budget feature film.

The 2014 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge will take place between 12 -14 April and is a great opportunity for aspiring filmmakers to get their film funded and made. Taking part is easy: simply turn up on Saturday 12 April, make a film in a weekend then submit your film by Monday 14 April. Click here for more details, then register here.

The judging panel includes Danny Boyle, Professor Brian Cox and Catherine Bray. The winning film being screened at the festival and four additional teams will be selected by Wildseed Studios to go through a mentoring and development process. One of the projects will then be selected to receive the funding and support necessary to produce the project as a micro-budget feature.

Over the last five years the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge has had over 800 films completed, many of which have gone on to other film festivals and been broadcast on TV. Gareth Edwards who won the 2008 SCI-FI-LONDON 48hr Film Challenge with his Factory Farmed short is currently directing a Hollywood film about a big lizard… the Godzilla reboot!

Gareth Edwards Factory Farmed (2008 winning entry).

Director of SCI-FI-LONDON Louis Savy said: "We are delighted to announce this partnership and be in a position where, thanks to Wildseed Studios, we can offer one of the shortlisted teams £10,000 cash toward a micro-budget feature! This is a really incredible opportunity for emerging filmmaking talent, so get ready for the challenge - we want to see your feature film in next year’s festival!”

Wildseed Studio’s co-founder Jesse Cleverly said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the SCI-FI-LONDON Film Challenge to offer this sort of initiative which directly enables the next-generation of filmmakers. We’ve all seen what previous winners of the Sci-Fi London 48hr Film Challenge such as Gareth Edwards can go on to achieve, so we’re encouraging all aspiring filmmakers to register and be part of this exciting process.”

@wildseedstudios
facebook.com/wildseedstudios

SF-themed weddings

Chloë, our BBC friend from before, has a further request:

I'm the researcher on a new BBC landmark series about the history of
Science Fiction, the series will be shown this spring on BBC America and
later in the year in the UK on BBC2.

To accompany the UK series we are making an exclusive short film for the
BBC's iPlayer - a 20 minute programme all about British SF fans. We are
looking to find a broad range of willing contributors all of whom
representing, in their own way, the full breadth of British SF fandom. We
are looking for people who can talk eloquently about the genre, but more
specifically about what SF means to them.

I am currently looking for contributors who have had, or plan to have, a
Science Fiction themed wedding. If this is you then please do get in
touch, I'd love to talk to you about your experience.

Many thanks and I look forward to hearing from you,

Chloë Penman, Researcher
History of Science Fiction, BBC Arts
chloe.penman@bbc.co.uk
BBC Bristol, Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 6890
Mob/Cell: +44 (0)7879 552 340

Fans sought for BBC film

Chloë Penman of the BBC has contacted the BSFA with an interesting request. She writes:

I'm the researcher on a new BBC landmark series about the history of Science Fiction, the series will be shown this spring on BBC America and later in the year in the UK on BBC2.

To accompany the UK series we are making an exclusive short film for the BBC's iPlayer - a 20 minute programme all about British SF fans.

We are looking to find a broad range of willing contributors all of whom representing, in their own way, the full breadth of British SF fandom. We are looking for people who can talk eloquently about the genre, but more specifically about what SF means to them. We would like people to tell us about why Science Fiction is so important in their lives, what doors it
has opened for them and why, as a genre, it inspires such a lively conversation with its audience.

I'm looking for people who can give me a personal take on their relationship with Science Fiction, real stories about the power of Science Fiction.

Many Thanks,

Chloë Penman, Researcher
History of Science Fiction, BBC Arts
chloe.penman@bbc.co.uk
BBC Bristol, Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2LR
Tel: +44 (0)117 974 6890

Registrations re-enabled, spammers blocked (with any luck)

Hi all. You may remember that I disabled self-registration on the site not long before Christmas. Well a few days ago I had three or four new members asking me how they could register on the site (welcome, new people). So I decided it was time to activate registrations again.

We got over two hundred registrations in the following three days. Two Hundred! I like to think that the BSFA has a popular site, but, come on.

So I researched WordPress plugins, and found that the plainly-named Stop Spammers plugin should be our friend. I've just installed it, and we'll see how it goes.

Now, the plugin describes itself as "very aggressive", so there's always the danger of false positives. By which I mean, it might detect an IP address as a source of spam, when that address is in fact perfectly innocent.

So if you find the site behaves strangely; if you find you can't log on; if you try to register and are stopped (and you're not a spammer): please let me know.

You can email me via webadmin at bsfa.co.uk.

Disabling new registrations

Hello from your friendly neighbourhood web administrator. Over the last few months I've been seeing crazy numbers of new registrations on the website -- 20, 30 even 50 in a day. At first you might think that should be gratifying; but really, I'm sure the vast bulk of them are by bots, or otherwise people up to no good.

Potentially, at least. We've had very little trouble from spam comments, for example. Yet I get the feeling that it's building up to something.

So in order to reduce the likelihood of the BSFA website being turned into SkyNet, I'm going to disable new registrations tomorrow.

This won't affect anyone who is already registered, of course. It just means that if you're super-keen to register and haven't yet done so, you should do it before about 23:00 (11pm) UK time on the 20th of December.

I'll re-enable registration early in the new year.

Happy Christmas everyone (except the creators of malicious botnets).