In February 2016, London-based publisher and filmmaker Freddie Fraser-Forsyth launched topsafe.tv, a platform to showcase films made without briefs or brand involvement. Through providing this platform, and a resulting collaboration with Stop Play Record, Freddie met a load of people he wouldn’t have otherwise, and received a whole load more cold email submissions from directors. “Through these experiences I learned what the London film industry at grassroots level was like and how difficult it was to make work you love,” he tells us of the decision to start his magazine Next 2 Nothing.
Now in its second issue, Next 2 Nothing is a somewhat manual for anyone trying to get into independent filmmaking. “It takes a great deal of experience, personal financial sacrifice, contacts and lucky breaks to get yourself up the ladder,” Freddie explains, “and so the book was kind of made to answer a lot of the questions I was typically asked, and it attempts to paint a picture for someone to envisage their own path in to this field.”
Over 236 pages, the publication details the fundamentals of filmmaking through a series of articles and insightful interviews with those who “eschewed the traditional route of short film festival circuits” including Duncan Loudon and Rosie Marks. “I didn’t really want to come in to it with an agenda or favouritism, but I think there’s a type of director that we naturally focus on as they fit the next to nothing type of creative,” Freddie explains, “they tend to do a lot of the work themselves, they shoot, edit, produce, take photos as well. Swiss Army Knife creatives.”
While featuring a design that translates moving image to the printed page in a compelling and proficient way, the real strength of Next 2 Nothing lies in the genuine insight it provides. Its pages are full of practical advice, whether it’s financing or straddling being a director and producer, or even ideation. The beginning of issue two features an anonymous email Give Yourself A Fighting Chance which “could be treated like a Bible for anyone wishing to get ahead in the music video and commercial film world,” Freddie says, “it breaks down almost every function and expectation of a director into solid, digestible information.”
Later on in the issue, Saskia Whinney, head of music videos at Somesuch, pens a piece detailing how you achieve "unthinkable things” with limited budgets titled How to Produce A Very Ambitious Short Film For Three Grand When You Actually Need 30 Grand.
“The main objective,” Freddie continues, “is to inspire people to start making films despite the obstacles.” It’s a motivation which fills the pages of Next 2 Nothing with authentic energy; each spread jam-packed with as much useful information as can fit. Freddie, “very badly” – his words, not ours – produced a number of short documentaries around 2011. But now, thanks to his past experiences and Next 2 Nothing, you don’t have to…
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