By LSFF creative director, Philip Ilson
The range of Dominic West is incredible, and filmmakers applying for the 2017 Jameson First Shot film competition will have the opportunity to command his considerable skills as they wish. For a director, the chance to play with someone so gifted and malleable will be a fantastic experience, and West wants to be challenged and "inhabit other people's shoes" - as he says: "It's always refreshing when someone comes along and wants you to do something that you haven't done before." Though, looking through his CV, you're going to have to come up with something pretty special to make it a new experience for him. That's the unique Jameson First Shot challenge.
I knew that West had made a lot of films, but when I took a glance at his career on IMDB for a reminder, I was gobsmacked at the range of work he's appeared in - from starring opposite Hannibal Lecter (Hannibal Rising, 2007), Princess Diana (Diana and Me, 1997), Picasso (Surviving Picasso, 1996), Vera Brittain (Testament of Youth, 2014), Lara Croft (the forthcoming Tomb Raider) and the entire Trojan army (300, 2006) to playing real people including serial killer Fred West (Appropriate Adult, 2011), writer Ernest Hemingway (Genius, 2016) and actor Richard Burton (Burton and Taylor, 2013). West has also voiced animated characters in Finding Dory and Arthur Christmas, and he's in his fair share of cult classics (The Phantom Menace, Spiceworld and Johnny English Reborn!) Of course, he's best remembered for his breakthrough role as Jimmy McNulty in HBO's The Wire (2002-2008) where fans of the series were shocked to discover he wasn't a tough-talking Baltimore native but, instead, a veteran of the London stage graduating from Guildhall in 1995.
And still there’s more! He trekked to the South Pole with Prince Harry in 2013 and performed on Eminem's Relapse album in 2009 (what can't this man do?!) Going way back, his first credit was for Oscar-winning Room director Lenny Abrahamson's first short film 3 Joes in 1991, so Jameson First Shot is taking things right back to West’s roots.
With Jameson First Shot, filmmakers have a chance to take their careers to that next level by making a film with an actor as talented as Dominic West and the backing of seasoned producer Dana Brunetti's top LA production company.
UK filmmaker and LSFF alumni Kat Wood was the very first British winner of Jameson First Shot back in 2016, and was jetted over to LA to make a film with Maggie Gyllenhaal. We’ve invited Kat along to some special Jameson First Shot networking events we’ll be hosting at UK film festivals throughout April and May. Watch this space and @LSFF on Twitter for more details as they’re announced, and join Kat and myself to sample some Jameson cocktails and hear more about the amazing opportunity.
The competition closes on 1st June, so get your ideas submitted before then - full details at: www.jamesonfirstshot.com/enter