Open Concept Films: they tell stories

Open Concept Films, a film production company based in Niagara continues to involve many Brock University students in their work.
The company, originally filming movies and commercials under the name Open Concept Films (OCF), officially began last year. Jason Lupish, one of the Creative Directors for the company is part of a team who produce television shows, films, commercials and Web series. Their small team are the newest tenants of the nGen studio in downtown St. Catharines.
nGen is a hub for innovation, incubation and business development in Niagara. nGen essentially provides innovative entrepreneurs with training programs, equipment, resources and advisory services to enable them to successfully commercialize their ideas since research shows that a large percentage of new businesses fail within the first two years. A large part of what nGen does is give young companies tenancy to interactive digital media companies which gives them a higher chance of success.
OCF’s relationship with Adrian Thiessen, the owner of Foregrounds Media, another film production company in St. Catharines has facilitated OCF to include more Brock students, specifically from the Brock Film Group.
OCF’s team also includes Brock students who are involved in their Web series called Schizo, an online sketch comedy series. The series is currently in pre-production.
“Moving forward we’ve decided to expand it so we have about 20 people in the cast we use regularly. We have a group of about 10 writers,” said Lupish.
The most recent project OCF completed was for the 100hr Film Fest. With over 200 teams entered into the festival, OCF made the short-list.
“They give you a prop, an action and a theme and you have to create a short film in 100 hours. We came up with this short film – Kiss of Death – in less than 100 hrs because we got the package on the Thursday and didn’t start doing anything until the Saturday night,” said Lupish.
When it comes to submitting to festivals, Lupish acknowledges that it is one of the better ways to get your films seen, but it is expensive.
“With a Kind of Wonderful Thing we submitted to 10 or 15 festivals over the last few months. 50 to 100 bucks can be very expensive. We have heard back from about five,” said Lupish.
OCF also submitted to Sundance and the Toronto International Film Fest (TIFF) but without any success.
“We sent in a rough cut to TIFF which I kind of regret now. It changed quite a bit between the times we submitted. We submitted it three months before the premiere,” said Lupish.
With OCF producing high quality work, there is no doubt that the company will receive international acclaim in due time. But for now, Niagara has some talented individuals on hand and the company is looking for individuals to join their team.
OCF is also looking for individuals who are interested in writing grants to help them bridge the gap between the production and the business aspects of their company.
To get into contact with Open Concept Films, you can visit their studio at 1 St. Paul St. Unit 10, St. Catharines, call 289-479-5459 or E-mail 

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