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ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival is dedicated to the discovery and advancement of the very best independent films from around the world. We are a festival who believes in our independent filmmakers and their artistic talents. ÉCU proudly provides a unique platform that brings together diverse audiences who are hungry for something other than major studio productions and original and innovative filmmakers. 

The 16th edition of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival will take place on 9th-11th April 2021. Now open for submissions!




For more details regarding the festival, please visit our website at




Interview with independent Film Producer Preston Clay Reed

As part of G-Technology’s ongoing support for the ECU community, we’ll be bringing you regular exclusive interviews from filmmakers and producers in the field, sharing top hints and tips.

Let’s kick off with Preston Clay Reed – an independent film producer and member of the bi-coastal, American based production company, Fretboard Pictures LLC. His film The Magician was shortlisted at the European Independent Film Festival (ECU). He’s a G-Technology ambassador, using the drives as an affordable and reliable external storage solution when shooting on RED cameras and during post-production. Here he gives us an exclusive insight into his latest film – Vinyl - which he is working on with the producer of Shrek:

Tell us about your latest exciting project, Vinyl:

“The film is based on the true punk rock hoax. In the summer of 2004, Mike and his band mates hired a young punk band to mime their new pop punk single after his record label told him he was too old rock n roll. To sell the sexy, young image, he put together a music video with the faux band and had them perform the song. The track went straight into the top twenty before they busted the scandal. The film is loosely based on their escapades. We’ll be shooting on location in Rhyl, North Wales at the start of August – the hometown of our real life character and the Sundance award-winning writer/director, Sara Sugarman – and be taking a grassroots approach to the production. In order to create an intimate atmosphere for the actors, we’ll be using minimal crew and minimal equipment. We’ll be moving fast and light with a documentary feel to the film.”

And you have some high profile names working on the film?

“Indeed! We have some amazing partners involved with fantastic films under their belt – Sara Sugarman produced the award-winning feature,Very Annie Mary, along with the Disney feature, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen. And John H Williams, the producer of Shrek - the number one franchise in cinema history – is our Executive Producer. He’s very passionate about the project and it’s fantastic to have him on board.”

Will you be using any new filming techniques in the field?

“We’ll be building upon a traditional approach to develop new and inventive ways of telling the story. I find that the ‘tried and tested’ methods tend to be the most effective way to communicate with the audience. However, we’re always looking to push the boundaries of tradition in order to establish new standard.”

“We’ll most definitely be experimenting with movement through the use of steady cam to create a strong sense of depth within the frame. We want the audience to move with the characters through the journey as opposed to observe it from a 3rd person perspective.”

Did your shortlisted film at ECU help to raise your profile as a film producer?

“ECU was a blessing to me, there was a great deal of expose that came from being associated with the festival and with G-Technology’s presence too which is well respected and reputable. We’re continuing to use G-Tech in this new project, they’ve always served us well – we stick with what works.”

Would you encourage other filmmakers to enter such festivals?

“I would most certainly urge them to apply and screen their film at the festivals, especially ECU. Without the festival circuit, the indie scene will be lost. It’s where artists congregate and gain inspiration from their colleges. If we don’t support and involve ourselves with festivals, the underground independent movement will fade away and the industry as a whole will become stagnant. Festivals are as valuable to the independent community as light is to an emulsion. We cannot have a clear understanding of the big picture without either.”

Click here to see learn more about Preston Reed’s career and tech set-up.

Comments (1)

“We’ll be building upon

“We’ll be building upon a traditional approach to develop new and inventive ways of telling the story “ This line struck me, it shows that if  want to be truiumphant in the fireld of filmmaking you have to think out of the box, be resourceful and inventive in trying to find ways how to produce a best and block buster film,because making a film entails a big capital so as a producer  you really have to make the most our of it. The production, plot and script should always capture the interest of the viewers. I think these aspects  should be the topmost consideration that every film producer should always bear in mind.

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About ÉCU-The European Independent Film Festival

Hillier Scott



Scott Hillier, Founder and President of ÉCU - The European Independent Film Festival
Scott Hillier is a director, cinematographer, and screenwriter, based in Paris, France. In the last 20 years, Hillier has gained international recognition from his strong and incredible cinematography, editing, writing, producing and directing portfolio in both the television and film industries.  
Scott began his career in the television industry in Australia. In 1988, he moved to London getting a job with the BBC who then set him to Baghdad. This opportunity led him to 10 years of traveling around world for the BBC, mainly in war zones like Somalia, Bosnia, Tchetcheynia, Kashmir, and Lebanon. After a near fatal encounter with a Russian bomber in Tchechnyia, Hillier gave up his war coverage and began in a new direction. 

He moved to New York City in 1998.  He directed and photographed eight one-hour documentaries for National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. Based on his war knowledge and experience, Hillier wrote and directed a short film titled, “Behind the Eyes of War!" The film was awarded “Best Short Dramatic Film” at the New York Independent Film and TV Festival in 1999. From that he served as Supervising Producer and Director for the critically acclaimed CBS 42 part reality series, "The Bravest” in 2002 and wrote and directed a stage play called, "Deadman’s Mai l," which ran at Le Théâtre du Moulin de la Galette in Paris during the summer of 2004. He then became the Director of Photography on a documentary titled, “Twin Towers." This was yet another life changing experience for Hillier. The riveting documentary won an Academy Award for "Best Documentary Short Subject" in 2003. In 2004, Hillier changed continents again, spending three months in Ethiopia. He produced “Worlds Apart,” a pilot for ABC America / True Entertainment / Endemol. As you can see, Hillier was and is always in constant movement and enjoys working in a number of diverse creative areas including documentaries, music videos, commercials, feature and short films.

Scott studied film at New York University and The London Film and Television School. He also studied literary non-fiction writing at Columbia University. Hillier's regular clients include the BBC, Microsoft, ABC, PBS and National Geographic. Between filming assignments, he used to teach film, a Masters Degree course in Screenwriting at the Eicar International Film School in Paris, France and journalism at the Formation des Journalistes Français in Paris, France. 




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