My wife gets tired of all of the cameras around the house "not being used" - so when she saw an ad for a local 24 hour short film contest, she encouraged me to enter. It turned out to be a great experience. Every team was given a theme (this year's was "Don't Make Me Laugh") - and had to turn in a finished cut of a 5 minute (or less) film within 24 hours.
So I raced around trying to get B-roll before sunset, recruited my 7 year old as my co-star for the studio shots (he cost me 5 bucks), fought my editing software all night and turned something in the next day.
No, my so-called "film" didn't win - but it was terrific for an old guy like me to be around the energy, talent and creativity of young filmmakers again - 35 years after film school. And it was great for my little guy to see himself on the big screen.
For all the folks in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is a cool little festival out in the town of Livermore at the Vine Cinema & Alehouse - a great little art house with dining tables inside the theater - where you can have food delivered from the Zephyr Grill & Bar next door. Wonderful setup.
Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker, or simply have cameras around the house that are "not being used", you should sign up for next year's contest. The organizers are great people, the venue is great, and it's a chance to see your work on the big screen.
A big thank you to the sponsors (especially Adam Reeves of ITB Designs) and congratulations to the winners of this year's Filmmaker Frenzy $500 award for Best Picture - local amateurs from a team called Red Canopy for a hilarious "mockumentary" called The Paul Baxter Story. I hope to be able to link to it when and if it becomes available online. Here they are, accepting their award:
For all you cameraphiles out there (which describes most of the readers of this blog), their film was shot on a Canon 5D Mark III in h.264. The movie looked very film-like on the big screen and the camera did a great job.
Interestingly, the best cinematography award went to a film shot on the venerable Canon 7D - a camera that doesn't get a lot of love here, but it really looked good on the big screen.
As for my film, Best Medicine - here is a picture from the screening. My son got a real kick out of seeing himself on the big screen. OK, I admit it, so did I.