Friday, April 9, 2010

Blogger Turned Filmmaker? (Includes winners of the Kurosawa film competition)

 This post has nothing to do with Spike Lee. 
I just admire him a hell of a lot and this is a kickass photo.

So it's been a while but this time I actually do have a good excuse. For the last few weeks I've been creating a film with my good friend Nicole. Regular readers of JRM will know her from my podcast and various mentions on twitter etc.We entered the MoFilm Tribeca competition where we needed to create an ad for one of several businesses. We chose Best Buy which suited our idea and personalities the most. Since I was turned on to the competition by the Best Buy team via twitter (I follow MoFilm and Best Buy), it felt right.

 Our short film, entitled Kathryn, took 4 weeks of work to complete. This included several initial brainstorming meetings, Nicole writing a script around our idea, finding equipment (borrowed camera), organising a child actor (this proved to be the most difficult part of the entire process), shooting in annoying outdoor weather conditions (overcast scenes were fixed in post), learning how to use high-end video editing software, creating a text animation and organising props (thank you $3.99 pack of toys from dollar store). 
The film was submitted with 3 hours to go before deadline. Due to many disappointing casting issues we had to shoot the film 3 days before it was due and spent 2 full days editing. The first on visuals, the second mostly on sound. Nicole and I are both sticklers for editing and sound so it was really important for us to do it right. Thankfully we had already completed a text animation for the end of the film. We ended up watching the 70 second film about 100 times or more during the editing process. After showing it to two painfully critical family members, we were able to fix up a few little issues before the final submission. It was hectic but so satisfying.
Overall I learned two important things from this experience. One, Nicole and I can work well together under pressure and two, I really want to keep doing this, even if the ad/film we made goes nowhere. Currently MoFilm has a competition open where you can win a trip to Cannes. Nicole and I are considering making another film for this but we also have our sights set on a bigger fish in Tropfest. We know we haven't got a chance in hell of competing against the pros who always enter this competition, but the idea of making a film on a larger scale with more involved is certainly appealing. The challenges of finding funding, organising a cast and crew and sourcing equipment are all ones I'm hoping to take on with passion and determination. The theme this year for Tropfest is Key. We're going to start as soon as possible with ideas and I can't wait.
Despite the great excitement and happiness all of this has brought to my life, I've already felt the brunt of negativity that comes from this type of thing. It's like when you get an A on a test in school and your friends says something like "yeah well, you'll never need to know this stuff after school any way". Sometimes people are unsupportive for the oddest reasons. I'm glad I have great friends and family who are able to provide constructive criticism (thankfully they aren't the "everything you do is good, honey" types) and unwavering support. Not one person said to me "I don't think you should or can do this" when I told everyone what Nicole and I were doing. I'm so grateful to everyone for being there for us. 
If I get this sentimental about one 70 second short film imagine what I'm going to be like for the Tropfest short! Jeebus. Be prepared for an epic blog. I'll also try to post regular updates on how we're going. In the mean-time, we've sort of given up on our movie podcast and are thinking of doing a live radio show where we discuss learning about making films with local filmmakers and through watching movies from the past. 
Hilariously, just as I was writing this I received an email from MoFilm to let us know our film was shortlisted. Please PLEASE send us your good vibes. I am so excited I did a lap of the house and literally jumped up and down! :) 
So finally I had a small competition where, in honour of Akira Kurosawa's 100th bday (had he lived) I encouraged followers on twitter to watch a Kurosawa film and make a comment on it. Two people won a prize based on their comments, and I have yet to send them(because as you all know, I am quite lazy). Congrats to Mike S Henderson, an AMAZING artist and great guy. Congrats also to John (or@JohnsWatching) who makes some great comments on TV and Film. They both made great comments on Kurosawa films.
Before I forget, Nicole and I are sporadically live blogging on UStream. Check it out. Would love to get a good chat going about movies one day. I always post on twitter before we go online so keep your eye out. 
Thanks again to all my blog followers and the good friends I've made via twitter, facebook, UStream, etc. I have to be one of the biggest internet addicts I know but the rewards are certainly rich. 

Watch this space for  more blogs about actual films, coming soon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jen!! You couldn't have described my feelings about everything any better if you tried. :-) On to bigger and better things, just the process of being creative is so rewarding, so there are only good things to come i'm sure. :D N xox