Fancy Making a Film in the Hardest Way Possible?
January 25, 2018
Think about how hard filmmaking can be...
Even with short films: you slave away on the concept, bash away at a keyboard, get a load of personnel together, spend a load of money, numb your bum with hours in the edit suite. Then, what do you end up with? A whole lot of blurry footage, an incoherent narrative, audio that sounds like it was recorded in a sandstorm, and a stray boom mic starring in most of the shots.
I realise that sounds a just a tad negative - filmmaking is actually an extremely rewarding and fun form of creative expression, even when it goes wrong. The thrill of everything teetering on the edge of going A over T is very much part of its appeal - the exciting, white-knuckle ride fuelled with equal parts adrenaline and dreams.
But, if you're a bit bored with the modern, digital process of filmmaking then a good way to challenge your filmmaking acumen would be to enter this year's Straight 8 - an extremely unique film contest, with stipulations that turn the process into 'one of the hardest ways on earth' to make a film...
First of all, your entry must be shot on one roll of 8mm film - so you'll need to source an 8mm camera from somewhere. You then send this film to be developed, along with sending over the soundtrack digitally. These two elements are then matched up by the Straight 8 team and oui la, there's your entry! So basically, there's no editing and you have to create the sound without having seen any of your footage.
Although that process sounds a bit pointlessly difficult, this purposefully demanding, challenging method is actually quite liberating - no slaving over an edit: once you've filmed it, it's done. This is a raw, pure, exciting way to learn and practise filmmaking discipline.
Successful films will be shown, and it will be first time you yourselves will have seen them, at a screening in London, and even more successful films will be shown at a screening in Cannes. Yes, Cannes; red carpet, cocktails, Palme D'Or Cannes! So there's a chance you'll have a film in Cannes and it will have been the first time you've ever seen it. Mad.
Act fast! Maybe we'll see you strolling along the French Riviera, cocktail in hand, flirting assuredly with Michael Fassbender while a carolling Meryl Steep tags along, pestering you for a ticket to your screening. "No, Meryl", you groan. "There is a very high demand and quite frankly you should really have asked before". Meryl sighs, looking out to sea, the horizon a passionate mix of red and orange on this balmy evening. "Maybe next year", she says to herself, loafing away in her ill-fitting evening gown, tattered at the edges as it drags along the chaussée.