Okay The Hamilton 24 Hour Film Festival. Approximately three weeks later, I will now blog about it.
The Hamilton 24 Hour Film Festival is a film making contest in it's second year. The gist of how it works is you get people together to form a team and sign up. Each team receives the same line, prop, and location and the contest begins.
For the next 24 hours, your team has to conceive, write, film, and edit a movie that is no more than five minutes long and utilizes the line, prop, and location given.
The film must be handed in within 24 hours, not a minute later, or it is disqualified.
Sound like fun folks? Well it is.
I was recruited to help write the script for a team headed by a member of my writer's group. The team consisted of myself and the producer, Steve, as well as Sean, Mike, and one or two other guys whose names are escaping me (John and Tim? Something like that, anyway) as writers, a director whose name I also do not recall, Ted, whose role to me is unclear but was a helpful one, Jeanette - who rocks, and an actress who I did not meet because I wasn't involved in the filming process and she was the actress.
We met at Sean's and waited for the phone call telling us what our line, prop, and location was - until we received that information, we couldn't really do much.
But when the phone call came, it was pretty bad: the prop was a Canadian flag, the line was "show me the money," and the location was inside a car. Probably some of the shittiest prompts I've ever heard in combination. "Show me the money"? Yikes.
Brainstorming ensued and was slow coming - I had pretty much nuthin' but that's not new for me. I'd say I spent the majority of the night poo-pooing other people's ideas LOL - okay no I don't mean that in the way you're thinking! I just mean that I wanted to make sure the story was believable, that it wouldn't make the audience have to fill in the blanks, and that is wasn't obvious. I was hoping for something original.
Mind you, this wasn't my baby, it was Steve's, but I just wanted to do the best we could.
I know very little about writing for the screen and I've only done it once before this experience. I did spend a good chunk of the afternoon beforehand making notes but they didn't come in handy after all.
Let me tell you something else, I learned a whole lot about the differences between men and women when it comes to what they like to see, how they think, and what kind of ideas they have. Because before Jeanette arrived, I was the only person there without a penis - out-numbered I tell you! Suffice it to say that sex and violence were popular themes, especially stuck together, and in the end, that is what won out.
Now it's not like we had a lot to go with - I think we had two or three ideas altogether, which is kinda scary if you think about it cause we were there for hours brainstorming lol. But the chosen idea, for me, was bad. It wasn't anyone's bad idea, it was just too hastily dealt with. And again, this was not my baby, so the fact that I hated the idea didn't mean much - I was the minority.
The idea I would have gone with was very original and GOOD. It had only one issue but I think that issue could have been fixed quite easily.
The idea we went with was very cliche and BAD. The line was included in a completely unbeleivable way, it was offensive, unrealistic, incomplete, and compeltely testosterone fueled. The only thing about it that was good was the utilization of the prop. That was clever.
Aren't I the critic eh? Not a drop of experience and I'm snobbing it up! :P
What I am, though, is a writer. I am also a reader and a movie watcher. So I'm standing on that ;)
Where was I? Write. Writing, yes. Writing began: the four scenes were split up so the writing would go more quickly - I chose the last scene.
I learned that I suck at writing scripts hahaha. No seriously... I was the last to finish, I presented pages of writing where a few would have been more than enough from what I gather. Kind of embarrassing but whatcha gonna do?
But that was it, my part in the process was complete but I hung out for a while longer cause I like to watch stuff happen: Sean wrote the final draft in proper format and the story line was being done almost as soon as Sean finished typing the words.
What happened next I do not know: it was around 4-5am and my eyelids were getting droopy so home I went and left the rest to make movie magic.
They had to finish the story board, then do all that filming stuff (which I kinda would have liked to observe cause it's cool), then do the editing and hand it in to be scrutinized, analyzed, criticized, and ultimately judged by some important people I've never heard of.
The following weekend would be the awards event where we would find out how well our fair film actually fared. I'm not even gonna go into why I didn't attend this gala, because I really really wanted to - it was red carpet for saint Peter's sake! So I'll just move onto the conclusion.
I believe there were around 27ish teams in total who entered the competition this year and I believe our film ended up placing around 16-17ish? I don't remember what was said at the moment but I'm sure I'm close enough. I was surprised, I gotta say.
And there ya go, project film festival finis!
I had a a lot of fun participating in this. It was very frustrating but also so rewarding. I felt useful, which is rare for me these days, and there's a good chance I'll do it all over again if given the opportunity.
This may seem funny, but I haven't actually seen the film yet. I am currently working on getting hold of a copy - there's not way I can't watch a film that I helped create, that would just be foolishness. And when I do see it, I will let you all know what I think. Maybe I'll end up eating my words, you never know.
So there ya go. And thanks to Steve for attributing this to the Hamilton Writers group, that was really cool.