Sunday, August 17, 2014

Make Your Short Film Now - The #FilmmakerChallenge

If you're a filmmaker, pay attention.  The 2015 Sundance Film Festival short film entry deadline is one week away (Aug 25th, 2014 - $60).  That means you have seven days to come up with an idea, then shoot, edit and submit it.  You don't need permits or a crew or a wealthy uncle to fund your film.  What you need is a brilliant idea.  That's the easy part since you're a cinema genius.  Now for the hard part: tools.  Since necessity is the mother of invention, use your boundless creativity to shoot on your iPhone, or borrow a friend's GoPro camera.  Shoot Super 8mm film.  Go fully digital and animate in a computer.  Use available light and sound.  Friends and relatives suddenly become actors.  Make your movie, and story is everything.

I give you permission to safely shoot in your living room at night, after work, because true cinema never sleeps.  Just you and your genius subject idea.  You may also edit on your laptop during your lunch break because true cinema doesn't eat like the normals.  Do whatever it takes, but...

Tell your story.

The excuses are already building in your mind.  "I don't have time.  I missed the deadline already.  'Game of Thrones' is on my Apple TV."  These are work barriers you create in your mind from fear.   Fear, that prevents you from making the great American 8-minute short film.  That #shortfilm is getting in, kid.  You're gonna do it!  You're gonna crack that 00.002% that gets accepted.  You might even be discovered by Hollywood at America's best film festival.  It happens every year.

I exaggerate to make my point.  But not so much that I can't mention the story of filmmakers Mark & Jay Duplass.  I attended a Sundance Film Festival "Artist At The Table" event, where Mark and Jay gave the intro speech (FYI: I bought a ticket).  They told the story of making their lo-fi, second short film "This Is John." With days remaining until the Sundance deadline, they decided to improvise their film with the materials available to them.  The Duplass brothers filmed in their apartment in less than 1 day for the cost of a $3 DV tape, posted on their home system and submitted to Sundance 2003.

"This is John" got accepted, and the rest is, well, you know.

Good luck, filmmakers.  Don't be boring.  I challenge you to make a film and submit.  Let me know how it goes (#filmmakerchallenge).

Here's Mark Duplass talking about investing $3 into his career, and staying indie until it was time to move up to studio filmmaking.  ***MUST WATCH VIDEO FOR ANY FILMMAKER***

Here's Mark's Guide To Sundance Success (from Buzzfeed).

Here's Film Independent's Guide To Sundance Successful Submissions.

#FilmmakerChallenge is for positive, creative change.  It is not affiliated with any film festival or organization in any way.  It is an open tag for the stimulation of creative thought, with the hope of furthering better cinema.

Here's a reminder from Forest Whitaker, Mike Figgis, Salma Hayek and yours truly to MAKE YOUR MOVIE.

2015 Sundance Film Festival
Official Shorts Deadline: $60 entry - August 25th, 2014 (arrival date)
LATE Shorts Deadline: $80 entry - September 15th, 2014 (arrival date)

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