Thursday, 23 October 2008

Film Dash: Digital Galore Round Up

The evening of Film Dash started in true form, by dashing. I fetched a camera from the lovely Warren from @Warblefly and then ran off to the briefing - starting these things already sweating shows that you're serious. A friendly atmosphere was brewing at the Custard Factory and Ian had even met a fan of The Outsider. All anyone knew about the challenge was that we had to make a 1-5 minute film in 48 hours based on a specific brief. Everyone’s brief would be different. The winning film would be screened at the event, ‘Into the Light’, a celebration of Birmingham born film producer, Sir Michael Balcon. When the time came we got our brief:

  • Incorporate the spoken line, "I don't believe the world has been in such a terrible mess since the flood."
  • Somehow reference the film, 'The Cruel Sea'.

How nautical. By now Ian really needed the loo so we headed back to my new flat/office, tip-toeing around the subject of trickling water, floods and the cruel ‘it just went down my leg’ sea.

The most exciting thing about the challenge was to learn what we could (or should) do in that time. We knew we could write quickly and wanted to work to that strength. We’ve also filmed sketches very quickly, especially with Tom acting. But bringing everything together and making it look good within the time was the trick.

Pizza, brainstorming and a couple of shakedowns of the whiteboard got us a nice script and a schedule by 2am on Friday night. Not too shabby. On Saturday morning Tom was getting into Mr. C. (Mr. C would have liked that) and all was go! We got a couple of shots done and Sara Leung kindly came round to fill in for the part of the girlfriend.

Apart from, or because of, the lack of crew, actors, and equipment, filming went pretty smoothly. By 3pm we had started editing the first lot of footage down and unleashed Max Fitness onto the world. Snippets of other people’s film’s were starting to pop up in various guises at this point which added to the chase. In the evening we unwound at the pub. Later, we started tightening right back up as Ian and I broke the back of the editing overnight. As expected there was way too much footage, so we stripped down and cross-faded our way to safety.

3 hours sleep later and in a cold sleeping bag, Tom said reassuringly something to me about sausages. I agreed that I liked sausages. A shower, a cupper and a McScwadge burger later, we were back in action. After a couple of reshoots, sound work and some tutting at some very dodgy cuts we were done! It would have been lovely to chat to everyone at the hand-in but by that point we were shattered. Unaware of the relevance we finished the evening with a couple of pints of Landlord. So, so tired.

In the end, I think we can be quite chuffed with our script. It had a few nods to Hitchcock and fitted the brief in a nice Ealing farce comedy sort of way. Whether it came though as well on screen I don’t know. Looking at other people’s films, particularly Dunkirk, maybe we should have gone a lot shorter, simpler and quirkier. Whatever the weather, Film Dash was amazing. It was a great laugh, it taught us a lot and we were part of a really buzzing filmmaking event. It did what it should have done, it left us wanting more! Bring on Film Dash ’09.*

Louis ‘Pumped’ Hudson

*Just realised Pete Ashton said almost exactly the same thing.

Here's a slideshow of some pics taken from the weekend.

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