I was born trapped in pages of storybooks, but being a self-confessed film nerd, I’ve always craved a chance at filmmaking. A friend of mine Phil recently mentioned he was taking part in a 24HR film challenge, so I had no hesitation in asking to get involved. On the writing side of course. If their was one thing I learned at Uni, making nice but terrible art video, it’s that I’m definitely not adept at the techie stuff. I can frame good images, brainstorm ideas and talk ‘art bollox’ on meaning, but without knowing my camera-arse from my editing-elbow this only leads to embarrassing end product.
There are a fair few of these type of challenges about – to make and edit a 3 minute film in 24 hours – and I’d definately recommend trying your hand at it. The time limit and many other factors (resources, available actors (or in Phil’s case, some mates), location, ease of editing) can help push your skillset and ability to think outside of your usual box. We wrote and discarded multiple ideas in the run-up to the film day. And there are different angles to approach from. Quite often short shorts are very much hinged on the idea (and the twist), so I was a little keen to try to do something quite character-based.
Pretty much every idea (though all fair cop, I hope) that ended up on the scrap heap did so because it was too ambitious for the timescale and resources. Often we just felt we were asking too much of the actors, that too much hinged on their authenticity (from portraying bona-fide mental-cases or being realistically brutal, to simple things like age and background).
In the end Phil came up with a great little idea that worked perfectly with the people we had. The tone was daft and hammy with some happy nods to genre (film-noir) and filmmakers (Hitchcock & a splash of Sam Raimi). I helped with the skivvy side of things for the first six hours of filmmaking in Derby, before I had to be back at work in Nottingham. It was loads of fun, but would’ve been much tougher in part for those who stayed up all night working on it.
Phil’s film came 4th in the comp, so dead chuffed to be involved.
Annoyingly I can’t embed the video, but here’s the link –
Photograph by Samantha Gallagher