Thursday, January 27, 2011

One Worked, One Didn't

We started this week's screening with a pee scene. Imagine that, an independent film that has the guts to show someone taking a leak. That's something we never ... go a screening without seeing. If you want to set a seen in a bathroom, try something like I'M A FAT CAT (DWF 2010), with good sex, good actors, interestingly shot, and well-written. Of course, there are some great scenes set in bathrooms, but that alone doesn't make it edgy. It's not different. It's not cool. It's common. Just so you know.

We had a couple of what I call "essay style" films. These are heavily narrated, usually by a single character. Often the narration is the only dialogue (or monologue) in the piece, and is usually very personal. Feelings are discussed. Musings of why people do what they do, etc. They can make good shorts. I've suffered through a couple of features in this style, and nine times out of ten the format doesn't hold up for the duration. We had two such shorts last night. One worked, one didn't.

We had a couple of "incitement films." Again, one worked, one didn't. For those who aren't regular readers, incitement films are shorts that feel like the first few pages of a feature – where a natural beginning, middle, and end tell a complete story which leave us wanting more. The trick to this style is that the end of the short has to feel complete – or enough so that we're not left with a "wait... what?" feeling. An incitement film is a good tool for raising money for your feature. You show potential investors the "hook" for your movie, then say, "Want to know if the doctor goes back to the taxi? Fund the project and you'll find out."

I started to keep a tally of movies by actors about actors acting. Two last night, neither one worked. They almost never do. Interesting that most of these movies have terrible performances. If you're thinking about making a movie on this subject, hunt down a copy of LARRY (THE ACTOR) (DWF 2008). You won't be sorry.

We had a DVD that wouldn't play. This is very common. Folks, please, pop your disc into a DVD player, not your computer, to make sure it works before you send it, and it's not a bad idea to send two copies, as home burnt DVDs scratch easily. Not to worry if you've submitted and might think this was your film. We'll be in touch for a replacement.

Florida State University, you guys rock! When we see your logo at the beginning of a film we settle down, knowing that quality is sure to follow. Keep up the good work.

That's it for this week. Short and sweet.

Thanks for reading.

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