Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Review: SFL 48-hour film challenge

I recently spent a three-day period with a total of one or two hours sleep, struggling to keep up with various bits of work and to prepare a presentation in time for a meeting (trying to simplify and explain a really complex scientific report). By the end of this period I was seriously caffeinated and running without any internal clock.

In between bouts of work I kept myself sane by watching 5-minute films from the Sci-Fi London 48-hour film challenge. This was part of the 2008 festival, and I previously saw the winning entry, Factory Farmed, as it was screened before the premiere of Chemical Wedding. The win is well deserved - what stands out is the cinematography, with clever use of colour and location
to build highly atmospheric shots, together with a sense of mystery. I recognized the Westminster tube station doubling as a high-tech laboratory - wonder how they arranged this?

Most entries don't have this level of camerawork or atmosphere but are still highly enjoyable - there's a ubiquitous sense of fun, most teams seem to have got the main idea of this kind of film-making (keep it simple!) and have produced something watchable. There's a lot of originality and wit too. I particularly enjoyed Lesson One, by team Too Many Monkeys, about a unique approach to advertising and marketing. Each team was assigned a piece of dialogue to include - this team got "You could win £1000 to spend on your mistress" and the film pretty much takes this as its starting point and riffs on it. You won't like every film but at 5 minutes each you can find the ones you like fairly quickly.

The films can be found here. There's also a brief documentary about the competition.

I was hugely surprised to discover that my presentation at work came together and was very well received despite my brain running at about 5% capacity. I intend to enter next year's 48-hr challenge if I can get a crew together. [edited 17.4.09 - did actually enter! woo!]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Sci Fi film challenge sounds like it was fun! What a treat to view all those films.