I went to the Straight 8 film showings at the Vue in Leicester Square with Lizzie last night. We saw the film that Dave, Felicity, and Twm had put together - ‘Metro-polis’ - as well as plenty of others. For those that aren’t familiar with it, Straight 8 is a film competition based around shooting onto a reel of 8mm film about 3 minutes in length. The entrants are not allowed to develop the film, so no editing is possible.
The quality of the shorts was very high - there were 25 films which were selected for the first showing, which included ‘Metro-polis’. Afterwards, the 10 films to be shown at Cannes were screened, which were phenomenal. In particular, if you ever get the chance to see ‘Blockhead’ by Aleysa Young, don’t turn it down - it’s the cutest thing you’ll have seen in a long time.
It’s re-kindled my interest in the creative process. The fascinating thing about this competition is the way that editing is not possible - in fact, because the film isn’t developed until it’s sent back to the organisers, the filmmakers don’t even know exactly what’s been shot until it’s shown. It’s striking how little personal output is like this - apart from conversation, most creative work is editable after creation (for example, I will review and edit this blog entry several times before I post it). Straight 8 is interesting because it forces one to think about how useful that process is, as well as how to prepare well (some of the films clearly required staggering amounts of co-ordination). I hope to participate next year, simply to gain a greater insight into this planning aspect (although I’m sure I won’t do as well as the folks last night).
Well done Dave, Felicity, and Twm!