Straight 8 and 'Metro-polis'


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!


[...] The conference finished with 10 lightning talks. Subjects covered included jMock (a mock objects framework that complements JUnit), justifying automated tesing in financial terms, testing heresies, Yandex (the largest search engine in Russia, their share ~60%, Google’s ~6%), ‘Automated Testing: Why bother?’, automated tricks for manual testing, and the Perl-inspired Test Anything Protocol. I hadn’t seen lightning talks before, and I thought they were a fantastic idea - similar in some ways to the Straight 8 showings I wrote about a while ago - if you don’t like what you’re seeing, something else is coming along soon. More presentations should be like this. [...]
[...] As I wrote previously, I went to see the world premiere of METRO-polis in Leicester Square recently. Dave has now posted METRO-polis on Google Video. You can see his film from last year, Undo, as well (which is even better, in my humble opinion). [...]
Also, check out this (not straight8) video on Google video: Has a lot of themes present in some of the films from last night, but obviously much easier when you can edit.
Hurrah! I'm glad you'll make one next year, I'll drop by and post a link to the video once I get METRO-polis transferred to the PC