My latest obsession these past few months has been making movies.
It really started when I took the summer of 2011 off from work, in what I called my pretirement summer. Among the things that I did that summer was to get heavily into photography. I learned a lot, bought a lot of camera equipment, and took a lot of pictures.
Flash forward to six months back. I got a part in a local community theater production of “Twelfth Night.” I had a terrific time and I think we put on a good show.
Some of the people I met through the play were participating in the Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project. This is a short film competition in which you have 48 hours to make a 4-7 minute movie. At the beginning of a weekend, you get a random genre. You are given a character name, a line that must appear, and a prop that must be used. Then you’re off, and you have to deliver the finished movie 48 hours later. It’s an endurance test, but a whole lot of fun.
I got into it to act, but given that I had some fancy cameras that could also do video, I ended up taking some footage as well. This in spite of the fact that I knew next to nothing about taking video.
Here’s a link to the film that we made, a short horror movie called “Influenced”:
Honestly, it wasn’t great. There’s very little sense of visual story-telling. The technical stuff is far from perfect, the script could use a few more rounds of polishing, and the acting shows a lack of sleep. All not surprising, given that we had very little experience in making movies and very little time.
But the relative ease of the task with equipment that I already largely owned was a revelation. You really can make a movie these days with the kind of cameras that I own, and the other equipment that is needed is well within the grasp of a hobbyist.
I got to talking with another person working on our film, and she was similarly amazed at how possible it was. So we decided to put together a group to try it ourselves, only this time without the 48 hour deadline.
And so my film obsession was born. More shortly on what I’ve done since, and what’s in the works.