Friday night/saturday morning I got home at 2am. I thought my housemates would be asleep – they weren’t. They were wide awake holding their iPhones aloft and insisting that I cut together a masterpiece of filmmaking. I’d been being creative at school all week, I wanted a rest from it, I wanted to relax, not come home to an orgy of artisticness in video form.
While drunk they had filmed an improvised soap opera using nothing but their phones. Music had been played back live. Special effects had been constructed using what was at hand. The dialogue… well it was rough but saved by ridiculous accents. It was called DIRTY LAUNDRY and in it a laundry company is besieged by scandal when everybody sleeps with everybody and then seeks vengeance.
I loved this, that they do this – not worrying about quality or planning or even an exhibition route – just making stuff for the sake of making stuff. Creativity is not a choice it is an obsession.
We’ve been playing with this idea a lot recently, inspired by the video quality you can pull off of iPhones. Why aren’t we running around in the streets pushing this game to the limits? With an iPhone you can film anywhere without worrying too much about security guards or distracted tourists. Bentley filmed an entire advert on the iPhone & Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall St even features at least 1 shot from the phone. I should probably take a moment here to break away from the Apple fanboying – ANY RECENT SMART PHONE CAN SHOOT REASONABLE HD.
What’s beautiful about shooting little movies in this fashion is it is entirely liberating – you move quick, not worrying about lights, or whether you got the perfect shot – you focus entirely on the concept of the piece. It’s a bit like the Danish film movement Dogme95: no professional lighting, no post-dubbed sound.
So from all this we have come to a conclusion: we want to have a one day film festival. We want to invite other creative people in on the game, pick genres out of a hat, and then run around London causing mayhem making a film on our phones in a day. I know 24 hour film festivals exist but normally it becomes a competition to see who can achieve the most professional result in such a short time – our focus is on who can be the most creative and outlandish with the limited resources available to them. (There is a discussion as to whether we should give people specific ambitious films rather than genres to emulate. e.g. Apocalypse Now, Star Wars, Gladiator. Also beer might be involved as a handicapping exercise.)
When we scamp ideas out we have to learn just to scribble fast and get the idea down – why not bring that approach to filmmaking? Instead of a sharpie a camera phone and instead of a blank page all of London.