Thursday, May 24, 2007

i48 - a compromise; a protest.

TDO makes an interesting comment in regards to "i48 2007" where he writes: "The i48 is a great EVENT, and a lot of fun, but it's no fun for me if I consider it a competition."

I have to agree. My team this year had - by far - the easiest, most laid back time playing in i48 possibly ever to be recorded in the history of the event. By 4:00 pm on Saturday, we had wrapped and were literaly sitting next to Pete's pool, drinking margaritas and talking about film with our two "interns". By 4:00 pm on Sunday, I had finished making DVD copies of the movie for the team members and was heading to the Flicks with all the material in tow. By Sunday 8:00 pm, we had watched our film at the Van Dam's pad and were pleased as punch as to the quality of our little film. At that point in time, we were all winners and had drank the punch of success.

Alas, the punch of competition packs a bit more sting to it. Granted, after seeing the films that won the competition, I have no beef with their success. Certainly, I get confused some times when a film (such as in year two) plays out of assigned genre and wins 'best screenplay' for a rant that appeared to be transcribed after the film was made, but - for the most part - I don't have a lot to complain about with the awards. And TDO is absolutely right; if nothing else, i48 forces us to make a movie, as well as attempt to raise the bar while making said movie.

And damn it, we felt pretty good watching our film in that 4:30 screening. And damn it, we felt pretty snubbed after Ellis named off the films that would be playing in the 'best of' showing, knowing that our film was better than others. And damn it, TDO is also right when he writes: "I don't know exactly how they determine what's 'best of' material, though, and that might help."

And damn it, I think I know what I'm going to do next year, and I call upon any filmmaker that felt snubbed yet again this year to join me in this mild protest:

"SINCE... the filmmaking experience in the 48 hour time period is great fun and inspiring; and
SINCE... the competition experience in the post 48 hour time period is disillusioning, destructive, and unpredictable (insofar as judging is concerned); and
SINCE... I believe we all enjoy the former but not the latter, I PROPOSE the following:

To participate in i48 - 2008 as fully and completely as we did in years previous; to complete our films within the 48 hour deadline; to arrive early to the packet turn in at the designated area; and to purposely and willingly wait until five minutes past the 48 hour deadline to turn in our films. Thus, we have enjoyed said creative process of filmmaking, eliminated any potential controversy by the judges and directors of i48, and made our point clear, that we will not compete by their abstract rules, but we will participate in an event which is, honestly, otherwise a positive and enjoyable experience."

I write this with the expectation of being able to participate next year, should scheduling allow for me to do so. I also write this knowing that a number of my fellow filmmakers really do enjoy i48, and they really don't want to think poorly of the directors of the event, but - damn it - sometimes they make it really hard to not wonder just what parameters they're working under. The bottom line for me is that I like Ellis and Bayne; I've worked wtih Greg in the past, and shall continue to do so in the future. As for Ellis, he and I are business partners, and it infuriates me that this yearly competition is what gets in the way of us moving ahead as filmmakers, leading to our spending one month out of the year feuding because of our own personal philosophies. Perhaps next year, with this protest - and even if it is just me that is protesting (as I expect it to be...) some will hear what is being said from the sidelines...


Real Filmmakers. No Tourists.


spanky said...

An excellent idea in my humble opinion. I only wish I thought it would make a difference. Not convinced that it will. I have concluded that those in charge don't see the judging outcome to be flawed in any way and are happy with their "Best of". a disappointment. Awards aside, I feel that the most damaging outcome to placing films of less quality in a "Best of" dvd and selling said dvd, is that the outside community of watchers will determine that there is very little talent here in our small pond. And that....saddens me.

leylanoelle said...

Perhaps there should really be an i48 award winners dvd in addition to the all films and best of dvds, though I'm sure that idea won't fly. My guess is that it'd become painfully obvious to viewers that there is a distinct quality difference between the two... with the award winners dvd coming up severely lacking. Probably won't reflect all that well on i48, its directors, and its judges either. It sure doesn't already, but this'd make what we see a bit more obvious to the masses.

That being said, I'm more than willing to give Will's idea a try should I be able to play next year. I love participating in i48, and have played all four years it's been running, but the competition factor has left a bad taste in my mouth ever since "Amazing Universe" by TGSU got completely snubbed the second year. Best to cut me out of the running completely from now on.