My dreams of becoming a famous film maker date back to high school. My friends and I saw group assignments as an invitation to whip out the video camera and make a (we thought) hilarious movie. This was the mid 90s, so by “whip out” I mean “beg to borrow my uncle’s 100 pound camera that probably cost him a large fortune and shot VHS tapes and was meant only for special occasions like 50th wedding anniversaries and visits from the Queen.”
We would shoot these videos in the school halls or my living room, stopping to charge the battery every 10 minutes or so, then edit them using the latest technology (hooking two VCRs together and trying not to hit “record” on the wrong one). Then we would display our movies proudly to our classmates and teachers, sure they would rocket us up the ladder to at least the middle of the social hierarchy.
French videos were a favourite, featuring such treats as Super Vache (no, I can’t understand why a flying cow made so many cameos. It made sense at the time), and a cooking show where we learned to make sandwichs de doigt, with real fingers.
The pride of our teen film library was a remake of Hitchcock’s The Birds, with some lovely shot-by-shot recreations and flock of about 50 stuffed fowl making up the antagonists. But before I had a chance to submit our masterpiece to the Sundance Film Festival, a mother (I won’t say whose) TAPED OVER IT! Our only copy! With something like Law & Order!
Under the wheels of a 100 ton truck.
Fuelled by rage.
Filled with broken dreams.
Driven by despair.
Flash forward 16 years.
I took an intro to film making workshop at AFCOOP a few weeks ago. It was 4 hours long – we’re talking a very basic overview of all the things you need to know about and be intimidated by when getting into film. The instructor, Walter Forsyth, tried to convince us that film making doesn’t have to be hard, and challenged us all to make a film in a week using whatever kind of technology we already owned.
I dusted off my Canon Powershot Sx1 IS, figured out how to record video on it (it’s as easy as pressing “record” – who knew?), coerced my boyfriend into making his début into acting, and, voila! 84 seconds of true magic.
And thanks to the internet, there is no way this sucker can get taped over! Sundance, here I come!