Tuesday, May 1, 2007

You Want Me To Do What in 48 Hours?

My latest column for In documents my adventures as a director of a film in the 48 Hour Film Project. Since writing the article, I've received more reasons to question the festival's competence and intentions, not least of which, I must admit, was the botched projection of my movie. The top of our actors' heads were cut off along with the top of the frame (this was not a TV-safe issue, and occurred with both films that were shot in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the ratio that the website suggested was preferred). The other issues were brought up to me by sponsors, who noticed that the festival receives a lot of money without giving much back.

The entrance fee of $125 or $148 only gets filmmakers a screening of their movie and TWO tickets to the screening. The festival charged more than $7 for all additional tickets, claiming at the opening event that it was to pay for the venue. But the venues, the Broadway and Tower Theatres, were apparently donated. And the sponsors who so generously donated had to pay for drinks—which were also donated—at the wrap party. I like the way the festival puts on pressure and makes filmmakers be productive. I'm just not sure whether they're giving to the community more than they're taking away. Depending on my time, I may try to do a piece that explores all aspects of the festival and gives each side its say. For now, you'll have to settle for the bitter ramblings of a man whose film was butchered.

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