My Dad, a brilliant sculptor, used to tell people that he simply carved away everything that didn't look like what he’d set out to create. Watching him work, you'd swear he did just that - uncovering animals and people that had been waiting in the wood for his chisel to free them. I joked with Monty on Saturday night that I was hoping to use Dad’s approach to finish my submission for this year’s Three-Minute Film Festival. My rough cut had timed in at over an hour. I simply needed to carve away all but three minutes of that.
Monty laughed, but I could see the look of concern in his eyes.
Last year my film “Three Random Minutes” was exactly the correct length. As luck would have it – and it was dumb luck – my script had timed out perfectly. Possibly because of my rigid adherence to the festival’s format, I had wrestled the coveted Delores Award from my 3-minute film-making arch-enemy and two-time Delores winner Scott Milligan.
I had no script this year. My bold plan was to film reality unfolding in real-time, in the hopes that I could glean three entertaining edited minutes. The filming resulted in over two hours of uninterrupted and extremely engaging material.
Once I had logged the collected good bits, depression began to settle in. On Twitter, I wrote: “In any creative endeavour, exhilarating hopefulness begins to diminish near the ceiling of imagination and expertise”. I pretended for a day that I wasn’t making a film.
I hacked and slashed all the next day. I prayed that the heart of the film was not lost somewhere in the digital blood covering the virtual cutting room floor. When I reached the twelve minute mark I stopped to brag about it on Twitter. It took another full day to attain the six minute mark. It took another to admit that the film was as short as it could be.
Cindy and Monty’s Three Minute Film Festival is the best party of the year. We dress up, we organize into ‘magazine’ reviewer groups and post our reviews and votes on a big board on the living room wall. If you don’t bring a film you have to bring an appetizer. Most of the films are surprisingly awesome, but some are less than stellar. Sometimes they’re silly or in questionable taste and sometimes … like my film this year … they’re over three minutes long.
I’m sure Cindy and Monty will forgive me.
Here’s a link to my film from last year: “Three Random Minutes”
Here’s a link to the "Cindy & Monty's Three Minute Film Festival" web site. (Please notice that the actual festival is by invitation, and for friends and family only)
I’ll post my new 6 minute film here after it’s had its debut next week.