Quite a few students and lecturers have already enquired why we have chosen the arbitrary and some would argue very limited 72 hour creative period.
Quite simply, in previous incarnations of moving image festivals when we put out a call for submissions, we were greeted with literally a tsunmai of the good, the bad and the ugly, many of which turned out to be as long as the bible and far less entertaining.
Narrowing the field from the get-go, frees up huge resources in terms of the time and attention available for the panel to adjudicate which films show promise and which are merely a collection of careless images and poor choreographic design, lashed together in some kind of arbitrary "editing" process and thrown out into a hostile critical world to sink without trace.
Film making above all artforms is a critically collaborative process, the director or at least the conceptual creator owes it to the rest of their team to treat everyone's time, expertise and input with the greatest of care and respect. Making it up on the spot is never a good idea.
In order to be able to deliver a complicated collaborative process such as making a film no matter how modest the scale, there is a significant requirement for practical planning, preparation and physical resource management. To make any kind of film from womb to tomb in 72 hours needs particularly careful planning which denotes a level of thinking which ultimately benefits both the film maker and their creative collaborators.
As part of the challenge, the jury will be looking for creative notes to be appended to the films containing: a pitch document, an outline storyboarding process be it ever so simple, some kind of clear stylistic mission expressed as simply as possible and importantly. for the final output films, in some measurable way to be recognisably what the film makers set out to make in their initial creative notes.
In this way, if after all your efforts, the film continues to evade you and remains a "work in process' and frustratingly unfinished, the panel can still make up their minds from the initial creative notes, whether the film showed the kind of promise they will be looking for. You won't win any competitions if you can't deliver a finished film, but you will be taken seriously as a film maker.
72 hours to make something from start to finish means that the initial creative impulse behind the work will require honing to a point where delivery is firmly focused and the creative impulses of all those involved in the project have been marshalled into a common, shared and clearly defined creative goal with realistic and achievable outcomes.
Without these all important creative notes, how will collaborators be able to contribute at their best?
Finally, the application of the criteria above, means that there will be a greatly enhanced likelihood that the creative process will provide a set of measurable and replicable learning and experiential outcomes inherently more valuable than those contained in projects of the "let's just do something and see how it turns out", variety.
Both terms "professional" and "student" are loose, interchangeable and entirely meaningless in creative practice terms however, inside limitless scope for creativity, professional makers and creators are usually well aware of the practical limits inherent in their projects from available resources and funding to the practicality of their concepts and very importantly the professional and reputational consequences of ignoring the rules.
For those less experienced such as students of the form, clear and carefully circumscribed boundaries will help sharpen otherwise potentially open ended, unfocused and fruitless creative endeavour.
If we find we are being assailed by promising film makers who are finding the challenges of making a dancefilm in 72 hours insurmountable, we will be happy to mentor the process and provide guidance and helpful direction as needed.
Contact us on the contact page.
If it helps at all, "Love" above, is a film the curators made as part of the Danish Dancefilm Festival 24 hour film making challenge in 2015.
A few lessons we learned in this particularly gnarly creative challenge were:
Some of the greatest movie makers of all time have given the same advice since cinematography began
Go make some films!