Friday, April 27, 2007

Lesson Learned

In a post last week I mentioned my student, Andrew, was part of a team of four Columbia filmmakers participating in the National Film School Championships in San Diego. I saw Andrew Friday and he filled me in on the outcome.

All 20 teams were given a script last Wednesday night and had until 9am Saturday morning to deliver a five-minute film. Andrew's team read the script and immediately rejected it and decided to make their own film instead. I think this was a good plan. I believe if you can deliver something good and audiences like it- even if it goes against the rules- then you win even if you lose. What is the point of trying to make a film if you know it is going to be bad? You might as well make a film you think is going to be good and let the chips fall where they may. I think this rule applies to any creative competition or business pitch. Go with the best idea you have, not necessarily the idea you were told to come up with. (Is this what is called thinking outside the box?)

Andrew's film was about a man in a banana suit. There must be a glut of banana suit costumes out there because this is the third banana suit concept I have heard in the last two weeks. Andrew reports they shot it and it was pretty good. They cut it together on Friday night and if nothing else it wass funny, the team liked it and they felt the audience will like it.

Then disaster struck. Deciding to make one final tweak (the enemy of good is better- an earlier Filmmaking101 post) their external hard drive crashed and they lost everything. The organizers extended the deadline for them- which tells me they liked the film too- but it was gone. No film. That evening at the screening Andrew said that their film probably would have won. It had the best production values and it was funny. Of course a key part of winning the contest is actually entering the contest. Sorry Andrew.

Upon further discussion, I discovered their fatal flaw. They were shooting with the HD camera pictured above. They put the HD files into their external hard drive only. They should have put the files into their laptop AND backed them up to the external hard drive. Saving time and a step cost them in the long run.

Lesson learned.



Layla (aka Barbara) said...

I have issues a public apology on "Layla's Classic Rock" for overlooking The Grateful Dead and a special thanks to you for pointing it out, you and SocietyV were the first to ever notice. I feel really bad about. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Wonder Woman said...

Sad, I wish I could have seen the banana flick.