How to make a Film for the Hundred Dollar Film Festival – Part 6

ifiknewIn this and previous posts, I looked at how I made some of my films for the festival. In later posts, I will summarise what I learnt from those experiences and suggest how you can make a film.

I made If I knew . . . for the fourth festival in 1995. Like My Next Film, If I Knew . . . was a reaction to my previous film, Who Shot the President. Who Shot the President, although in some sense a simple film, had taken me much longer than I expected. I wanted to do a simpler, easier film for my next project.

The original idea came from a comment a co-worker made. We worked in the forecasting section of Transportation Planning. One day, while we discussed the difficulties of forecasting, she said, “If I really knew what was going to happen, I’d be down at the race track.”

The concept I developed was to have a series of static shots combined with title cards that had a “If I Knew . . .” comment on them. I came up with four titles and then looked for images to fit them.

I ran into some technical problems that made the film more difficult. The most serious was that one of the cameras broke. I lost the shot I had done with it and had to reshoot. That also messed up another shot. I wanted to do a dissolve for one of the images, but the only camera I had access to that could do a dissolve was the one that broke. I used a fade out instead. When I transferred the film to video years later, I took the opportunity to put in a dissolve.

I over exposed the titles and didn’t have time to reshoot them for the festival. Several people asked how I got the “cool” effect on the titles. I was slow to admit that it was just a mistake.

Several people told me they liked the film, although they weren’t sure they really understood the film. I’m not sure I really understand it either.

When I transferred the film to video, I had James Reckseidler do a music track for it. I feel that really added a lot to the film.

I planned to talk about my film Contingency in my next blog, but since I already posted an article on that film, I decided that I would move on to my summary of how I would make a Hundred Dollar Film Festival Film.

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