If you like the idea of making films, there is really no reason not to at the moment – everyone is walking around with most of the equipment they need in their pockets (doubly true if you are at the ‘adult’ end of the entertainment spectrum). Because it is so quick and easy to knock something up, there is loads of ephemeral crap floating about – kind of the cinematic equivalent of all those vintage filtered shots of food that clogged up Instagram until everyone stopped using it the other month.
Without any need for focus or discipline you can end up putting things off for ages, or punting out the sort of rubbish that makes up most of youtube and will only be of interest to your mates. Personally I’ve been guilty of both of these in the past.
Short film competitions are a really good way to give yourself some focus for several reasons:
- They often have a creative brief relating to a subject, theme or product.
- There is usually a fixed running time, which may well mean that you need to keep your Tarkovsky-esque epic down to five minutes.
- Perhaps most importantly, competitions have a closing date. This will give you some purpose and motivation – especially if there is a cash prize involved.
There are new competitions and prizes popping up all the time, here are a few that are well worth a crack at:
The ultra focused Depict.org 90 second film competition – deadline is 8th July 2013: http://www.depict.org/
Filming Shakespeare, from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust – deadline July 1st 2013: http://filmingshakespeare.com/
Sundance Short Film Competition – deadline 28th February 2013: http://competition.sundance-london.com/
Shooting People – film of the month, runs err, every month: https://shootingpeople.org/watchfilm/home
2 Days Laughter – Make a comedy short in 48 hours – deadline 28th February 2013: http://www.2dayslaughter.co.uk/compete/about.html