Fun With My First Short Film

Video camera exactly like the one I now ownLast weekend I finished a weekend practical short course on video filmmaking. Last Wednesday, while drinking wine with a couple of friends, the decision was made to enter into a 24 hour short film contest, just for a laugh. It would be good practice, I figured, and we’d have a bit of fun. I didn’t expect any masterpieces to be made, I just wanted to try my hand at my newly learned skills.

So. Friday afternoon we entered the competition. They gave us a list of things that had to be in the film. We had to return the finished DVD by 6pm Saturday. Cue frenzied writing, shooting, prop fudging, bad acting, driving around madly and editing. Things were desperate at 4.45pm on Satuday when the DVD burning aspect was on the fritz but we did get it in on time.

Last night was the gala award evening. Our film made the top 12 and was screened to an audience of 300 people. Even better, it won a minor award. I didn’t even wear anything decent and had to go on stage and accept the snazzy trophy. I was absolutely thrilled.


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The whole experience has been amazing and well worth the effort and lack of sleep. This may sound a bit strange, but I found it wonderful to do something creative that didn’t involve sex or porn. My imagination was allowed to go off on a tangent, and I think I needed that.

Making a movie is a very physical, social thing. This in itself is a major departure from my usual creative exercises that involve me sitting quietly by myself in front of a computer, writing. It was good for me to get out there and apply myself in a new and different way.

And man… I can’t believe how nervous I was when it came to the actual screening. I was holding my breath, tuned to every reaction, desperately hoping the audience would laugh at the right moments. They did, thank goodness. But what an incredible thing, to be there when your audience sees your creation. Blogging and writing doesn’t offer quite that immediacy.

There was a lot of talent on display among the finalists and I don’t imagine for a second that what we made was as good as some of them, but I still feel very proud that this first effort got a look in.

I think it might be fair to say that I’m hooked. This was waay too much fun and I can’t wait to give it another try. Our friends who acted in the film have been on the same high all weekend. Drinking champagne at our little “wrap party” on Saturday night we were all running on smug self satisfaction, watching our silly little movie over and over again, giggling. That in itself made everything worth it. The award is just the strawberry in the champers.

And now it’s back to normality (whatever that is) for a while. It’s gonna be hard to get back into a smutty headspace, but I’ll do my best.