Posted on 30 December 2010 by Mailer-Daemon
2010 saw lots of films and short films getting made in Mobile Alabama; amateurs, professionals and everyone in between. The preponderance of Film Scrambles certainly helped – Film Scrambles are a competition for any skill level of filmmaker, wherein the filmmaker or team are given a very brief period -sometimes as little as 48 hours- to write, create and complete a short film, often based on specific criteria. These are just a few highlights of this year’s super bumper crop of local shorts…
(Please note, some of these films contain mature or immature content. Individual results may vary. Please pre-screen before showing them all to your sunday school class.)
follow this link to see:
On a Scale of One to ‘Roadhouse’: DCWF Film Scramble
Far too often I hear people talk about how bored they are, or how they have nothing to do. My philosophy is, if you’re bored then you’re boring
That, and everybody Wang Chung tonight.
What I’m slowly crawling toward here is while you were whining about how hard your life is because you’re bored, you could have been whining about it in your very own short film. Whining on camera is MUCH cooler, (just ask the guy who played Ross on “Friends”).
You see fearless readers, we have this awesome thing in Mobile called a film scramble.
The premise is simple enough. You get a team together. You go to a meeting where they give everyone the same parameters.
This go-around it was “Who’s Johnny Jenkins?” The idea being to do whatever you want as long as you include that sentence in the film. After the meeting, the teams have 48 hours to make a short film from concept to completion.
After everyone turns them in, there is a screening at the Crescent Theater where the audience watches all the entries and then votes on the winners for different categories.
As fate would have it, there was just such a screening Jan. 28, and the turnout was pretty good.
My problem is, out of the entire population of Mobile, there were only nine entries.
Hell with that, the next DCWF (Downtown Creative Wellness Foundation, look them up) film scramble is the weekend of March 12-14. I want 25 entries, minimum.
The film scramble isn’t just for some select few. The film scramble is for anyone with an idea, a camera, and a weekend.
Now, I don’t plead very often. Hell, I don’t plead at all, but who hasn’t wanted to make a movie at least once? Well, here’s a prime excuse. Get on it people.
I look forward to competing against all of you in the next film scramble.
Check out thedcwf.org for details, or as always, if you’re a beautiful lady, I am available for personal questioning by appointment.
Also, if you’d like to check out the entries from this film scramble, go to thedcwf.org/scramble and get your lurk on.
To honor its host city, the South Alabama Film Festival has chosen “Mobile, We Love You” as the theme for its inaugural festival film scramble. In the last year, area filmmakers have made short films involving original music, “Sweded” movies and the festival itself.
“The premiere scramble could only be about two things: passion and the Azalea City,” the SoAL news release states. “East, west, north, south — 18 different locations in the bay area are fair game for teams who will spend 48 hours making a five-minute love story.”
Teams met Friday afternoon at the Crescent Theater to receive final instructions and are supposed to submit completed films by 5 p.m. Oct. 25. Films will be shown Nov. 6 in Cathedral Square during a free night of film to kick off the first South Alabama Film Festival, which runs through Nov. 8.
The festival will host a VIP event at the Mobile Arts Council after the screening of the scramble films and a block of locally made short films, which will be shown over the weekend. Wintzell’s will cater the affair.
“Rootsy Hip,” a documentary about Mobile’s white hip-hop scene, will have its premiere at 11 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Crescent Theater, replete with red carpet. The Alabama Music Box will have a party afterward where some of the groups will perform. The other big film, “A Genesis Found,” is having its premiere at 5 Rivers Delta Resource Center on the Causeway. The makers of that film will come down for the red-carpet treatment as well.
Hailee Kuntz is festival director; Carson Kennedy is program director and documentarian. Information, call 251-490-4356 or visit the Web site: www.southalabamafilmfestival.org.
Thanks to everyone who came out and supported the filmmakers Friday evening.
The winners for the 2009 Arts Alive Film Scramble competition were:
Music video for El Cantador’s song “always wine”
Will Fawcett, Jimmy Sunderland, Lydia Dorsey, Jeramey Jones, and Daniel Bangs
“Sturm und Drang”
Featuring music by The Hibachi Stranglers
“Best Use of Music”
Death in Stilettos
Silent Film “S.S.A.” featuring music by The Western Lands
This year, filmmakers had 48 hours to make a short film inspired by a local musician/band’s song. Teams had to use the song in its entirety and the film could not be more than five minutes long (minus the credits).
We had an awesome turn out for this year’s scramble: 9 teams registered, 8 teams actually showed, and 7 teams finished. Last year we had only two teams finish and a tiny crowd. I was glad to see this year’s crowd reach around 70 people.
Everyone did an outstanding job and I hope to see everyone back next year!
Here are the winners:
Ryan Currie’s team (from Murphy High School) won Best Film in the High School Category for their short “Ace of Spades.”
Tony West’s group won three awards for their film “OMC” : Best Technical, Audience Favorite, and Best Use of Object.
Trevor Elmore’s Group won two awards for their short film “Aces & Eights” : Best Soundtrack and Best Dramatic Performance.
Margaret Broach’s team won three awards for their film “Night Terror” : Best Film in The Amateur/Professional Category, Best Script and Best Art Production.
Practice makes perfect says the old adage. So three times each year the Alabama Moving Image Association, the folks who put on the nationally recognized Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival each September in Birmingham, offer an opportunity for Alabama filmmakers to hone their skills by participating in a competition called the Sidewalk Scramble. The Scrambles take place over a weekend and films created for the competitions must grow from concept to completion in 48-hours.
To ensure that the films don’t include any ideas or footage created before the weekend, each Scramble includes specific requirements, called inspiration items, which must be included in the film. Inspiration items are chosen for each Scramble team by random drawing at the Friday night kick-off and can be objects, images, words, or filmmaking styles. The completed films must be turned in by Sunday night.
Participation in the Sidewalk Scramble promotes networking of film professionals and non-professional film enthusiasts who work together in teams for the weekend. A typical Scramble team includes people who have previous experience writing, shooting, or acting in a film working alongside film enthusiasts who are seeking experience.
In July of 2005, producer/director Max Shores set out to do a documentary on the Sidewalk Scramble along with cinematographer Preston Sullivan. Both are a part of the University of Alabama Center for Public Television and Radio, where students studying film and TV production gain practical experience to supplement their classroom experience. They put together three documentary teams including six UA students and did their own Scramble production of sorts. The documentary teams followed three teams participating in the Scramble.
The result is the documentary, “Scrambled Films.” The Scramble teams shown in the documentary completed their films in a weekend, but the documentary took over two years to complete.
“It just fell through the cracks.” Shores explains. Between July of 2005 and release of “Scrambled Films,” he completed two other documentaries, presented his work at 12 film festivals, and won five awards.
“I was juggling other projects and this one just kept getting pushed to the back burner,” said Shores. “But I’m glad that people can now see the hard work that went into these excellent Scramble films. I hope that seeing this film will encourage others to participate in the Sidewalk Scramble.”
The documentary shows the process of conceiving, writing, shooting, and editing three short films over the Scramble weekend. The three teams featured range from veteran professionals to high school students and all three teams won awards for their films.
Under the leadership of team captain Tom Paisley and his actor/director brother Bob, the Stickmen team created a bank robbery narrative staring Jerry Sims, events manager of the Alys Stephens Center in Birmingham, and Bob Penny whose film credits include “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Forrest Gump.” Their short film, “Drive,” had to include a car thermostat and be a buddy film shot in the action/adventure style.
The Insomniactive team, led by captain/director Kenn McCracken, produced a buddy film in the romance style which had to include a small piano. It involved two plumbers (Kevin vonHyning and Michael Shelton) working on a stopped up tub while four young ladies (Mia Frost, Shanda Bizzle, Melissa Bush, and Liv von Oelreich) discuss their romantic relationships in the adjoining room.
The team Soppy Suit? (The question mark is a part of the team name.) consisted of four young men who were still in high school when the documentary was shot. Daniel Sheinert was team captain/director and Zach Rucker produced, “Brax to the Max,” starring Stuart Webb and Jake Bridges as two brothers caught in a power struggle. The film had to include a clothespin as well as film noire and sitcom elements.
Stuart Webb and Zach Rucker are now students at the University of Alabama.
In all, 44 teams participated in the Sidewalk Scramble visited in this documentary. All of the films were required to include a body of water and a sunrise or sunset. Those requirements were made particularly challenging by the approach of Hurricane Dennis over the weekend.
“With 70 mph winds and torrential rain approaching, these teams created entertaining films under a lot of pressure,” said Shores. “As you watch the teams work on their films from behind the cameras, you’re not sure how they’re going to turn out. But when you see the completed films, you can understand how everything came together to tell three great stories.”
“Scrambled Films” is a production of the UA Center for Public Television and Radio, a division of the College of Communication and Information Sciences.
For more information:
The Alabama Moving Image Association
Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival
The University of Alabama Center for Public TV & Radio
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