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Subsequent years, the Showdown has expanded. More photographers, more images, wildcard entries featuring gifted amateurs slugging it out with the pros. A quick look through Transworld Anything would have foretold the success of the idea to the mountain sport set all pictures, all the time and if imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, the Showdown should be blushing. You cant attend a mountain festival these days without stumbling over a photo show. Nice touch.
But what have you done for me lately?
Well, that was then, this is now. How do you keep the party fresh?
"It would be the kiss of death if people came back and it was the same old thing," Doug mused. "Thats why rigid events of years past have gone through their cycle of being well-attended and then forgotten about. Anything with a little bit of dust on it is gone. We have to make this festival the showcase of everything innovative. The key is to make sure events are designed largely by the athletes and artists."
Burning brightly on this years horizon is the Filmmakers Showdown, an event that wouldnt even have been technically possible just a few years ago. The concept is stunningly simple and the "Wow" potential almost unlimited.
"Were inviting everyone and anyone, amateur, professional or teams, to shoot and produce an original film in 72 hours." What could be simpler?
Jim Budge, Whistlers original video guy, and one of the people who helped flesh out the idea, explained. "Technologys changed everything. With an iMac and a digital video camera, anyone can make films that would have taken a huge editing suite just a few years ago. After a couple of hours instruction, my three year old daughter was mixing images with sound. Unknowns, kids with a great idea and a great eye will have a chance at winning this contest."
What theyll have to do to win is produce a finished, scored, four-and-a-half minute film shot in and around Whistler. Imagination is the key element in this contest. A review committee, headed by Peter Rowe, head of Canadas Directors Guild, will sift through the entries and choose the best six. Theyll be screened before a go-wild crowd who will, no doubt, influence a panel of judges charged with choosing the ultimate winner. With the techy-toys available on any worthwhile computer these days, you might find a compilation of the Best of Whistler films on a CD in your stocking this Christmas.
For those whose tastes run to films that take longer than 72 hours to make, Mike Todd is bringing a selection of films from last falls Sawtooth Film Festival. All of them sound great but two of them scream "Dont miss this."