What: Panasonic Filmmaker Showdown
Where: Telus Conference Centre
When: Wednesday, April 21
What you’ll see Wednesday evening is only the tip of the iceberg that is the third annual Filmmaker Showdown.
Eight neat little 3.5 to 4.5-minute films will be screened. One will be judged Best Of Show and the people behind it will take home a mini digital video camera from sponsor Panasonic, valued at approximately $5,600 and the honour of having their work featured in a Global TV special to screen in December.
What you won’t see is the preceding 72-hour period of shooting and editing, pots of coffee, panic attacks and the mad rush to get the projects in on time.
It’s as intense as it sounds, but the extraordinary creative minds in Whistler are all about it. In fact, last year there was no $5,600 prize to fuel the fire, only love.
Last year’s winner was local go-go icon, DJ and general über-babe Ace MacKay-Smith, whose entry Weekend Warrior told a wryly funny story of a hapless would-be Cassanova using Barbie dolls.
As this year’s event draws near, Pique Newsmagazine tracked her down for a de-briefing.
On the gruelling process...
The hardest part was making the movie that short. After my first edit it was still, like 12 minutes long!
So that was the hardest part, making it that short. And staying up for three days.
I had a little bit of help. My brother put in some sound effects and another friend stepped in at the last second and helped me throw my voice dubbing in, but other than that I had to shoot everything myself and I couldn’t tag team the edit. Some people had a team so one person could sleep while the other took over. I didn’t really think about that.
I was just surprised more than anything. I just wanted to enter and then I was just so psyched when I got the call that I had made it into the six finalists. That made me almost the happiest of all because I was like "I get to watch the Barbies on the big screen!" That made me happy enough.
When they announced the winner, I kind of thought she was announcing a person’s name. So when she said "Wee-kend..." I thought she was saying Winnie, or Wendy or something. Then I realized that was me. So I was really surprised. Entertaining thoughts of entering again?
I’m really going to try. I have four or five ideas. I don’t have a problem coming up with ideas it’s just logistically pulling it off. I don’t have my own editing gear right now. A friend says I can use his stuff, but I have another job doing entertainment during the Big Air at the ski and snowboard festival; I have a lot more responsibility than any other year, so I’m just a little freaked out about taking on too much stuff.
But I’m going to try to do it. One of my ideas is to do it without editing. Try to do it in the camera. So I may decide to do that one so I don’t have to edit.
On the response the film has received and the film’s misinterpretation as a feminist manifesto...
I’m getting good response from females who live in ski towns!
The idea had nothing to do with anger toward guys. I think Terry David Mulligan asked me something about it being a feminist statement and I was like, oh no, no! Basically the idea revolved around the props I had for the Barbies. I had to come up with a story that revolved around the props.
Any advice to potential entrants?
That may help them win! And there’s a prize this year!
What’s the best advice? Whatever your idea is, make it shorter! Right now, make it way shorter than you think. I thought I had an idea I would have to stretch. I had four scenes and then the ending. It’s way shorter than you think. It’s like a long commercial.