Monday, June 04, 2007

48 Hour Film Project 2007 - The Awards

The Judges Awards were handed out last night, and while we did win the Best Writing award, that's all we got. The film that won Houston's overall award, "Morning Sickness" by XLAJ (I'll post a link when one becomes available) was very well done, and very deserving of representing Houston nationally. I have no problem with losing to that film.


Many of the other individual awards, such as editing and cinematography, left us scratching our heads. After watching all of the other films, we're not sure how we didn't capture one or both of those awards (all humility aside). There were a couple of others that I wouldn't have minded losing those two awards to, but the ones that DID win weren't as deserving. And the award for best soundtrack (one we weren't expecting to be in the running for), went to a film who's entire soundtrack was a loud, three-note tone, repeated over and over.

Bottom line is, that it's driven home again how arbitrary and silly these sorts of contests are. We have no idea who the judges are or what their qualifications are for judging a contest such as this. In the past, after having lost at numerous advertising awards shows for a long time, then finally winning, I remember how pointless it was when we finally won. It was external validation for work we did that we knew was good before we entered it into this awards process. This is the first real experience with that sort of awards frustration in the Film Industry, and I'm having to relearn this all over again.

The result of this realization is that it's silly and pointless to enter these contests expecting or hoping to win. They don't allow for you to produce your best work, and in order to win, you have to appeal to a very narrow spectrum (i.e., the more disgusting your film, the more laughs it will get). The one important thing we all got out of the 48 Hour Film project (and entering any sort of contest like this) is validation that we CAN do this. We CAN make well-written, well-directed, good-looking films. We can do it in 48 Hours under amazing stress. And while we more or less like our films, we know that they have serious flaws that are entirely the result of only having one crack at writing, shooting and editing it. We can look at our films and we know what the problems were.

So what we need to do now is stop 'practicing' with contests such as this. It's time to just start making films where we can put the time and care into them that will allow us to (hopefully) avoid most of the problems experienced in those contests.

Ultimately, I think I'm glad that we didn't do better in the judging portion of this contest, as I think that would have encouraged us to continue to put our efforts into projects such as these contests, rather than into something more substantial.

We're ready.

Let's get busy.

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