A cake, an extreme close-up, and the line: “now there are two of us”. These are the three entry requirements of the Sixty Hour Film Blitz, and up till now the public’s only clue as to what exactly will be appearing on the big screen. The film festival, which saw St Andrews’ talent shooting all around town last weekend, comes to a close tomorrow (8 March) with the open screening at 7pm in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre, where 24 three-minute films will be presented and judged in various experience- based categories, by a panel led by Matt Lloyd, director of the Glasgow Short Film Festival.
“Difficulty breeds creativity,” says festival director Allain Daigle, “under difficult conditions you can only make amazing things”, and the organisers have upped the pressure on their competitors with the newly introduced artistic requirements, within an already hectic time limit. Each of the teams were told the three necessary thematic components last Thursday on hour one of the event, which lasted until midnight on
The Film Blitz website explains that all films which place this Friday will also be screened at the Half Cut Student Film Festival, the largest festival of its kind in Scotland, at the St Andrews-based awards night on 11 April.
“You should expect some genuinely good things, and a few so bad that they’re good” claims Daigle. “It’s always amazing to see the stuff that people can put out in such a short space of time. And you’ll laugh – not always for the right reasons – but you’ll still laugh.” The Sixty Hour Film Blitz, marking its third annual event, was initially funded by the £5,000 grant donated by the St Andrews 600th anniversary initiative. Many of the entrants have been attending Blitz-arranged lectures by Los Angeles filmmaker Nicholas Economides, as well as utilising the filmmaking equipment offered by the organisers. Ré Pictures, the University filmmaking society, are also reportedly making more resources available for budding movie makers in the future,
with cameras and equipment set to be on offer to any ambitious students from the beginning of next year.
“I always get itchy to make films, especially in St Andrews, which has great character and amazing weather,” Daigle imparts, “as a tip for filmmakers I’d say focus on your story. You’re going to run into lots of technical problems; you might have fuzzy audio, and you might not have DSLR footage, but what people will connect to is what you’re trying to say.” And of course: “be wary of audio. The wind. It is very windy in St Andrews.”
The free entry screening and award presentation runs from 7pm to around 9:30pm this Friday (8 March) in the Buchanan Lecture Theatre.