We held a very analogue filmmaking workshop at the prestigious D&AD Festival, in London, 24-26 April 2018.
Morning 1 was led by me and Will Cummock of straight 8 and Ciné Reportage. The group created a film together using just one super 8 cartridge, with only in-camera editing. No advance ideas, equipment or experience were necessary, just total up-for-it-ness. Using Jeff Zorilla's 2016 Cannes straight 8 film 'Tortillas
' for inspiration, the group made a risky and experimental film using rewinding techniques to double expose the film, and shoot in-camera split screen...
A Nizo 6080, geeks
Will exits closet darkroom
Meanwhile, John Mahtani of Cinelab London personally took the film to be processed at the lab...
It's all in that box
Morning 2 was led by Ed Critchley and Gary Downing from Leland Originals. The group created their film's soundtrack - even though they hadn't seen the film. Musical ability was optional, joining in was compulsory and no computers were used as the 3.5 minute soundtrack was finally recorded as one single take - with no edits, mixing, overdubs and other fiddly fiddling shenanigans...
Ed Critchley of Leland Originals
Single takes only, no edits
On day 3, we saw and heard the film, 'Split Personality', for the first time, at its global premiere, with the D&AD Festival audience, as part of my talk... 'straight 8: Happy Accidents in Filmmaking and Embracing Them'. Even we had not seen the film so no-one knew whether it had come out or not - and it had.... Very well! So congratulations to the group and the team for making it work!
The premiere - shortly before we all found out the film worked
We had a blast and so did everyone who made the film. The premiere was as raucous and nerve-wracking as any straight 8 premiere.
This was the first straight 8 workshop for a long time and we'll be doing more of them.
Now, watch 'Split Personality' below - and remember when you do: straight 8 is one of the hardest ways on Earth to make a film... It's about accepting imperfection, embracing accidents (happy and less so), being creatively playful and open, and losing that crippling fear of judgement. You find that when you do all that, it's amazing what can happen...