Weeks before the world went wobbly, some brave creative companies snapped up their places to compete for charity in straight 8 shootout
. They signed up to make a film in one of the hardest ways on earth: edited in-camera, on one roll of super 8, with no post-production, and to see it - warts and all - for the first time ever on a big screen at Cannes during Lions week.
Cut to today, and as if that wasn’t hard enough, straight 8, their partners - APA
, Cinelab London
and Machine Shop
- and the cohort of entered creative companies have all agreed to take the challenge to the next level: shooting only in strict isolation.
Jenny Beckett, managing director, Partizan, comments: “Partizan is absolutely thrilled to be involved with straight 8 this year. At its core, straight
8 is a creative challenge, and 2020 is proving the biggest one yet for our industry. Keeping the competition going is a comforting reminder that life can and will go on when this is all over, and of the resilience of our industry. The added challenge of completing straight 8 whilst in isolation will add a totally new dimension to the films and inevitably really test the creativity of the filmmakers."
Everyone agreed to defy the odds and premiere on 25th June, the same day the real world premiere was booked in for Cannes, all without breaking isolation guidelines. They know they'll be stripped bare, with no crew, no location shoots, no craft services, just the power of great creative and can-do thinking.
straight 8 founder, Ed Sayers says: “I love the fact that this amazing group of companies, where Davids meet Goliaths head on, has signed up to this now even harder version of our already-stupidly-hard challenge - this time without compromising the lockdown. We can’t wait to see what gets made, who comes out top and we wish everyone luck and a great experience!”
The first time anyone will see even their own work - no matter how, or even if, it came out - is at the premiere live online, with the world watching. During the stream, entered companies will cast their votes, not voting for their own film. The winners will get an iconic camera trophy made by shootout partners Machine Shop, and will get to donate prize money to the charities of their choice.
Sorcha Shepherd, managing executive producer, Caviar London, comments: “OK, so we are stuck in isolation, which can be looked at in two different ways. One, we could choose to give up. Sit and eat ice cream and watch Tiger King on repeat. I’m not judging, I’ve been there! Or two, we could say, fuck this, we are creative people, we are problem solvers, we have stories to tell and we will not be defeated by these four walls. We are going to embrace the bizarre freedom there is in having these parameters set for us & we will deliver films that will inspire, evoke emotions and create a sense of togetherness. Because even a global epidemic cannot stop creativity.”
Confirmed companies include: adamandeveDDB, Caviar, Dog Eat Dog Productions, Iris Worldwide, JAM VFX, Partizan, Rockhound, Thomas
Thomas and VCCP (all from London), Blur Films + 24/7 (Madrid office), Yolafilmo Productions (Barcelona), Groundglass (Cape Town), Mr+Positive
and Nion (Tokyo), Gloria Content and 432 Films (Los Angeles). There is space for just a couple more companies to join in, click here to apply by email.
Adrian Bull, managing director, Cinelab London, comments: “We process hundreds of films each year, from 70mm down to super 8, with recent films including 'No Time to Die' and 'Wonder Woman 1984', and yet still one of the most exciting projects we are involved with is straight 8. I’m very excited to see the ‘isolation edition’ entries, lots of opportunities for some post-apocalyptic films without the expense of stopping the people, traffic and planes! - But without going anywhere!!”
Any kind of creative company is invited to take the straight 8 shootout challenge, to make a two and a half minute short film created entirely in-camera on just one cartridge of super 8mm film. Every shot is taken in story order, with no opportunity for re-takes or editing. Any visual effects, colouring and titling must be done the old-fashioned way: as part of the shoot, with the camera. Super 8 doesn’t record sound, so soundtracks are made ‘blind’ and must be original. Entrants send their exposed but un-developed film cartridges to straight 8 partners Cinelab London who will process and scan the films. straight 8 will then line up each soundtrack with the first frame of the film. It’s that ‘simple’. 25th June will see the global premiere - live online - including the winner announcement.
Grant Hunter, global executive creative director, Iris Worldwide, comments: “The straight 8 industry shootout has always been about flexing your creativity within constraints. The added restriction of lockdown just adds to the challenge. We’re pumped to be involved again. Bring it on.”