Local talent rolling into action 

60 filmmaking teams battle it out

What: Filmmaker Showdown

When: April 18

Where: Telus Conference Centre

Tickets: $15

Building a set hanging from a ceiling then attempting to eat breakfast upside down with cereal and later milk streaming down from the cartons, but inverting the shot so the audience doesn’t know the subject is upside down is just one example of a filmmaker’s imagination in overdrive.

The creativity behind Robyn Taylor’s I Have Mitosing Cells, the Best of Show winner at last year’s Filmmaker Showdown, was both bizarre and brilliant – two qualities imperative to winning the Telus World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s filmmaking competition, which challenges teams to produce a film within 72 hours.

"You’ve got to stock up on coffee and have an original idea," said showdown host Ryan Edward Harris, offering some tips to this year’s competitors.

"Don’t be afraid to do something different. Don’t be afraid to take a chance."

Anyone who has witnessed the top eight films competing for the title of Best of Show and $10,000 worth of prizes knows the 72-hour exercise in crisis management is all about taking risks. Last year more than 60 teams competed for the top-dog spots. This year even more are expected. Eight finalists will battle it out at the Showdown Gala April 18 at the Telus Conference Centre, where a panel of industry professionals crown the winner.

So why would anyone be willing stay up for 72 hours straight, producing, shooting and editing a five-minute film? Death wish? The ultimate adrenalin rush? Fame?

"You do it because you are going to have a film at the end of it," Harris said. "You start on Friday and by Monday you have a film and you force everyone on the block to watch it. That is an important thing for a filmmaker. It gives them confidence. It gets them to do another and another (film) and that is the whole spirit of the festival – to get films out there."

Harris should know. He was the inaugural winner of the event five years ago, taking home bragging rights for his flick The Last Cigarette.

The film was later aired for the Directors Guild of Canada. Many past showdown filmmakers were able to use their film as a calling card, leading to other projects and festival screenings.

The Showdown is the granddaddy of Whistler’s filmmaking events, which are beginning to proliferate in our mountain town through the B-Grade Horror Film Fest, ArtDrenaline, Whistler Film Nights and the Whistler Film Festival’s Whistler Stories.

"People have the opportunity to get their work shown here – in a big city it’s a struggle," Harris said. "The showdown has been a great catalyst. There is a healthy creative community here. Having this surge, the contest, it filters into the possibility of making films that can be shown."

This festival jewel sells out every year with more than 1,000 filmgoers in attendance. Advanced $15 tickets available at www.whistler2006.com.

Readers also liked…

Latest in Arts

More by Nicole Fitzgerald

© 1994-2019 Pique Publishing Inc., Glacier Community Media

- Website powered by Foundation