2011. Year 6. Beginning and Ending Frames aka The Game of Telephone.
Each team was given a starting frame and an ending frame consisting of stills from previous 72 Film Fest entries. We then strung them together in order creating a wonderfully surreal flow to Friday Night. Watch all of the entries bleed into each other below.
The final in our “inspiration” or “influence” cycle when we asked teams to be inspired by each other. Our initial idea for this was the game of telephone, as represented by the poster with someone whispering a secret or rumor into one ear. The hope was to have a night that flowed completely with ending frame of the first movie blending into the beginning frame of the next entry and so on. It would create a unique flow, a 4 hour experimental film. A few teams dropped out so it didn’t QUITE have the flow we wanted, but it was close. We launched at a brand new space – Artomatic Frederick’s top floor and teams randomly chose numbers and received a beginning and ending frame.
We always have teams that drop out. We kind of knew it would happen, we just didn’t know how many. So we knew we’d have some gaps in the beginning/ending frames. Originally we were planning on doing last minute films to fill in those gaps. That way there would be nothing missing and the 4 hour experimental film of all the filmmakers together would be “seamless”. However…it was clear we weren’t going to be able to schedule the shoots after film turn in. We have basically only a few hours free one night between Sunday turn-in and Friday Screenings and that is typically used to tie up loose ends and make sure things are going to work. To shoot and edit that night would put the whole thing at risk…but serendipitously we heard a rumor being whispered around…
We were ending our six year cycle of themes, but a rumor started that this was actually the final year of the Fest. That maybe we were hanging it up. We didn’t start the rumor, but when we heard it, we didn’t exactly stop it either. We had questions ranging from “Is this your final Fest?” “Is Clark or Mikael or Tim or soandso quitting?” etc, and we decided to run with it with the hosts Mikael and Doug’s short “The End”. In “The End”, Mikael and Doug hear a rumor that Clark decided to sell the Fest to the highest bidder, “Popcorn”, and it was up to Mikael and Doug to raise enough money to buy the Fest back before it gets broken up and destroyed. J.T. Smith played the representative of “Popcorn”. We wanted to play with the 80’s “Save Something” type movies (One Crazy Summer and Breakin’ 2 among many others) with a gang of peeps banding together to save something that matters to them from the evil clutches of a corporation. Mikael and Doug enlist the help of a “serious actor” Jeff Keilholtz to pitch sponsors of the value of the Film Festival in hopes to raise enough money to save it. Improv actors from DC came down to Frederick and donated a day for us to play various charities and corporation representatives in the conference room at Cultural Arts Center, and we broke the story/scene while everyone was chilling. This story would loosely continue in 2012’s “The Horror” and 2014’s “The Producer”.