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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

On the Fly

posted by on June 11 at 12:44 PM

SIFF’s annual Fly Filmmaking Challenge—in which filmmakers are given 1 hour to choose a location, 7 days to hack out a script, 4 days to prep, 3 days to shoot, and 5 days to edit a short film—has always been one of the festival’s most, um, creative offerings. And today, at 4:30 at the Egyptian, is your last chance to see it at this year’s fest.

The participants for 2008 were:

Megan Griffiths, writer-director of 2002’s First Aid for Choking.

Rob Cunningham, short filmmaker and winner of The Stranger’s first—and only (why the hell haven’t we done this again?)—short short film contest, “Peep.”

The duo of Joe Shapiro and Andy McCone. The former is the editor of Rob Devor’s Zoo,, the latter director of a “poetic black and white eccentric silent film” (according to press notes) called Rent’s Due.

And rounding out the event is a documentary by Cheryl Slean (past SIFF premiere Diggers), which chronicles (kinda) the making of this year’s films.

Of the four films shown, Rob Cunningham’s grimy black & white End Zone, about a robot schooling Death in chess (and other games), was definitely the sharpest. Slean’s doc Creativity in Context, which kicks off the presentation, is funny, and captures the chaos of cooking up a short film on such a tight deadline. And Shapiro’s and McCone’s sorta sci-fi Shut Eye features some inspired office drone choreography, as well as the freakishly talented Basil Harris. The weakest of the bunch, Griffith’s Moving—about put-off dreams and life on the sidelines—isn’t quite able to wrangle its ambitions in such a tight format. But star Lynn Shelton (director of this year’s My Effortless Brilliance) has eyes that are hypnotic, and she absolutely nails the challenge of an emotional one-sided phone conversation.

The event is worth checking out—especially since it’s one of the shortest offerings at the festival this year.

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This just cries out for YouTube ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 11, 2008 2:41 PM

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