Filmapalooza 2011

First up… some people are a tad confused as to why I’ve called this blog post Filmapalooza 2011, and not 2012. No, I haven’t forgotten what year it is (surprisingly!) – it’s just that the competition is for films we all did LAST YEAR. Given that our film was shot and competed in the 2011 national competition, it made sense to label the blog post 2011. Hope that makes sense! Now… on to the blog…

What a fantastic and exciting few days it’s been! I have literally just flown back from the beautiful New Mexico town of Taos – in which we were attending the 48 Hour Film Project International Competition – strangely named Filmapalooza – in which our film, The Script Machine was competing.

We were fortunate enough to win best film in the 2010 Melbourne 48 Hour Film Project competition, and got to head over to Miami for the screening (you can read all about it here) – so it was such an honour and a privilege to be able to attend once again. We had a few technical hiccups in Miami, but I’m very pleased to say that this year everything went exceptionally smooth – and we had such a great time just hanging out with like-minded filmmakers from all over the world. Although we had a terrific time in Miami, I have to say, our experience in Taos far exceeded our expectations. It’s a beautiful town – and all of the filmmakers seemed a lot more relaxed and friendly this time round.

Taos is a beautiful little town, in the north-central region of New Mexico, with around 4700 people living there. Just up the road is Taos Pueblo, a Native American Village and tribe, from which it takes it’s name. When we first discovered we would be heading over to New Mexico, we didn’t really know what to expect. Based on comments on Facebook, we knew it was snowing – but that’s about it.

Newcomer to LateNite, Michael Shanks and I (Chris Hocking) – flew to LA from Melbourne last Thursday. After a fairly painless flight – we then took another much, much smaller aircraft from LA to Santa Fe. It was only once we were in the air that we realised, our pre-arrange airport pickups were actually scheduled to be from Albuquerque – so as soon as we got off the plane – we quickly did a shout out to the other passengers to see how exactly we get to Taos. Luckily – someone was able to call up someone, and get a shuttle bus to pick us up. This was our first experience of just how friendly and helpful the locals were. Two hours or so later we were in Taos.

The township of Taos itself is just jam-packed with shops and galleries selling all kinds of artwork, a few museums, beautiful restaurants and pubs, and well – that’s really about it. It’s a real artist community – with a real multicultural feel. The town itself is stunning – with some really unique architecture. The best way I can describe  it, is that it looks like of like Egypt – most of the buildings have a sand-look and texture, with completely flat roofs – but with snow. At first I thought that everything had a Pueblo Revival style, but upon further investigation, it seems that the buildings in Taos are really made up of all different types of architectural styles. Surrounding the town is stunning snow-covered mountains.

Almost as soon as we arrived, after checking in to the lovely Kachina Lodge, we headed to the 7pm screening on the Taos Shortz program.

Our of the ten films that screened, here are our favourite films:

Name City Type Description
Eso Te Pasa Por Barraco Spain Animation A hungry guy prepares a nice romatic dinner for himself and chooses the worst possible menu.
La Mujer Del Hatillo Gris Spain Dramatic Fiction A woman walks with a grey bundle on an emotional journey to her prisoner husband.
Sunshire USA Documentary An American commercial producer travels to China to make a TV Commercial
46 Miles USA Comedy Fiction You would be surprised how many things 2 men have in common on a lonley desert highway.

Unfortunately that was the one and only Taos Shortz screening we could fit in – as the 48 Hour screenings clashed with everything else.

You can find out who won the Taos Shortz awards on their website – however, we do want to do a massive shout-out and congratulations to Blue Tongue Films, for winning Best Comedy with their amazing short film, Bear – the sequel to their equally amazing film, Spider. These guys are kicking butt internationally – which is pretty exciting, and they are almost single handedly revitalising the Australian film industry! We’re big fans!

There were a 100 films from all over the world attending at this years competition – and first up, I must say I am so impressed with all the hard work everyone put in. Last years films were pretty amazing – however, I feel like the bar has certainly been raised. There were more films with television level production quality, more films with complex crane and dolly movies, more films with powerful and emotional soundtracks, more films with crazy visual effects. We didn’t win anything – however that’s not really much of a surprise – as our film was completely an utterly mental, as I’m sure you’ll agree once you see it.

Before I list any of the winners – and list our own picks, here’s some geeky film stats of what the city winners used in terms of cameras and post software.

Cameras Used:
56 x Canon DSLR
12 x Panasonic
9 x Sony
2 x Red camera (FYI: we shot on a RED ONE, as did Little Rock)
1 x Nikon DSLR
1 x Go Pro

Edited With:
63 x Final Cut Pro
10 x Adobe Premiere
4 x Sony Vegas
4 x Avid
1 x iMovie
1 x Final Cut Express
1 x Final Cut Pro X

It’s pretty clear that most people, regardless of where they are in the world are using Canon DSLRs and FCP!

And, with the geek facts aside, here are the official winners from this years Filmapalooza Competition.

The Judges Criteria:
45% – Artistic Merit (e.g., Story, Creativity, Entertainment Value)
30% – Technical Merit
25% – Adherence to the Assignment

…and the winners are:

Best Film
Honorable Mention for Directing
Best Editing
Best Special Effects
“In Captivity” by Jpixx Films from Hampton Roads (VA)

Runner Up for Best Film
Best Directing
Best Writing
Best Use of Line
“My Darling, I’m So Sorry” by so36portraits from Berlin

Best Cinematography
Best Graphics
“Page 23” by Arts, Houben & Van Den Boogaard from Utrecht

Second Runner Up for Best Film
Honorable Mention for Writing
“Canh Ba Ba” by Yeti from Ho Chi Minh City

Best Acting – Ensemble
“Casse geule” by Collectif 109 from Paris

Best Acting – Individual
Jason Perini in “A Little Bit Behind” by The Magnificent from New South Wales (Australia)

Best Song
“Oh Drama” by White Poison Industries from Des Moines

Congratulations to everyone listed above! As with every festival – at the end of the day, everyone has a different view on which film they like best – and it’s a huge job to pick a standout film from 100 unique films from all over the world. We certainly don’t envy the judges job at all! However, for your viewing pleasure – for those that weren’t following our 48 Hour Twitter Feed – we made some notes as to which films we liked best from each screening, and thought we’d share them with you. How did we come up with these picks? We rated each and every film a score out of 10. Every film starts with a 5, and then if the sound is horrible, we minus two points instantly. For every good quality (i.e. cinematography, graphics, performance, etc.) we add points, for every bad quality we remove points. Not exactly scientific – but it works for me!

In order of preference, here are our picks from Screening One:

Film City Team
Bird Watching Philadelphia Alpaca Pictures
48 Horas Despues Granada The Leg Breakers
Catharis Lisbon Marafados

Here are our picks from Screening Two:

Film City Team
The Auctioneer Baltimore Ping Kong King Pong
I M. Sing Mumbia Aapan Yaana Paahilaat Kaa
No Record Austin Invenio
The Vis It Amsterdam Hazazah

Here are our picks from Screening Three:

Film City Team
Sexy Tuesdays London Wilder Films
Prey Singapore Waesome Productions
Storytime Time Louisville Team Team!
Baden Krunk Madison Smoking Monkey

Here are our picks from Screening Four:

Film City Team
The Jigsaw Glasgow LifeUp!
Nanny Cam New York Magnet Digital Media Engine
No Country for Young Men Prague BulvarART

Here are our picks from Screening Five:

Film City Team
Jack’s Last Fandago New Orleans King Cake
Summer League Richmond final.revised
Pakkuri-san Osaka Something in Japanese

Here are our picks from Screening Six:

Film City Team
Cold War Houston Moonlite Filmwerks
The Labyrinth National Film Challenge Audience Award Clockwork
Wrong Taco Shop Las Vegas Light Forge Studios
Doutora Sao Paulo PLOT
How The Spot Was One San Francisco Chinese Takeout
True to Life Israel Top Less Productions
Casse gueule Paris Collectif 109

Here are our picks from Screening Seven:

Film City Team
Click. Flash. National Film Challenge Winner Trifecta / HeatStroke
The Prince’s Perfect Party Atlanta White Flame Studios
A Little Bit Behind Sydney The Magnificent

So what was our favourite film? That’s a really tough question! Our favourites were:

Film City Team
Sexy Tuesdays London Wilder Films
Jack’s Last Fandago New Orleans King Cake
Summer League Richmond final.revised
Cold War Houston Moonlite Filmwerks

And I think, after much deliberation, I would have to go with the London entry for my personal best film. It’s slick, has great production values, and is incredibly funny. However, my travelling partner Mike – personally would give the award to the Sydney team (which did end up picking Best Actor). I’m sure you all have your favourites!

You can find all the other films that screened on the official website or via this handy Google Docs Spreadsheet. It’s also worth checking out the Filmapalooza 2012 Facebook Group.

UPDATE March 2012: Also, here is a list of all the films that are fortunate enough to make it to NAB and Cannes! Congratulations everyone!

Cannes Film Festival – Short Film Corner – May 2012
Atlanta “The Prince’s Perfect Party”
Berlin “My Darling, I’m So Sorry”
Boston “One Step Forward”
Hampton Roads “In Captivity”
Ho Chi Minh City “Canh Ba Ba”
Houston “Cold War”
Johannesburg “Child”
Las Vegas “The Last Taco Shop”
New South Wales “A Little Bit Behind”
Paris “Casse Gueule”
San Francisco “How the Spot Was Won”
Richmond “Summer League”
Utrecht “Page 23”
“Bliss” Australia 2011 48 Green Hours Winning Film

NABShow in Las Vegas – Thursday, April 19
Berlin “My Darling, I’m So Sorry”
Des Moines “Oh Drama”
Denver “Unfurnished”
Hampton Roads “In Captivity”
Ho Chi Minh City “Canh Ba Ba”
Louisville “Storytime Time”
Madison “Baden Krunk”
Paris “Casse Gueule”
Portland, OR “271”
Prague “No Country For Young Men”
Shanghai “The Model”
Tel Aviv “True to Life”
Utrecht “Page 23”
Washington, DC “Relative”

After a hugely successful seven screenings – it was time for the official after party in a beautiful Taos triple story gallery. It was a very classy occasion, with free food and alcohol on offer – and a great final chance for all the filmmakers to mingle and exchange stories.

Once Filmapalooza wrapped – Mike and I spent a final day in Taos to explore the town a bit more, and do some tourist shopping. And then, almost as quickly as it started – it was time to go home.

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped make Filmapalooza happen – especially Nicole Haddock, for ensuring all the technical elements of the screenings ran smoothly. Big thanks also to the Taos Shortz staff for making our stay so enjoyable.

We also wanted to thank EVERYONE who helped us with our own film, The Script Machine. We couldn’t have asked for a more talented and dedicated team of professionals. We will release the film very soon on our website – so stay tuned!

If all goes to plan, we’re going to try and tackle the Sydney, New Zealand and Melbourne competitions this year – as the challenge to complete a film in 48 hours is just too appealing! Follow our Twitter feed for details. Until next time…

Onwards & Upwards!


8 Responses

  1. Jac Kee
    Mar 08, 2012 - 04:44 PM

    Thanks mate, we really appreciate your support! And I really agree with the rest of the choices… especially your film, which is kinda missing eh? :D Pride brother!!! :D

    Love and cheers… drop us a line if you ever drop into Singapore mate. We’ll swing you around the good food :D

    • Chris Hocking
      Mar 08, 2012 - 09:59 PM

      Thanks Jac! Will definitely be in touch if I’m ever at your side of the world.

      Sadly, although I did rate our own film – it didn’t work out to be in the top list – I only gave our film a 7 out of 10. Oh well!

  2. Paul Gowers
    Mar 10, 2012 - 01:01 AM

    Hi Chris
    You’ve made my day! We couldn’t come to Taos and so felt like our film had disappeared into the ether a bit if you know what I mean. Really glad to hear you liked it even if the jury weren’t so keen. Sounds like you had a blast out there! I couldn’t find your film online but would love to see it sometime. Of the ones I have seen A Little Bit Behind really stood out. Cheers, Paul

    • Chris Hocking
      Mar 10, 2012 - 11:27 AM

      Glad to hear it! I was a massive fan of your film – so congratulations! Love your website by the way too.

      Hopefully we’ll post our film up by the end of next week. Stay tuned!

  3. Brook Aitken
    Mar 10, 2012 - 09:07 AM

    Great film you guys and great blog, thank you!
    DP- “46 Miles” & “Unfurnished “

    • Chris Hocking
      Mar 10, 2012 - 11:39 AM

      Thanks Brook! It was such a pleasant surprise to see “46 Miles” again as part of the Taos Shorts – as I was a big fan of it last Filmapalooza. Congratulations on taking out the Denver competition two years in a row!

      I was also a big fan of “Unfurnished” – great acting (just like last year), looked fantastic (I love the F3!), seamless visual effects, cool concept – just one of those really solid films.

      For those that haven’t seen it:

      Hopefully we’ll both make it to LA next year! Keep up the good work!

  4. Chris Hocking
    Mar 13, 2012 - 09:33 AM

    For anyone who’s interested, here are some great video blogs someone else did covering the festival:

  5. Liz Langston
    Jul 29, 2017 - 02:21 PM

    I just ran across your blog – all these years later. I really enjoyed reading it. I hope all is going well and I’m glad you liked Taos.


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