Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tropfest Australia 2013 - Review of Finalists

Tuesday 26th February 2013

Okay I've sat down and captured my thoughts around the Australia Tropfest 2013 finalists. Here is what I thought of each film.

Great Day - well the story behind this film certainly made it look like a good day for the main actor. I didn't mind the story on the second viewing. Was hoping for a little bit better production around the slow motion effect. Looked like it was shot in someones garage.

Let It Rain - I think most guys can relate to this film. Adult in body, child in mind. Loved the ending and I think that is what makes a great Tropfest film, keep the audience guessing to the last minute then let them visualise why you imply.

Time - This was my favourite film. Beautifully shot and the acting by the young cast was fantastic. Couldn't really fault it. Was glad that the young boy won the male acting award of the night. I see a successful career for him in the future.

Scene 16 - Professionally shot with some great acting. This film reinforced the fact that I should never date an actor.

Monobrow - I think most people can at least associate with this film is some way. The film leads the audience down one path and then takes you a completely different direction. Nice use of a song to assist with the story as well.

Inside - Thought this was creative film and great use of visuals to get it's point across. Again, some well known Australian actors assisting to create a worthy finalist.

The Pledge For Mr Bunny - Really struggled with this film. Just didn't get it. Appears that it was crowd funded as there was a stack of people noted on the credits. That's all I can really say. Cross referencing Facebook firends with the film makers and that of staff at Tropfest really makes me wonder how this made the final 16.

Cash Cow - Certainly had a few chuckles with this flick. But how can your average film maker compete with bringing in such well known TV personalities into your film. Well shot and complimented with some good acting.

Cargo - I have been watching a lot of The Walking Dead lately so didn't mind this zombie movie. With minimal dialogue we are taken on a journey that goes from bad to worse. A very nice "carrot and stick" analogy which allowed the film to progress through to the end.

Taser - This film reminded me of Momento, one of Christopher Nolan's first films. The earlier scenes of the story are played back more and more and you start putting together the pieces until you have the full story. Professionally shot with the main actor appearing in one of the recent Underbelly mini series, this film has highlights some issues around policing in NSW and the use of Tasers. Some very powerful scenes in there.

Punctured - What a simple little film, but loved it. With not a spoken word in sight it took us along for a fantastic ride. Loved the animation and the soundtrack. Well within my top 3 so glad it made it.

Better than Sinatra - As I've worked in Sydney for 15 years I have seen this guy, Raymond Borzelli, do his thing in a number of locations. We used to refer to him as "Dancing Man" and have vivid memories of him dancing at the food court at the back of Australia Square. I see him all the time when I go for a walk through Hyde Park. This is a very honest documentary. A very worthy recipient of the 2nd place.

Remote - Rather disappointed with this film. Whilst nicely shot in a rather exotic location I was left a little deflated once I realised the film was over. And coming from a previous finalist I was expecting a little bit more.

The Hustle - I enjoyed watching this film. Clever use of misdirection where the main protagonist leads you in one direction and then in the final moments the other side to the story is played out. The first in a couple of out of work "Sea Patrol" actors to appear in Tropfest this year.

A Man Walks Into A Bar - this to me is a film that is ideal for Tropfest. Small amount of actors and the film is based purely around a situation and good use of dialogue. Enjoyed it watching the second time through and picked up on a few things that I had missed on the first viewing. Was probably made on a small budget which if is the case another win for the short film maker.

We Have All Been There - thought that the film was well shot and had some well known actors. I certainly like Laura Wheelwright in this along with her previous role in the movie Animal Kingdom. Some of the other actors were familiar faces in Australian film and TV. Certainly shows how competitive Tropfest has become in use of professional actors. Disappointed though in hearing this film was based on other work. Surely for a 7 minute short film people can come up with something original.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tropfest Australia 2013 - The Finalists and other thoughts

Sunday 17th February 2013

For a number of years I have wanted to submit a film to Tropfest. And for Tropfest Australia 2013 I finally did. I had great enjoyment in realising the dream. Though I didn't get shortlisted or become a finalist I can still be immensely proud of what I had achieved. Tonight the 16 finalists will have their films shown with one of them taking the ultimate prize.

Now looking at the finalists what sort of people was I up against? A quick analysis of the directors involved; 3 have been Tropfest finalists before, 13 are trained in the industry and 11 work in the industry. That I would say is pretty tough competition. I have absolutely no formal training, nor do I work in the film/TV industry. What I do have is passion of films and a belief.

Whilst the winner is announced tonight it won't be until late March when full rights to my film, "Last Flight of The Madhu", is returned to me. It's at that point I will have great joy in letting the rest of the world watch it.

I feel quite lucky that we live in a time when anyone can post a video for the whole world to see. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo offer your average Joe the ability to post your material. I look forward to looking at the viewing statistics. Where people are from, how they found the video etc.

So how will I get people to watch the film? I think an easy way is to post it on the usual social sites such as Facebook and Twitter and have friends of friends watch it. I will also rely on people who participated in the film and their circle of friends. What sort of numbers of viewings should I target? Do I be realistic or aim for lofty hieghts? 

Time will tell.