Mel from Stirrup Queens has suggested a challenge be laid down "a la Stephen Colbert's green screen challenge".

So! Who wants to join in? The challenge is to create a short film about infertility and/or pregnancy loss, upload it onto the internet somehow (I used Youtube) and let me know where it is. I will link all entries here (although, of course, everyone will be quite free to link as much as they like as well). I'm going to set the festival date as... let me see... March 31st 2007. We'll watch, we'll enjoy, we'll laugh and cry, it'll be a day to remember.

So that's March 31st, 2007 - mark it in your diaries.

Now, you can make a short film in any way you want, from video, to hand-drawn stills with soundtrack (or even without), to archival footage (naturally used in such a way as to not break any copyright laws, even if you do choose to record it directly from your TV screen using a hand-held camera). But in case you want to do as I've done and use a computer game, here's a quick how-to.

I first heard about this technique through Modern Millie who told us about Decorgal's Standing Alone short on pregnancy loss (2006 release) *Warning* - short depicts near-term pregnancy/baby loss. Standing Alone was made using Sims2, but by following links to I discovered a whole range of computer games could be used this way, and I was struck with a sudden desire to piss about and see what I could do. After some research I decided The Movies would give me the most flexibility and control, and when I saw the game on special just before moving over, it seemed like it was meant to be.

The rest is history. Actually, the rest, as of this point in time, is a tiny short called "A Seasonal Reminder" but let's not split hairs.

Decorgal has a great FAQ all about making shorts using Sims2, and if you want to use The Movies, there's a pretty good in-game tutorial. There's also a forum somewhere, though I can't seem to find it at the moment, but mostly you can work it out by fiddling around and using the help menu. If you want to use other games, well, I can't give you any specific help but someone out there can. My biggest tip is don't try to script the movie first. It won't work. Play the game, build your sets, create your stars, gather your costumes, familiarise yourself with the available action sequences. Then get a basic storyline together, and write the script as you're doing the voiceover at the end. A few sound effects and you're done. It's pretty straightforward really.

Jules just alerted me to this free online taster, in which you can create a sort of online cartoon strip. (If it moves, it counts as a film, far as I'm concerned.)

I've been asked if you need to buy the computer game in order to use it like this, and you do (except if you're using the free online taster that Jules found, see paragraph above).

So March 31st guys - how about it? I reckon a few films is all we need! So who wants to do one?


Meg said...

Bea - Sounds like a great idea.. I have been collecting bits and pieces for just this reason, kind of a "how you were made" thing I guess.

God, the sims movie literally had me in tears. Couldnt have just been the Kate Bush track. What a cool way to use the game. I havent heard of this beofre. Very impressive.

Lut said...

I have a script in my head for a picture book for ART babies, but not the time to make it.

Vee said...

Excellent idea!
I'll be in if I get the time to pull it together. Sounds like fun.

MAX said...

cool...we're brainstorming already !

The Town Criers said...

I'm forcing Josh to do this--make the film curator actually make a film. I'm going to have him read your description and figure out how to do this. If not, I feel a music video coming on using the video camera...

I can't wait to come to the film festival too. Maybe do it a day or two earlier so people don't think it's a joke. April Fools is very big in the U.S.

Bea said...

Nice to see you come out of the woodwork Max, and I'd love to see something from Josh, too. I've been trying to convince Mr Bea to do something, but at the moment he says, "Probably not." I've only been working on him for half a day, though, and now you guys are in...

How about we change the date to March 31st then?


thetowncriers said...

I think the 31st is perfect.

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