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Making movies, making songs and fighting ’round the world


This weekend I done made a film. Not one of my ‘special’ movies that the restraining order says I can’t send to Belinda Carlisle any more, but an entry for the SCI-FI-LONDON 48hour Film Challenge.

I didn’t really mean to enter, it just sort of happened. After taking some piccies of the cinema full of eager faces ready to run away and make MOVIES! for a weekend I sat down with some of the other volunteers and accidentally grabbed a title, prop idea and line of script from the bags – in order to ensure that the films were made over the weekend we provide those three pieces of information to be used in each film. It was rather an interesting combination with a throw-away title (XY & Zed) but a prop and line that worked naturally together:

  • Prop – A box of 5 ring doughnuts
  • Line – At some point you have to just stop, give it up.

I spy with my little eye a film about me eating doughnuts. In space. Jokes were made, I vowed to make it, handed out a script editing credit and promptly forgot about it. I then wandered off to the Prince Charles Cinema for an afternoon of dodgy sci-fi – Push. I think I can blame Push for my considering the idea of a 48 hour film further, as its plot was so nonsensical and internally inconsistent that after a while I stopped trying to keep up with what was going on (although, I think it’d make a great Heroes style TV series) and started pondering what I could do with my title. Unfortunately a grain of a thin and not great idea started growing, and by the end of the film I decided to have a go at making one myself.

So, after a ‘script writing’ session on the tube, the purchasing of eight doughnuts (they come in boxes of 4 or 12…) and a bit of script editing due to not being able to use iMovie’08 very well, I ended up with a ‘film’. It has 3 shots, 4 people credited and lasts almost exactly 5 minutes. I ended up reshooting the middle shot this morning, allowing a small amount of beard growth and also a slightly better (but still not all that great) take, and I now have (thanks to the POWER OF APPLE!) a DVD of ‘XY & Z – A Team Billy Production’ sitting on my coffee table ready for submitting.

I can’t win anything and I’m not even eligible to be entered into the judging, the peril of being a festival volunteer, but it’s been a rather fun thing to do of a weekend. Next year I’ll have to join a proper group (although my being tainted by touch of SFL volunteerdom will probably nix that idea) rather than shoot three short video blogs about a slightly Nic Cage inspired theme, and have already had interest from someone to help out. I like making movies, no matter how rubbish they probably are, so I think I should start doing this more often. I’m still not sure whether I should submit my low-res, me on screen babbling attempt at a short film to the festival, but it has at least made me think a bit.

All I’ve got to do now is learn how to write scripts, shoot and act…

I’m sure I’ll stick it up online sometime. Contains unshavenness, silly hair, a knife, a pink doughnut and one scene of mild hand flappiness. Certificate U – Unsuitable for viewing by anybody


Comment from Liz
Time 20th April 2009 at 6:35 pm

hee. you are welcome to join us in our fumbling attempts at film making this summer.

Comment from billy
Time 21st April 2009 at 5:55 am

That would be rather awesome. You might here from me…

Comment from scifigene
Time 22nd April 2009 at 11:26 pm

Hey, I didn’t get to see x y & z at the screening event. You should upload it however it turned out, we will shortly do this with our entry, the un-shortlisted Too Much Too Soon.

Comment from Molly
Time 25th April 2009 at 10:57 am

I second scifigene’s motion that you must put your film online. I was very disappointed that the screening was split into two rooms, with the result that I only got to see half of the 48 hour challenge entries.

If anyone’s interested in having a look at our team’s entry, it’s on youtube at:

Comment from billy
Time 25th April 2009 at 11:28 am

My film is up online, but I’ve been hiding it…
It’s on vimeo if anyone wants a look.

Comment from Molly
Time 26th April 2009 at 6:57 pm

Just watched XY&Z, and I enjoyed it. FWIW, I didn’t think it was bad at all. (In fact, I’d even go so far as to say I thought it was pretty good!)

Comment from scifigene
Time 27th April 2009 at 8:52 pm

That was cool – sorry you didn’t get to enter it!

Comment from billy
Time 27th April 2009 at 11:19 pm

Ta muchly to you lovely people who liked my attempt. I might even tell other people about it 🙂

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