This post is about one minute films or as the appropriate heteronym would have it, minute films.
The Filminute International Film Festival is back once again. They pose the question, "what makes a great one minute film?", you can read the responses on their Blog. I agree with Ekow Eshun (Artistic Director, Institute of Contemporary Arts - London) when he says that a great one minute film should last longer then a minute. The beautiful thing about working in this Bonsai medium or rather Penjing Photoplay is being able to extend above and beyond the simple gag technique. Of course you can have a gag or twist (As is so prevalent in many vacuous short films that would better suit being one off comedy sketches on T.V. See the One Joke Film note from Filmmaker's post on D.U.M.P.S) but you also can make far superior use of the contextual spectrum and push the satirical envelope in the manner of cartoons found in Britain's Private Eye but also using a similar stringency of design found in Punch magazine.
A short film that ends with a gag is like someone telling a long winded joke that finally arrives at the punchline but unfortunately long after you've lost interest, whereas in the one minute medium you can add sufficient enough timing to produce films worthy of clever puns or anecdotes. I love working within the confines of one minute, it's the future of filmmaking, and I'm only partially jesting when I say that because attention spans are shrinking so much these days that about three minutes is all many people are able to fixate on when it comes to short films. This is unfortunate but it works on the Howard Hawks principle of knowing a film is too long once your arse starts getting itchy.
The deadline for Filminute is August 20TH 2009. You must submit your films electronically and not submit works that promote any commercial product. There is no cost involved in submitting your film, only data usage on your Broadband plan, so take a minute to pop on over to the submissions page here.
The Jury is usually made up of filmmaking biggies and previous posts of mine on Filminute can be viewed here and here.