Saturday, September 08, 2007

Oakland Film Festival Wrap-up

Attended the first North Way Oakland Film Festival last night. I was pretty impressed with many of the films. Of the ones that I can remember, Robin Rd., a black and white film noir, had nice framing and lighting. Wanted, which won best short film, was a neat concept. (It also featured Shawn Smith, who I previously worked with on the Assassin's Creed video.) Erie, which may be my personal favorite of the night and won best documentary, featured two friends riding their bikes 130 miles to Lake Erie in the middle of a 19 degree winter weekend. Although the filming wasn't particularly spectacular you'd be hard pressed to find a cinematographer that could achieve much better in a gray Pittsburgh winter. The story and it's stars were funny and endearing.

The night also included a handful of self-portrait pieces that featured 45 second stories by each director who were not able to maintain a shot longer than a few frames. They were frantic, sometimes funny, and captured a wide range of hobbies, experiences, or beliefs.

One of my fears of a church holding a film festival is that they are going to limit what's being shown to clean, G rated, 7th Heaven style stories. North Way however, showed films with a whole range of subjects that you'd be surprised to find in a church. There was a documentary on a father hoping to win custody of his child and a short film featuring a guy who has been sleeping with a girl for months and is terrified to discover she loves him.

The general tone ranged from serious to very serious, so my only critique is that a bit more lighthearted selections would have been appreciated. Nintendo Office ending up taking home a prize in the Misc. category. That makes the quickest video I've ever made now the most successful, which is hysterical.

Great job done by Lindsey, Mike, and the gang down at North Way Oakland.

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