Don’t be surprised if, over the next week and a half, you happen to see a number of sweaty, panic-stricken students dressed in oversized, red T-shirts, lugging camera equipment all over Santa Barbara. They’re just one of the 10 crews plucked to create the seemingly impossible: a 10-minute film in 10 days.
On Monday night, 10 local student filmmakers received word that the stopwatch had begun ticking. The Rosebud Digital Filmmakers Competition, also known as the 10-10-10 Project, is off and running with local student filmmakers vying for the honor of screening their swiftly made film on the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s closing night ceremony Feb. 8.
Inside the Santa Barbara Hotel on Monday night, the young winners milled about, meeting one another and waiting to learn the rules they must adhere to over the next week and a half. Besides their apparent giddiness, the gap in ages among the chosen winners was striking. Students from San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara High, Laguna Blanca High, Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara City College and UCSB all submitted a five-minute sample of their work, from which a selection committee with representatives from each school and SBIFF selected the 10 winners. From here, the filmmakers have 10 days to complete a 10-minute film abiding by these rules as stated on the festival website, www.sbfilmfestival.org:
Films must include: a) shots from opening night of Santa Barbara International Film Festival; b) a festival pass holder who becomes a character in the film; c) the line: “my heart beats so that I can’t hardly sleep”; d) a Santa Barbara landmark as a location; e) … a Film Festival sponsor, listed in our program guide, which will be handed out on Friday, as a plot line.
Next Friday, Feb. 6, each crew, consisting of no more than four students, must submit whatever work they’ve accomplished over the previous 10 days and wait while a jury consisting of director Andrew Davis (“The Fugitive”), Joe Medjuk (producer, Montecito Pictures) and screenwriter Jeff King determine the winners. Firmly planted in the eye of a hurricane, Artsweek caught senior film studies major David Lindsay on Tuesday night as he embarks on directing his own 10-10-10 feature for the festival, already titled, “Aceite de los Muertos.”
Artsweek: Now, you’re also working on “Twenty Licks” [title of the short film funded and created by students through the Film Studies Dept. over two quarters]. How’s that going?
David Lindsay: Oh… we’re behind. We’re still not done with principle photography yet, but it’ll get done. We’ve got so much momentum behind us, there’s no turning back. We’ll finish, but it’ll be a fun few weeks ahead of us.
What inspired you to take on another film?
It was kinda out of stupidity, but was more like peer pressuring. A bunch of us were all in the editing lab and Chris Mayer, the guy who won last year, was like, “Oh, you guys should go apply right now. You’re guaranteed to win.” So a bunch of us from the [Film Studies] 106 productions went ahead and applied.
What did you submit?
Five minutes from this silly little zombie movie I helped out on.
Can you tell me what your storyline is?
We have a shooting script up to draft five right now. It’s about a guy who is basically lucky his entire life and then one day that luck changes, all for the worst. He has the most unlucky day of his life and the world basically craps on him. There’s a unifying joke of bird poop landing on his shoulder every time something bad happens. Just when he doesn’t think he can get any unluckier, his luck returns and he’s saved from death. He learns the whole lesson about how he shouldn’t take luck for granted. (pauses) It’s definitely more comedy than it sounds. (pauses again) Bird poop, yeah.
Is directing something you plan on pursuing after you graduate this year?
It’s definitely keeping my interest right now. I’d like to pursue it to a certain degree in some way or another down the line. I’m definitely more interested in the post-production aspects of it. I’m a big fan of editing. … But with this project you’ve got to take everything from idea to conception to realization to completion.
So, what’s next from here?
I woke up this morning and kept working on the draft, which I think is what a lot of people did. I’m going to try and start shooting Thursday or Friday. I don’t want to have more than four days production. When all is said and done, it’ll come together and be a pretty fun little 10-minute movie.
The closing night ceremony will be held on Feb. 8 at the Granada Theater, in downtown Santa Barbara, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for students. For more information, visit www.sbfilmfestival.org.