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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

FML Film Club

I’ve just joined a local film club. I’ve been extremely bad at actually making movies, and all I’ve done for the last few years has been to make tutorials, demos, and marketing movies. I’m always complaining that I don’t have time, or some other excuse.

The club is run by a guy called Jason Blanchard, who teaches film and media at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida (and also owns A Comic Shop which is, unsurprisingly, a comic shop, and which has a bar out the back called the Geekeasy, which makes him a damn cool person to know). He’s all about getting people to just make a movie, and he’s come up with a great idea.

  • When you come to FML Film Club you have to make a movie.
  • It has to be 60 - 120 seconds long.
  • It has to be based on a story from

If you haven’t encountered before, it’s a site where people submit ultra-short anecdotes about things that have ruined their day. (Warning, some of them are decidedly NSFW, particularly if you go to their Facebook page.) In a few sentences, they encapsulate a moment of exasperation, embarrassment or despair, which makes them perfect subjects for quickfire sketches or micro-movies. They all take place in everyday, familiar situations, so there’s rarely any need for complex sets, large cast, or even unusual costumes.

Here’s a typical example: “Today, my roommate asked me to lock the door as we left our place. I told her to use my keys, because my hands were full. Afterwards, she and her boyfriend set off out of town for the next couple of days. She forgot to give me back my keys. FML” 

Or: “Today, I got a call from an ex, demanding to know why my Facebook relationship status was set as married. I got married a few months ago, and I quietly explained this to her. My wife overheard and now thinks I’ve been cheating all along. FML”

Or how about: “Today, while parked at school, someone broke into my car by smashing the window. I called the police and they informed me I could drive it to the local station as it was an easy 2 minute drive. As I was driving there, I got pulled over for driving with a smashed window. FML”

Some of them are funny, some are mini tragedies. After just a few minutes browsing, I’ve already found the subject for my first movie, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t be able to shoot it in Moviestorm in an hour or two. (And yes, I know it’s probably going to take all day and I’m going to regret saying this in public!)

I’m really looking forward to seeing how my work stacks up against what his students are doing when I get to the first meeting in January. I’m guessing it’ll be the only animated piece there, and probably the only one which was made completely solo, without any other cast or crew. I reckon it’ll be a great way to get myself into the habit of finding the time to make movies for pleasure, even if it’s just a short while every month. And I’m going to be very intrigued to see how well it works using as source material. It means I’ll be focusing on how to tell the story, not on writing the script or what the story is. It’s purely about whether I can convey the situation, the characters and the plot in a fast, efficient and engaging way, and it’s a great way to practice some basic film-making skills.

(1) Comments | Permalink | Posted by Matt Kelland

Ricky Grove on 12/22 at 10:15 PM

Good luck, Matt. This group sounds like a good place to help you make movies. Nothing like a collective of dedicated people to motivate you. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

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