Local Films Shine in DC Shorts
Who says that movies can only be made in Hollywood? These days, anyone with an iPhone can shoot crisp HD video. Editing can be done in iMovie, of course. And you could distribute your version of Citizen Kane on Vimeo.
So, why should movies only be produced in a narrow little slice of California? Like with television networks and newspapers, this is a situation that's bound to change, thanks to the advance of technology.
I believe that Washington is going to be at the forefront of that revolution. We have all the elements of a successful movie business - a powerful creative community, organizations that make films already (Discovery, National Geographic) and a highly-educated, technologically-adept workforce.
For the example, the short film Relative was originally shot for the 48 Hour Film Project, another home-grown example of moviemaking in DC. Produced by the Washington Improv Theater (WIT), it demonstrates that you can make a funny and cute movie with the most mundane of elements - regular commuters on the Metro.
Films from WIT and 48 Hour have fed into DC Shorts over the years. They're training grounds for filmmakers, providing the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to make a movie.
An example of the more formal training opportunities available in this region is The Man with the Bolex Movie Camera, a film that was produced by film school students from American University. It cost only $500 to create.
Finally, in October, the Mid-Atlantic's largest screenwriting conference, ScriptDC, offers writers the chance to learn how to write a screenplay.
This range of films, events and organizations represent merely the nucleus of a growing film business in Washington. We're still catching up with technology, adapting to the changes that have occurred in just the past few years. I believe that we're approaching a tipping point, where moviemaking will occur in many places across the nation, not just Los Angeles.
The DC Shorts Film Festival runs from September 8-18. Get your tickets!
Joe Flood is a writer and photographer from Washington, DC.
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