The creativity continued at Market Town Corner on Saturday 31st October, as we welcomed the team from the Cheap Thrills! Zero Budget Film Festival for a special Halloween taster of all things film-related. The festival has been operating annually in Loughborough since 2011 and in Sheffield since 2013, and provides an escape from big budget mainstream entertainment. Accessibility and getting involved are the name of the game, and filmmakers of all ages and proficiency levels are showcased side by side. With its emphasis on showcasing local talent and bringing people together through creativity, we couldn't pass up the chance to have the team bring the magic of low budget cinema to our Halloween weekend!
As well as film screenings and ad-hoc filmmaking support and advice, we also ran workshops on green screen, stop motion, and 2D animation throughout the day. The team had asked participants to come with a general idea of plot, setting, and characters, and any props they might want to use. These initial ideas were then worked into storyboards which transformed concepts in various stages of development into ones ready to be put into action. They were also encouraged to bring their own cameras, even if they were attached to a laptop or smartphone, so that they could be taught filmmaking skills they would able to put into practice after the festival was over.
Of course not everyone could bring a camera along with them, and participants had access to all kinds of filmmaking equipment, including several different cameras and an impressive 2D animation rostrum. But in keeping with the festival's low-budget, do-it-yourself ethos our filmmakers relied primarily on the humble pen and a lot of ingenuity - in fact it soon became apparent that a lack of resources can equal greater freedom to be imaginative and think outside the box!
The prize for the most inventive use of resources has to go to this amazing conversion of a simple peg board into an enchanted forest, complete with giant creatures and a suitably impressive castle...
Throughout the event, a pop-up cinema showcased the very best of previous festival entries, from one-minute wonders to laugh-out-loud comedy skits to compelling works that used dance or foreign languages to great effect. The films ranged in length and subject matter, but all followed the festival's entry rules: films must be under eight minutes in length, entertaining, family friendly, and have cost little or nothing to make. No doubt these films provided excellent inspiration for the aspiring filmmakers in the audience, as well as a welcome sit down!
The Cheap Thrills! team are now editing the raw footage from the workshop into complete films - the final versions will be made available for free online, so watch this space for updates on when they have been completed. With such fantastic imagination and talent on show at this event, we can't wait to see how the finished product turns out! The next Cheap Thrills! Zero Budget Film Festival will be taking place in spring of next year, so be sure to visit their website here to stay up-to-date with all the latest news.