Friday night saw a sell-out event for Screenplay as the hugely popular Home Made hit the screen. Film lovers of all ages crowded into Screen 1, eager to see what local film makers had been up to all year, writes Genevieve White.
The first Home Made event of the festival was 4 Minute Wonders. This year, film makers had been given free reign with subject and genre. The only stipulation was that films had to be no longer than four minutes. This remit made for a pleasantly fast moving and varied programme in which the audience enjoyed music videos, action films, comedies, a monster movie parody and some rather disturbing found footage of the last moments in the life of a US forestry worker.
Screenplay curators Mark and Linda Kermode and Kathy Hubbard warmly welcomed the audience and allowed film makers a minute each to speak about their films before the screening. What followed was a series of short, self- effacing statements, prompting Mark Kermode to wish that “Oscar speeches could be a bit more like this”.
The evening got off to a mellow start with the atmospheric Bonfire: a music video for Eve Maguire’s song. It was shot in Weisdale tree plantation and produced through a collaboration by UHI and Shetland Arts’ Video Production Class and NHC Music students. Further musical interludes would occur later in the evening thanks to Jono Sandilands and Heavy Metal Buffet. The latter’s video (for Semperfi’s Take Me Home) featured a strangely familiar group of zombies wandering the streets of Lerwick in a horizontal hail storm.
A strong comedic thread ran through Home Made. The hilarious Ool’s Gold, by sisters Freya and Emma Deyell, showed what a little “mucking around on a tablet” can achieve. There were many chuckled at the hapless Ool’s attempts to protect his newly found bag of gold from the clutches of a dastardly burglar.
Work from young film makers group Maddrim Media was in evidence throughout the evening. Those hoping for the group’s trademark surreal humour and madcap plot lines would not have been disappointed. In Logan Nicolson’s Jurassic Parts a strait-laced museum worker wakes up part-man part-dinosaur after being hit by a truck. As if that isn’t bad enough, a dinosaur hunter is in hot pursuit. The ensuing chase round the narrow aisles of the Co-op had the audience roaring with laughter.
In between the belly laughs Shetland Parkour provided a moment of quiet lyricism. This film was inspired by the Don McCullin exhibition which visited Shetland earlier this year. Northern Lights Young Ambassador’s beautifully shot film explored the Shetland landscape through the eyes of Parkour practitioners, providing a real insight into the challenges and rewards of Parkour.
Home Made 4 Minute Wonders concluded with the fantastic Curse of the Bruck Monster, a film which combined comedy, special effects wizardry and a sobering environmental message to great effect. JJ Jamieson’s film is a parody of 1950s monster movies (in this case the monster is formed from the fag ends, plastic bottles, cans and crisp packets which are unthinkingly chucked away by the film’s characters). A huge hit with the audience, this was declared the favourite film of the evening in the vote which followed.
Home Made 4 Minute Wonders was a thoroughly entertaining evening which celebrated the creativity and originality of the Shetland film making scene.
Shetland film development had been the subject of a Screenplay event earlier in the week, when Shetland Arts’ General Manager Graeme Howell had facilitated a conversation about the future development priorities for film in Shetland.
The audience of film makers discussed the need for more regular opportunities to showcase their work, possible networking opportunities and useful subjects for future film making workshops.
Film events featuring work by local film makers are hugely popular in Shetland. If the ideas discussed at Wednesday night’s Film Development conversation bear fruit, Shetland audiences can look forward to many more outstanding Home Made treats.