The rules: Using three of a secret list of six required elements, participants have twenty-four hours to conceptualize, shoot, edit, and upload a three minute movie.
Viewing: Following the contest, all submitted films that meet the requirements, will be available for viewing and voting on Apple's website.
The top twenty-five entries will then be viewed by industry professionals.
Prizes: The winning teams of both the public viewings and the professional viewings, will receive MacBook Pros, Final Cut Studio 2, Logic Studio, and Shake.
My experience: I found out about Apple's Insomnia Film Festival about a week before the event. I immediately contacted some of my friends that I know are active and interested in film. Within a day, I had a team of four with room for one more.
We needed a team name, so I decided the best way to do it would be to take one word from each member and then meld them together to create an unstoppable beast of creativity and awesomeness. Thankfully, my plan did not fail me and we became Wicked Space Chupacabra Island. We will be fearsome.
I spent the rest of the week reserving equipment from my school's Media Loan department and procuring the software I would need to do this. This would be an excellent time to try out Final Cut Studio 2 and its new apps, I thought.
During the week, I added one member to the project- my brother. My brother was coming to visit me that weekend and I had decided, since he is a creative type (watch his video here), he would be able to help out on the video.
Signs of trouble started popping up almost immediately; one team member had to drop out because she would be at a play of some sort that day, and another had to drop out because he was unable to get anyone to cover his shift at work.
That left us with three- Me, my brother, and my friend who has no film experience, but is a fantastic photog. I sent a frantic text to another of my friends to see if he would be able to help, but alas, he had mid-terms.
Things were not looking good, but I decided to continue with it anyway.
The day of the event came and I had to get up at 5AM, because the list of elements were to be posted at 6AM. I wanted to maximize my time with the list, I didn't want to lose five minutes to a shower.
So, I showered at 5 and woke my brother up after I was done. He was groggy, but he got with it. After he was done, I woke my friend up, but she just moaned and went back to sleep. "That's okay," I thought to myself, "Colin and I can take a look at the list and come up with ideas while we're waiting for her."
The list was posted and I realized that it really wouldn't be too hard to incorporate those ideas into a movie, the real problem lies in coming up with an idea.
My friend, now awake, sat with me and my brother at my kitchen table. She clearly was not into this, as college kids, we're used to getting up at 9AM, not 5, regardless, I proceeded to ask if anyone had any ideas. Nobody volunteered any.
Finally, I came up wit one, that, in my opinion, was of the utmost lameness, but was an idea nonetheless. my brother and I proceeded to start laying out the general idea, but my friend just sat there. Then, just as we were about to start filming, she asked if I would drive her back to her dorm. I was mad that she was ditching me, but I obliged- she had a lot of stuff and it would be difficult for her to take it all on the bus.
When I got back, my brother were about to start recording when I discovered that I was not given batteries with the camera I had checked out. Thankfully, I had the foresight to check out an extension cable, but I would have to pick up batteries when Media Loan opened at 9 that morning- more time I lost for filming.
We shot what we needed to shoot at my apartment and proceeded to catch a bus toward school so that we could film and I could pick up batteries.
I pick up the batteries, but also another camera pack because they are unable to check out batteries alone. That's fine by me, I'll just store the pack at my friend's dorm and pick it up later. I texted my friend, but she responded that she was sleeping and that I shouldn't come by. I have a quiet anger.
Now I have to lug this pack around wherever I film today.
Not living on campus and not knowing anyone else that is awake and willing to let me use their power outlets, my brother and I head to the CAB (College Activities Building), so that we can plug in and charge up our camera.
After about an hour, I decide that we have enough juice and not enough time left to shoot, so we make off and head out on our filming journey.
The filming actually goes well. The area we were filming in had nice colors and the idea was simple enough that we didn't need any fancy acting. We finish up and head back to my apartment.
Upon arriving home, I plug in and fire up the software I'll need to use- This project will be epic; I'll be using three different pieces of software, all highly specialized.
I proceed to edit through the day, afternoon, and most of the night. I finish at almost exactly 1AM. I would've been done a lot sooner if one app didn't render such ridiculously large files.
The project is saved and exported, I go to Apple's submission web page and put in my credentials but, oh no, it says it won't let me upload my video because "there are errors" with it. I followed Apple's export guidelines exactly- there can't be errors! I shoot off an e-mail to their web team, set an alarm for 4AM and head to bed.
I had three fantastic hours of sleep. That sleep was, quite simply, the best sleep I've ever had, but I was rudely awaken by the obnoxious alarm I had set on my phone (if there are any iPhone owners reading, listen to the ringtone "Alarm." Yeah, I chose that. It was fitting, but was an incredibly stupid move because it nearly scared the piss out of me when it went off).
I checked my phone for an e-mail from the web team. There was one. It was unbelievably unhelpful. Thankfully, Apple had provided one other way for users to upload their videos. This other option let users upload the video to their own server and give Apple a URL. I didn't have my own server, but did realize that I can sign up for a free trial of .mac and upload it to my iDisk.
Ten minutes later, I had signed up and uploaded my video. Now time for some sleep.
Apple posted the videos to their website on Sunday and you can view mine here.
Vote for it and lemme know what you think.