This is my brain on spontaneity.

Nothing kicks the fight-or-flight imagination into gear like the possibility of huge prizes. Okay, I’m half kidding. Let me back up a bit.

Last Thursday, I discovered the My Rode Reel video contest. Rode is a well-respected mic company, and I actually put my trust in them when I bought my Rode shotgun mic. Good thing I made that investment, because being a Rode user qualifies me to enter their contest. Huzzah!

The deadline is June 1. I discovered the contest on May 12 without so much as a concept for a short film. But tomorrow night, May 20, I’m going to be filming one with a completed script, two local actors, catering order placed, and lights/sound tested.

You can probably imagine it’s been a hectic week.

Hectic but JOYFUL. EXCITING. After gleaning a pretty cool base concept from my best friend/writing partner Greg, I mulled over how I could make a film that 1) had a beginning, middle, and end in three minutes, 2) used two or fewer actors, 3) could take place entirely at my house, and 4) could be filmed in less than one night. On top of the whole no VFX/no complicated makeup or wardrobe choices/no props or new equipment that we’d need to go out and buy/etc. And hey, I did it. I wrote a script that met that criteria. I found two professional actors who are graciously willing to donate their time for free. I’m giving myself a week to edit it, then we’ll be online. I’ll be sure to post it when I’m done.

This contest is special because just by entering, your film will get a good bit of exposure. Your fellow entrants/other people interested in the contest will likely check out your work. But the real factor that kicked a fire under me are the ridiculously generous prize packages. 4K cameras? Microphones for days? A year of Adobe Cloud, which is literally the next thing on my budget to buy because it is almost a necessity for my business but I can’t afford it yet?

Just winning a technical or a genre award would give me a huge boost. It would give me the tools I need to satisfy a much broader swathe of customers, to learn techniques I’ve been meaning to try (motion graphics, color grading, anything else in After Effects), and would allow my business budget to focus on some other wish list items. Winning the Judge’s Choice or the Female Filmmaker Award would be a dream come true, and would launch my business into an entirely different stratosphere. Imagining how my business could grow, survive, and expand is really what fueled me to get this done in such a short time frame. And even if I win absolutely nothing, I will have produced a short film to put on my portfolio and perhaps send to some festivals. That’s pretty awesome in itself.

So thanks Rode, for inspiring me to get out and make something. Sometimes I can fuss too much over planning and perfection. But this will hopefully prove to me that even a film completely produced in two weeks could be something to be proud of.

5 thoughts on “This is my brain on spontaneity.

    • I don’t know if my little horror film can compete with the big guys telling the really deep stories with the really high quality cameras, but I’m gonna give it my best shot. You never know. I’ve studied the previous winners so I hope I grasp what they want.

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