Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007

72 and change

Festival’s sophomore year sends filmmakers scrambling

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Tom Fedor⁄The Gazette
Organizer Salyer McLaughlin (right) films Jason Streff, as he emcee's the distribution of team criteria at the 72 Fest Launch Party held Oct. 4.
With ancient proverbs tucked firmly in hand, 35 teams of filmmaking hopefuls were set loose on the streets of Frederick last weekend, charged with coming up with a creative way of incorporating said proverbs into an original short film.

And did we mention? They only had 72 hours.

The second annual 72 Film Fest Challenge kicked off with a launch party Oct. 4, where competitors picked their proverbs off of a wall.

Teams had until 9 p.m. the following Sunday to complete and turn in their films, all of which will be screened at The 72 Film Fest on Saturday at the Weinberg Center for the Arts. There, winners will be announced.

The event was founded last year by filmmaking associates Clark Kline, Jason Streff and Salyer McLaughlin, who wished to revive a Frederick-based film festival while providing opportunities for local filmmakers to hone their skills and garner more experience.

So far, amateur and professional filmmakers from the area are excited to show off their skills.

‘‘Sometimes it’s difficult to get people excited and here they could have a larger audience and the energy is good with other filmmakers there,” Kline said.

Participants doubled this year with the number of teams growing from 17 to 35.

‘‘Word of mouth was really good this year,” Kline said.

Seth Holmes of the eight-member Team Zissou, said he spent the weekend shaping a story around the Japanese proverb ‘‘If you choose two rabbits, you will lose both.”

‘‘Luckily, one of our team members had already flushed out the story idea 10 minutes after we picked it,” he said.

Hoping to start a videography business in the near future, Holmes tackled the project with his brother and several friends.

‘‘Half of the fun is accommodating the challenge of the festival,” he said.

Team Big Wave Media spent the weekend trying to wrangle the saying, ‘‘A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”

‘‘It was difficult to figure out what to do with the film because everyone had a different idea about what that meant,” said team member Mike Yamrus.

First timers, Yamrus and his teammates have experience with filmmaking and think their entry turned out really well, he said.

‘‘It ended up not being as stressful as I thought it would be,” he said.

One minor setback the team faced was securing the rights to some music they hoped to feature. In the end, they decided to create their own to avoid copyright issues, he said.

Kline and other organizers are also looking forward to seeing what the filmmakers have come up with.

Last year’s films ranged in rating and subject matter, and included comedies, horrors and all emotions in between, Kline said.

‘‘In the end, it really comes down to creativity,” he said.

The 72 Film Fest

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St., Frederick

Tickets: $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and students

For information:301-600-2828