Aug 10, 2007

A Chill in the Air on CitizenShift

When I received an email from CITIZENshift in regards to a project I did back in January 2006, it took me by surprise. A Chill in the Air was an experimental film that I made for the Make Shorts, Not War contest. The goal was to take a pacifist perspective and by using footage of WWI provided by the National Film Board, create a message of peace. Overall, the experience was incredibly rewarding. My film was shortlisted as part of the English top 10 out of 280 submissions across Canada. Each week the public voted online, eliminating 2 films a week until the final 4. A Chill in the Air made it to that final round.

In the end I didn't win, but until checking on the CITIZENshift site I had just been using the 'top 4' credit for the film. What I found out though is that I actually came in 3rd place (perhaps 2nd place in the popular vote?). The 1st place film was the one that received the most votes (people's choice), the 2nd place was jury's choice (judges/organizers of the contest choice), and my film is listed as honorable mention (the leftover, haha).

The 7 other submissions are listed as finalists. Throughout the contest I was featured in the news in my hometown of Medicine Hat (a small city of 60,000 people). So if having a bunch of strangers vote and share feedback on my film from across the country wasn't enough, being in the local news ended up bringing me back into contact with people from high school who were suddenly seeing my name again. Of course, there was also a great rallying of support from my family and friends who undoubtedly made my experience such a success.

That winter in 2006 was a pretty eventful one for me. It was interesting to be reminded of that, and to rewatch my film again after all this time when I was contacted for an update for the CITIZENshift blog series 'Where Are They Now?'. My answer was, and is, simple enough: still in film school.

Here is the blog entry from CITIZENshift.


Anonymous said...

I believe you came in second with the voting. Your piece has honorable mentions or something like that beside it. I think it was a conspiracy, b/c a week before the contest they told us that the second prize was a jury one, and surprise surprise they picked one from Toronto where the NFB is located. I think they never wanted to pay for you to move out there and live. But thats just me.

Editing Luke said...

i should've mentioned too, you were right there in the end in the final 4 as well mr. hobo. when the results came in i did get the feeling for both our sakes that they did manipulate the rules in the middle of the contest to save some money and not have to pay for the winners travelling to toronto. In the end it seemed like they were stacking the deck against the 2 regina guys for the 2 toronto guys, otherwise they would've stated the way the contest was going to work from the start and then kept it that way.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to know.