Two weeks ago Cinema Geeks, a Denver-based filmmakers' group, was chosen as one ten teams tapped to participate in the International AR.Drone Film Festival. The teams were each given a theme, a genre (they could choose between action, commeday and suspense), three AR.Drone 2.0 quadricopters and ten days to produce a film.
"We chose comedy, because that's kind of what we usually choose," says Brad Stabio, director and producer at Cinema Geeks. "We have a good group of comedians and writers that have a lot of background in that."
The theme they were given was "eye in the sky," and they were required to use some footage from the quadricopter's camera in the 2.5 minute film. So they transformed the idea of a drone, which can be associated with spies and undercover agents, into a time-travel machine.
But just because they had a lighter genre doesn't mean they didn't work hard. "We might have chosen a harder topic," Stabio admits. "We have like twelve to fifteen costume changes in it. Our idea was that the quadricopter sends our main character back in time so he gets in all kinds of funny situations. But with two and a half minutes, you have to kind of roll through those fast."
The Cinema Geeks crew had participated in various 48-hour and 24-hour film competitions in the past, but having ten days didn't make this project any easier. "The reason we do 48- or 24-hour projects is because we can shoot it and edit and you're done with the film in two days and we're all happy, and it doesn't take a lot of out personal time to make a film," Stabio says.
Scheduling and motivation can actually be tougher with a less insane deadline. "The lucky part was that a lot of us had some time to do it," he adds.
Stabio hopes the comedic story will set Cinema Geeks apart from other groups in the competition. "We wanted to come up with a simple concept that we could tackle in two and a half minutes and not be brain-dead," he says. "We picked kind of a simple idea that we can write some funny stuff with and accomplish some funny situations, then our actors kind of take it over from there and have a really good time."
Cinema Geeks uses such experienced actors as Chris Grundy, host of Blog Cabin and Cool Tools on DIY Network, and Jordan Leigh, who starred in the four-year run of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at the Denver Center.
A $10,000 prize will be awarded the winning team at a ceremony in Paris on November 6; two members of Cinema Geeks will be attending. Afterward, there will be an online competition where viewers can choose additional winners.
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