I Entered the Colchester 60 Hour Film Challenge

Colchester 60 Hour Film Challenge 2017 - RELENTLESS short film by Stephen Nagel

Those who know me know that I love the art of film. I studied film as part of my undergraduate degree, and I run a movie blog where I write and manage the content of a number of contributors. But all of these things are theoretical, and after spending so much time talking about film, I kind of missed making it.

Myself and colleague Dean have been working on a few scripts which we’ve submitted to local production companies and agencies; we’ve worked on a few short films in the past, took part in a global film project called Breathe Easy, but that was almost 2 years ago. I’ve spent quite a portion of my freelance years working on commercial projects for private clients, but now I was itching to get back to some creative film making.

Colchester Film Festival 60 Hour Film Challenge

Enter the Colchester Film Festival’s 60 Hour Film Challenge, which is a global event open to everyone, anywhere. The organisers send each team that enters a film title, line of dialogue that must be spoken in the short, as well as an action that must be executed. The idea then is to use this brief to write, shoot, edit and submit a completed short film (under 5 minutes with credits) within 60 hours of commencing the challenge.

We got our brief at around 10 PM (SA time) on Friday September 1st, and I submitted the final version of our short film, RELENTLESS in the early hours of the following Monday morning. Without further ado, here it is:

After receiving our initial brief from the organisers of the Colchester Film Festival, we ended up spending the next hour coming up with an idea that we decided not to go with anyway. In a haze of coffee and bad puns, we landed on a concept that focuses on how we as human beings take our time for granted; and more importantly, how one wouldn’t do that if they were acutely aware of time… all of the time.

I’m quite proud of this project, and even though I spent most of my weekend working on it, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Filmmaking has always been a very collaborative art, so I have to give credit to the friends who helped get this project off the ground. Dean Ravel wrote the script, while Elana Bailey starred in it. Haniefa Mooideen did the amazing make-up work, while Garth Wicomb and Sharna Hector helped out on set.

Once the winners of the challenge are announced, I plan on re-cutting the film to do a bit of a director’s cut on it. With only 60 hours, and me being a compete perfectionist, there are things about it I now see can be improved. But who knows, I may just move on to the next project on my list.

I’m just really happy top be creating films again, as I feel like I’ve been so busy with the rest of my life and work, that I haven’t given myself the time to do what I really love doing. So here’s to many more filmmaking projects to come!

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