YA. As a busy individual who programs film festivals and events across Canada do you ever have time to work on your own art practice? I know you participate in the OTS8. Is there anything else you are working on right now? AR. Programming consumes the majority of my time. There’s a lot to be said for watching 1,000 films a year. I still learn a lot from watching all of the new OTS8 films. My own practice remains in Super 8. It’s a medium that still captivates me, and the scope of production fits my lifestyle. There are larger projects that I think about, but I honestly feel there is so much great work by others that people are not seeing, my work as a programmer is rewarding in bringing audiences to those films.
audience buzzed to see what is likely the most un-commercial of films they’ve ever witnessed. It says something about the power of the mediumthat a group of strangers will get together to watch an OTS8 film, whether it be at the RPL theatre, a warehouse in Montreal, or a converted automotive shop in Fort Lauderdale. I’ve met a lot of great people through the OTS8, which has been the biggest reward.
YA. What have been your most memorable films and experiences with the OTS8? AR. Seeing people who didn’t aspire to be, or see themselves as filmmakers, create a 200 second film that many established filmmakers would have been happy to make themselves. I think Charlie Hill’s film from last year’s Regina event is a perfect example of what the OTS8 can accomplish. His stunning verite observation of his co-worker at the mail sorting facility, made with the help of his sons Eric and Ryan, remains one of my favorite films. Regardless of the city, it’s always a thrill to have a packed
YA. As a programmer of festivals what advice would you give new filmmakers on helping them get their films screened in a festival? AR. Make good films. That sounds deceptively simple, but its true. There’s no magic secret. If your work stands out from the rest, festivals will want to screen it. With that said, not all films work for all festivals, even if they’re good. Filmmakers need to invest the same passion and effort into promoting their film as they did in getting it made. Each festival has its own mandate, and filmmakers should research which festivals are good fits for their
YA. What advice would you give to a new participant of the OTS8? AR. Plan, plan, plan some more. Having a clear idea of what you want to accomplish can’t be overstated. Then have fun. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.
film, and prioritize a list. Being organized helps. If a filmmaker doesn’t have the time or ambition to promote their own film, they should consider using a distributor to help get their film out to the public. YA. Is there anything you would say to people who have had their films passed over at a juried festival? AR. It’s just one festival. There’s plenty more out there. Audiences will let you know what they think is interesting and programmers are not always right. YA. Some participants of the OTS8 have screened at other festivals without their knowing the films have been submitted. We could believe it is the one-take fairy, but how does that submission process really work? AR. It can work in many ways. Sometimes it happens that a film is seen at one festival, or on a compilation DVD, and programmers want to pick it up for other festivals. But a
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filmmaker should never count on their film having its own life. Distributors can play an important role in getting films seen without consuming the time of the filmmaker in the submission process. Festivals should always have the permission of the filmmaker to screen their film. YA. Rumours have been spreading about the fate of the OTS8 event. Some people thought it would end with OTS8 2008 because of its catch phrase “Eight is Enough.” Some think 2010 might be the end. Do Regina one-takers have to worry that there is an end in sight or will this creative outlet be around for a while? AR. People thought it would end after the first one. What is it about Regina worrying things will end? I found it interesting how people interpreted the ‘Eight is Enough’ tagline. For some it signaled the end. But I thought the more important meaning was that 8mm was all one needed to make
film. That bigger and better wasn’t necessary. The OTS8 was always conceived as an incubator of new films. I know many people rely on the OTS8 in order to have the reason to make a film, but I wanted to take the fear of production away from people. I thought if they realized how simple it was to shoot a three-minute reel of Super 8, and have a complete film that could play to audiences, that it would inspire them to do it on their own. I hope that the OTS8 isn’t a crutch for filmmakers, where they only make a film because of the event. The Filmpool has Super 8 cameras available 365 days a year and can help with providing film stock. I don’t know what the life cycle of the OTS8 is, but I hope it will spur filmmakers to continue to make films for their own enjoyment. The success of the OTS8 would be if we could stop the event and all the past participants continued to shoot new one-reel films and show them wherever they could all the time.v
Winter 2011 Splice Magazine 9
Winter 2011 of the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative's Splice Magazine