Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 10th 2013 Contents And then
there s the valu-
able strategy of
of content con-
they re young.
A festival of
sounds like just
the lure to
fights at school so
they can be captured in shock clips to narratives that
express their feelings in more accessible ways.
"We have a mandate to reach out to communities,"
Carla Foderingham, CEO of the T&T Film Company
(TTFC) told the small audience assembled for the
"And that includes secondary schools."
Eligible films will have been captured on either
smartphones or tablets and will be no longer than
five minutes in length. More detailed rules, regulations
and restrictions will be published by the TTFC on
its Web site and on a dedicated site for the project
that will also serve as the contest s upload point for
"I grew up with a phone that you dialed," mused
TTFC Chairman Christopher Laird.
"You spun a dial for a number, waited, then did
it again. Now we are looking at phones that not only
take pictures and video, but can also edit them."
Dominic Koo who confessed to not actually owning
a smartphone, offered up Missed Call, a short chase
film shot on UWI s campus that showed not only
the possibilities of the medium, which can be quite
urgent and rapid-fire, but also its limits, as the film
moved into evening and finally night and the device
struggled to work with diminishing levels of light.
Koo edited his film using Adobe Premiere, and
contestants in the festival are not constrained from
using professional products to finalise their projects
That means brings sophisticated tools like exposure
compensation and colour grading to the table for
any potential filmmaker to use in crafting the best
possible product from their captured footage.
Koo suggested that participants explore trial versions
of professional software as well as free editing tools
to work on their projects.
That s an opportunity to not only bring big guns
to bear on their footage, but also to become familiar
with the tools of modern digital filmmaking.
"We want to do something that has the potential
to be fulfilling for a creator and to allow them to do
so without having to spend a lot of money on equip-
ment," said Foderingham.
When it comes to doing an ambitious project with-
out any funding to back it up, the TTFC is talking
from a knowledgeable place. On Friday last week,
the Smartphone Festival had no sponsors and no
Carla Foderingham would like to see the content
on Caribbean Airlines, on national television, on the
fast ferries to Tobago and San Fernando and on long
haul buses, but given the enthusiasm those suggestions
have stirred, it s more likely that the films that emerge
from this new effort will end up where most smart-
phone films thrive, on the Web.
And with luck and some skill, get viewed the mobile
devices of local audiences keen to see themselves
interpreted by a new generation of cinematic auteurs.
Read an expanded version of this column online
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The folks at the T&T Film Company
didn t miss an opportunity to plead
the case of local content at the launch
of the Smartphone Film Festival.
Right from the start there was the
plaintive, accusatory wail of Muham-
mad Muwakil of Freetown Collective
to remind the audience of the current
situation. "I want to see me on my TV,"
Film Company executives have hint-
ed, cajoled, accused and generally court-
ed local media to provide space for
more locally produced video content
and the response has been so negligible
that it might be charitably described
With the Smartphone Film Festival,
though, they may be, by design or acci-
dent, embarking on another track, one
that s actually more in harmony with
today s trends in content consumption,
which bypasses traditional media
entirely in favour of direct to consumer
driven channels like YouTube and
The no budget video contest
Christopher Laird, chairman of the T&T Film
Company speaking at the launch of the Smartphone
Film Festival. PHOTO: MARK LYNDERSAY
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