Lights! Camera! Action!

September 20, 2005|by ROWAN COPLEY

A surfing documentary. A short musical about a butcher and an unappreciated housewife. A 10-minute experimental thriller. A three-minute silent film about President Bush's second inauguration parade.

Film buffs will gather in Frederick, Md., to see these and dozens of other films - local films, international films, feature films and shorts of all flavors - at the Frederick Festival of Film at The Weinberg Center for the Arts.

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the film festival will feature 17 films of many genres. On Friday, Sept. 23, the festival will screen the results of short films made during the 72 Hour Filmmaker Contest, which took place Sept. 15 through 18 in Frederick.

The FFF website (www.frederick describes the filmmaker contest as a filmmaking frenzy in which teams use "guerrilla filmmaking techniques" to create films within 72 hours.


The basic premise of this contest is that different groups of filmmakers are given certain stipulations - a location, character, line of dialogue, props or another aspect of moviemaking - that must go into their movie. Then the filmmakers have 72 hours to write, cast, shoot and edit their films. The purpose of the stipulations is to make sure that the films are made within the 72-hour time limit.

Clark Kline heads a Frederick-based team entered in this year's 72 Hour Filmmaking Contest. He helped make the film "Ides of September," which won last year's fimmaking contest.

Kline, 31, said he started his career as a filmmaker through writing.

"I wrote a book when I was 18, but I never did anything with it," he said. "I started making short (films) a couple of years ago.

"(With writing,) it takes months to get feedback. It isn't very instant. With films, the feedback is instant."

Kline is part of Fool Martyr, an "ultra-low budget production company" for making short and feature length films. Their Web site is

Fool Martyr's latest movie is a full-length feature, "Heads or Tails." Kline described it as "a dark drama, the story of a Native American myth and how it has been twisted throughout the years into something much darker."

Getting into filmmaking

Kline started making films about six years ago. He encourages teens to give it a try.

"The first thing you should do is get your hands on a camera. (I started making films) on an 8-mm cam which is what I could get for $400," Kline said. "Nowadays with that money you can get a digicam, which is a lot easier to edit. Basically, use anything you can get your hands on. Set up your own Web site."

Then what? Kline advised young filmmakers to submit their films to film festivals. One Web site listing film festivals is

Kline advised young filmmakers not to think too big at first. Start with the basics: a good story, interesting characters, simple props and sets.

"Anyone can go out on the street and make a film, but not everyone can edit it to tell a story," he said. "It can get expensive, so be realistic."

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