GearJunkie contributor T.C. Worley reported from The Vail Film Festival, an annual four-day event in Vail, Colo.
As if making a decent short film in 48 hours isn’t enough, try doing so in a bustling vacation town during a festival weekend and with equipment you’ve never used before. That was the challenge set before the contestants in Olympus’ “PEN Your Short 48 Hour Film Contest,” a filmmaking sprint at the Vail Film Festival in which teams were outfitted with a Pen E-PL2 digital camera from Olympus to shoot a short film in just two days.
I covered the contest last week in Vail. Some of the teams relied on a great script. Others leaned heavily on camera and editing skills. In the end, 15 teams out of 20 completed and handed in a finished film. From “snow ninjas” to a fictional town looking to become a sister city to Vail, the films were nothing if not original. Some were wildly entertaining as well.
One of the more outdoorsy films was an odd and humorous spoof piece by Jesse Hoff and Kendra Knapp. The short, called “The Ancient Rituals of the Odaroloc Tribe,” jabs at the ribs of the current-day “snow-gliding culture” in a fictional anthropological look back from the future. “The Ancient Rituals of the Odaroloc Tribe” did not win the contest. But if you like to point downhill on some sort of snow-gliding device, then you’ll enjoy this comical short, which is viewable here on YouTube.
Other films included documentary-style looks at the Vail Valley, as well as several slightly twisted love stories. A pro skier attempting a comeback from an injury is another subject. But only one team could win the contest’s $5,000 purse and new Olympus E-PL2 cameras. That went to Bujin Productions, a Colorado-based squad led by brothers Austin and Maitland Lottimer. They scooped top honors with their film “Running Colors,” a dreamscape story of a painter finding his inspiration in a very unexpected way.
All of the films were shot with a $600 Olympus camera, the Pen E-PL2 model. The little digital wonder captures 1080HD video and features removable lenses. As a pro photographer, I was impressed with the spitfire Pen camera, and its image and video capture looked impressive. (Watch for a full review of the latest Pen camera in the near future.)
As for the contest participants, congrats and thanks for the sleepless nights and action-packed days you put in for the entertainment of us all. If you think you’ve got the skills to put together a winning film, keep an eye on the Vail Film Festival’s website for news on the 2012 contest.