C4 calls for one-minute-film makers

Alice Bloch 18 October 2007

Budding film-makers in Cambridge may soon feel under pressure – they have been challenged to create a film with the single constraint that it be under a minute long.

The invitation comes from Trinity Hall alumnus Charlie Phillips, who is now editor of Channel Four’s Bafta-winning FourDocs, a website onto which users upload four-minute films.

But, speaking to members of Cambridge’s SocDocSoc (the university’s Social Documentary Film Society) at the Graduate Union on Monday evening, he launched the website’s latest competition: to create a film less than a minute long for FourDocs’ new slot, MicroDocs.

At a maximum of 59-seconds long, MicroDocs are short bursts of creativity.

Film-makers willing to take up the challenge are advised on the competition’s homepage that the films “should have the memorable impact of graffiti, or a great guitar solo”.

Despite issuing such a challenge, Phillips urges interested students to take advantage of the freedoms he remembers having as a student here, reminding those at the talk: “You’ll never get the opportunity to be so creative again.”

Students are also encouraged not to be held back by lack of technical equipment or experience, since films will be accepted even if they have been shot on mobile phones.

Phillips’ main interest is nurturing creative talent – and, he declares, if you take up the one-minute challenge, it “could be your springboard into your career in documentary!”

Film-makers willing to take part in the competition should visit www.channel4.com/fourdocs for more information, inspiration and advice.

Alice Bloch