u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD, the future festival of the next generation, is dedicated to the development and exchange of ideas, solutions to problems, concepts and experiments with great future promise. Film is the focal-point theme of this year’s u19, so one of the featured offerings will be an extensive film workshop staged right in downtown Linz. At OpenFilmLab, short films will be produced within a few hours, and anyone under age 19 is invited to stop by the set and get into the picture. The makeup of the cast and crew is flexible to the max. The watchwords: drop by and stay as long as you like. Working in the public sphere is most conducive to this open workshop concept that’s a creative enrichment of life in the city, provides entertainment to curious onlookers, and maybe even entices them to get into the act!
As a sort of OpenFilmLab coming attraction, we chatted with the two filmmakers who’ll be conducting this workshop, Tomas Cech (kino5) and Sophie Stallegger (Kino Cuntra Graz, Linz Art University). They filled us in on all the jobs that go into the making of a film and why CREATE YOUR WORLDers should definitely get involved.
Could you give us a bit of a project overview? What’s this all about, exactly?
Tomas Cech: Film has now become an omnipresent, primary communications medium. So it’s important not only to be able to understand the background of a production and to critically assess it, but also to acquire skills to effectively use this medium yourself.
The OpenFilmLab offers the opportunity to get your feet wet in many of these processes, take the equipment out for a test run, explore differences, rediscover stuff you’ve been exposed to before, etc. The main thing, though, is to have fun discovering that the medium of film offers highly accessible modes of expressing what you have to say and makes for a satisfying experience contributing to a thoroughly presentable final product.
Do OpenFilmLab participants need any prior knowledge or skills to attend the workshop?
Sophie Stallegger: Of course, a background and experience are an advantage but they’re not necessary. We decide individually from case to case how much and what kind of support somebody needs or would like to receive. So, everybody can get involved and get hands-on experience. As a part of u19, young people comprise our target audience, but anybody’s welcome to participate.
When and how do you go about signing on to a film project?
Sophie Stallegger: At any time—for example, you can just start talking to someone in the cast or crew. Of course, if we happen to be in the middle of a take, it would be nice to wait a few minutes!
What jobs can participants do in conjunction with a film project?
Tomas Cech: There are many and varied jobs: actor, storyboard, editor, assistant cameraman, director, sound technician, screenwriter, make-up, continuity, post-processing, shooting log, set design, helping hand, lighting technician, director of photography and boom operator. You can try them all.
What will be the themes of these films? Are there any preset guidelines?
Tomas Cech: The medium is conducive to the participants expressing their own interests. So the choice of themes is pretty much completely open. For those who wish, and in order to keep the production as realistic as possible, we’ll be recommending that filmmakers adapt to the facts and circumstances on site, and we’ll offer a favorable environment to help them bring this off. For example, we start with three friends after a football match in the park—and then we develop a plot based on this premise. On the other hand, we’ll also make available ready-made screenplays.
Where will these films by shot?
Sophie Stallegger: Depending on the script, anywhere on Spittelwiese, where u19 – CREATE YOUR WORLD is headquartered, and, for particular scenes, on prefab sets.
To what extent will young people be able to work independently?
Sophie Stallegger: Depending on their qualifications, the participants can decide themselves if they want to work completely on their own, work independently after an introductory course, or work under supervision.
Why should youngsters participate in OpenFilmLab?
Tomas Cech: This is a unique opportunity to simply and conveniently get experience with professional film equipment, to get a feeling for the various jobs that go into a film production, and to have creative input into a short film made collaboratively in Linz.
Do you dream of shooting your own film some day? Would you like to see how a film is produced—from its beginning as a storyboard, through the shooting on the set, all the way to post-processing of the footage? Then stop by during Thu September 4 3PM – 7 PM, Fri September 5 – Sun September 7. 10 AM – 7 PM in Festival City, Akademisches Gymnasium Linz, Spittelwiese 14, 4020 Linz.