Highball Society Quarantine Film Festival: Creativity in the Age of Quarantine
Article By: Liz Wiest
Now more than ever, the phrase “Necessity is the mother of invention” is vital for creatives who are stuck in quarantine, and PA industry professionals Tim and Jamie Stevens have taken this mantra to a whole new level. During this time, it’s very easy for artists to fall off from creating, but the duo, who are seasoned in all things art, were inspired to come up with a way to come together as a family and bring together artists who are sheltering-in-place.
Their project? The Highball Society Quarantine Film Festival- an opportunity for film workers to keep their creative juices flowing right from their own homes! The concept? To produce a zero-budget short film in accordance with a theme of made-up words (and CDC guidelines, of course) that the filmmakers can choose to interpret however they see fit. Some examples for this current round include: “Husbordes”, “Ploosner”, “Rebarbects”, “Unknifto” and “Requelime” (one must be used as a verb, the other as a noun!). Submissions can be filmed on cameras large or small, and edited only with what is available.
Tim and Jamie began the project as something to do within the family, but were quickly thrilled at how fulfilling it was to create something completely new during this time. When asked what a filming day was like, Tim says: “It was great, right when school was over for our daughter, my wife turned into an AD and had everyone was in wardrobe and immediately reporting to set figuring out which scene to shoot”! Their hard work culminated in a short that they entitled the Prince of Galatop, now available for viewing on YouTube, and the Highball Society website.
The first round of submissions turned in a vibrant and unique set of responses to the prompt words. Tim describes the two submissions, Crust and Orousloth as being “some of of the greatest and most creative things he’s seen in a long time”! Tim’s short was even shown in a virtual Zoom meeting for Rough Cuts, a PA-based group where filmmakers can screen their work in whatever stage of the process they may be in.
The festival is currently finishing it’s second round this week, and while the current grand prize consists of bragging rights and the coveted title of The Big Winner of Round 2, those who take part in the current round will get to judge the previous rounds. Tim and Jamie hope that more creatives will become inspired to get involved, and that the contest brings about some sense of unity and normalcy in these uncertain times. Currently, they have 30 individuals from all around PA, and even some from New York committed to submitting to the project.
To submit, please email your submission via a Vimeo or YouTube link to email@example.com. The rules for Round 3 will be announced 5/25/20.
The website to view submissions is: www.highballsociety.com
Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA)461 Cochran Road, Box 246Pittsburgh, PA 15228(717) 833-4561 firstname.lastname@example.org