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Covid inspires festivals

Updated: May 29, 2020

Besides catching up on all those streaming options you meant to watch for the past three or four years, the Covid-nineteen pandemic provides opportunities to start your movie making career. Based on an idea spawned by schlock movie mogul Roger Corman, some Ely Film Festival board members created a “Stay Home Means Nevada” movie contest going on right now through May First. I’m now a board member too but can’t take credit for the idea, which strikes me as a fun and simple one. Using a cell phone, shoot a two-minute, family friendly piece that includes the line “Home Means Nevada,” title of the state’s official song. You can learn more about entering the contest on the Ely Film Festival’s Facebook page. The page also features winners from a student contest held in March, and you can even find a seven-minute cell-phone video I created about the area’s screen history called Desperation in Ely. That title comes because Stephen King set one of his horror tales in the region after spending some time in Ely. Nevada and home easily inspire stories, and when it comes turning these events into movies, cell phones prove surprisingly adept. These days, cell phone video produces quality that goes beyond some of those old projects labeled as movies in the state’s screen history. You can find numerous free editing programs online to finish the product. Cell phone cinematography also serves as a hallmark for the first Corman Quarantine Film Festival, showcased on the Ely page. A video features film legend Roger Corman, who helped launch the careers of many Oscar winning directors like Frances Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, and Ron Howard. This first Corman Quarantine Film Festival requires two-minute cell phone creations filmed at home in natural lighting, either inside or outside using family members rather than professional actors. Entries go to hashtag Corman Challenge, or just use your search engine to find the details.Corman, who directed the classic Little Shop of Horrors and a series of films inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, says he hopes this is the last Corman Quarantine Festival.

(below: I had the pleasure of sitting on stage as Roger Corman's interviewer for a 2009 session at the annual Association of Film Commissioners, International convention)

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