In mid-August we finally got the snow we had been waiting for, and managed to get out skiing. We were kept busy before that with the fishing season steadily ramping up.
The first weekend of the month was the ’48 hour Antarctic Film competition’. It was started a few years back at the American ‘McMurdo’ base (Antarctica’s Metropolis – several hundred people during the summer, 3 bars and an the Antarctic’s only ATM machine to be found there). It then spread to the other American bases and eventually to where it is today… 17 wintering bases take part. Last year’s winners choose various mandatory elements that are emailed to all the bases on the Friday night. Once they have read the email all the bases/teams have 48 hours to come up with a story, film it and edit it.
So after dinner on Friday night we opened the email to see the elements and set about coming up with a story…over a few drinks in the bar. This year’s elements to be included were ‘a swing’, a ‘swimsuit’, the sound of ‘a squealing pig’ the line of dialogue “it’ll be getting dark soon and they mostly come at night…mostly” and the character ‘Wal Footrot’ a New Zealand cartoon character (think most bases had to Google that one). We spent all day and most of the evening on Saturday filming the various scenes and then editing most of Sunday. We managed to get it wrapped with 3-4 hours to spare!
The directing and editing fell to me as I’d done some before with the short films I’d made. Everyone on base was involved whether it was acting, running about getting costumes and props or making flasks of coffee etc. The film is at the bottom of this month’s post…
Ok, so here’s the film. I can tell you we didn’t win or even come in the top 3! (I’ve since heard that another BAS base, Rothera, wasn’t able to download it so that might be significant) We are consoling ourselves by saying we probably came in 4th! We had been quietly optimistic having seen previous year’s winners though some from this year were good to be fair. I can’t help but have a bit of a whine here about 2 of the top 3 films being over 5 min. There aren’t many rules (3 I think) but one is ‘the film must be ‘5 minutes or less’. A couple of them were way beyond that. I refused to give them any votes, which some people think was too strict of me. But having been editing from 10pm Saturday to 5am Sunday, sleeping for a few hours to then continue again, making sure our film was no longer than 5 min, I think I was right to not vote for them. Anyway I’ll sit on the moral high ground having a strop on my own! Everyone had to vote for best film, cinematography, best use of elements, screenplay and best acting.
I think I know how Martin Scorsese felt after Goodfellas was beaten by Dances With Wolves at the Oscars haha.
The Australian base ‘Davis’ won here’s the link to their film (strap in it’s an epic! ) To be fair it’s very good! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nZ8LR0M-cc
This is Bird Islands (just of the Western end of SG) who came in 2nd. There are only 4 of them there over winter, which makes their efforts all the more impressive! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EXJh8-mLmis
3rd was from Kerguelen station. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROi1Lxbr9NA
I’m sure if you put ‘2014 48hr film competition into youtube you can find the others. The ‘Amundsen-Scott’ base ‘A guide to passing’ is worth a watch also – definitely the bravest script!
There was an open category as well, so I entered my South Georgia film on a bit of a whim. I came 3rd for Best Film and Screenplay and 2nd for Cinematography. So some consolation for the 48hr.
As always feel free to leave a comment if you have a question about anything and I’ll try to answer it next time.