My title says everything you need to know about Erin Gaddi’s powerful film How To Be Happy!
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Announcing the winner of the 2013 Dark Green Books Short Film and Video competition: the powerful film How To Be Happy, filmed and directed by American film maker Erin Gaddi.
How To Be Happy is a slow burning, evocative and thought provoking work which powerfully elaborates the book by the same title by the author Luke Andreski.
The film can be watched on YouTube via the link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHst40bbO00. Please take a look, ‘like’ and comment!
The competition is on hold for 2014 but will be back with new works by new authors in 2015.
Dark Green Books
Short Film and Video Competition 2012
Winner – First Place: Passive Tense by Erin Gaddi from the US http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6aKXddSQVI&feature=plcp
Erin Gaddi writes, “I am a junior business management major at Canisius College located in Buffalo, NY. I was born and raised here in Buffalo. I began filmmaking in my senior year of high school and followed my dream through college. What drew me into filmmaking was my senior year film class. It changed the way I saw films. Movies like Chinatown, Casablanca, In Bruges, and Apocalypse Now sparked a fire inside. From the composition to lighting to pace to all of the million little things that create the mood of a scene, I wanted to do it.”
The judges saw this work as a beautiful visualization of Luke Andreski’s poem Passive Tense, effectively dramatizing the themes dealing with the mysteries of love. They felt that the ultra-widescreen image was attractive, with a good use of music to enhance the words of the poetry and the images on the screen.
A fine piece of film making well deserving of its winning position.
Winner – Second Place: Orphan by Carolina Villarreal from Mexico http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QsM298fMhs
Carolina Villarreal writes, “The concept behind my Orphan video is the result of the combination of three ideas from the poem by Luke Andreski. To start at the beginning, at Luke Andreski’s website, where I tried to find the “ideal” passage that I could use for the film. With all honesty I can say that “Orphan” was not the poem that I wanted to use for my work because it didn’t grab my attention at the beginning and I believed that it was going to be complicated to use.
“After reading all the poems I was not able to choose an alternative and for that reason I looked back at the Orphan poem – and that was the moment when I became captivated – trying to analyze all the poem line by line, looking for an emotion or an image that I could use to reflect the words. I even tried to visualize who was narrating the story: a child? an adult? what was the biggest wish of a happy family? After that the ideas started to appear in my mind and I became excited by the possibilities that this poem had. And because of this I made a list based on the emotions that the poem transmitted, and the “hidden” meaning in each line.
“My conclusion was that the wish of the orphan was to have a happy family, to live with his parents, because we all in the end have that desire with our own families. After that what I needed to do was to summaries all the ideas and images in my mind to transmit the message. Because of all the possibilities it became almost impossible to work properly. My solution to that problem was to take a break.
“The next day when I was on my way to College I was very calm and listening to music without thinking about the meaning of the song. And in that moment the idea came to me: Why not try to show a man remembering the best moments of his life? Why not use photos to show all his life? All that I needed to do was to show all his life and show how he got his “perfect” life… but at the end all those images are shattered by another image of a lonely boy with a completely shallow album, with no “real” memory.
“To summarize, it was a very beautiful personal experience to try to make a connection between the people that were going to watch the video and the ‘being’ in the video.”
The judges felt that this was a powerful, insightful dramatization of the themes of Luke Andreski’s poem Orphan, especially notable for using the visuals with only music and sound effects but no narration or on-screen titles with the words of the poem. The first-person imagery was seen as especially effective. They liked the rough cutting feel and handheld effects.
An excellent selection for second place in the 2012 competition.
Winner – Third Place (Tie): Passive Tense by CityVarsity from Cape Town, SA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyGpKKO4m5o&feature=plcp
Cape Town’s CityVarsity write, “Our 1st Year animation students (diploma class of 2012) combined as a group to create a mixed media cut out sequence for The Dark Green Books Short Film and Video Competition 2012. The students were split into six groups and each group was tasked to interpret and then animate a passage from Luke Andreski’s poem “Passive Tense”. We felt with such a powerful poem containing such a variety of emotions and potential visual tones that an organic form of motion graphics would work well. The process of cut out animation is a traditional one which truly allows the student to have a very connected feel with the text. We are very grateful to Dark Green Books for this competition and for the encouragement and support of the author.” (See Author’s Choice, below.)
The judges considered the cut-out animation of the poem’s words and various appropriate shapes to be well made and clever, getting ever better as the film progressed. One judge said he loved the fish hook and the heart-shaped sweet towards the end of the film.
A resonant combination of images and words – well deserving of third place against strong competition.
Winner – Third Place (Tie): Orphan by Andrew Sieciencski from the US http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA006X1tdyc
Andrew Sieciencski writes, “I first became interested in film production while attending a digital video editing class in my freshman year of high school several years ago. I began producing videos for clients a few years back and have only recently begun to participate in competitions. I am in college now for Communications and Multimedia and I plan to continue my pursuits not only in film but in music production as well.”
The judges viewed Andrew Sieciencski’s film as a touching visualization of the sad poem Orphan. They found the imagery lovely, with an effective switch from black-and-white to colour, and the use of music intensifying the emotion of the words and images. Luke Andreski also says, ‘I would like to mention an utterly stunning shot in the graveyard scene halfway through Andrew Siecienski’s film, beautifully framed by autumnal-coloured trees’.
A very beautiful, evocative and deserving winner.
Author’s Choice: Passive Tense by CityVarsity http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyGpKKO4m5o&feature=plcp
Luke Andreski writes, ‘When I first saw CityVarsity’s Passive Tense I was knocked out by the thought of these brilliant students pooling their talents to create this video!’
Special Mention: Touch Me by Gregory Metcalfe from Bristol, UK http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D69vnSWE4ds&feature=plcp
The judges viewed Gregory Metcalfe’s film as compact, original and well made. They describe it as a well-paced and crafted video which matched the words and sound effectively. They liked the device of the constant human figure and face at the centre of the video and felt that the end graphics were excellent.
Passive Tense by Erin Gaddi won $700 plus seven free downloads from www.lukeandreski.com
Orphan by Carolina Villarreal won $200 (US) plus three free downloads from www.lukeandreski.com
Orphan by Andrew Sieciencski won $100 (US) plus two free downloads from www.lukeandreski.com
Passive Tense by CityVarsity won $100 (US) plus two free downloads from www.lukeandreski.com
Christopher P. Jacobs
Christopher Jacobs is a film instructor and filmmaker based in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Since 1995 he has taught one or more sections of Intro to Film at the University of North Dakota, and occasional other film-related courses such as Creative Movie Production and the UND Summer Movie Camp. He is also the Movies Editor for the High Plains Reader.
Christopher Jacobs has been a film buff and collector since his junior high school days, with a particular interest in the silent cinema. The lure of film history eventually took precedence over an equal interest in filmmaking, although he has made several short films on 8mm and 16mm, and several feature-length movies on video (both analog and digital). He earned a Master’s Degree in Film and Dramatic Production Criticism from the University of North Dakota. He has taught a Creative Writing class focusing on screenwriting and currently teaches an Art of Moviemaking course covering screenwriting and production techniques.
Tim Eastop, formerly Acting Director of Visual Arts for Arts Council England, specialises in artists’ research, commissions, and organisational development. His most recent clients include Calvert 22 Foundation, Institute of Contemporary Art, Cultural Leadership Programme, National Trust, Royal Society of the Arts, University of Arts London and the University for the Creative Arts. He is also co-Director for two initiatives: Difference Exchange, a partnership of associates working across disciplines placing critical artistic practice in disruptive contexts; and The Collective, a scheme providing professional advice on how to build art collections in groups.
Tim has worked with national and international institutes: Ashmolean; Arts Council of Wales; A Foundation; British Council; British Antarctic Survey; Contemporary Arts Society; Courtauld; King’s College; Rijksakademie; Pistoletto Foundation; Tate; Triangle Trust; and Visiting Arts.
The poems on which these films are based can be found in Luke Andreski’s collection Being Left Behind, available from www.lukeandreski.com or Amazon.
Short Film and Video Competition 2013
If you have students, colleagues, family or friends with a talent for film production, please tell them about the Dark Green Books Short Film and Video Competition 2013!
The competition is easy to access, open to submissions from anywhere in the world and free to enter.
Submissions from schools, colleges and universities are welcome, as are multiple submissions.
To view last year’s winning entries take a look at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6aKXddSQVI&feature=plcp (from the US)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QsM298fMhs (from Mexico)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyGpKKO4m5o&feature=plcp (from Cape Town, SA)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA006X1tdyc (from the US)
The caliber we are seeking speaks for itself.
For the 2013 competition rules visit: http://wp.me/p2pCeG-S.
The First Prize is $700 / Second Prize $200 / Third Prize $100.
If you have any queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Short Film and Video Competition 2014
The 2014 competition will be similar to the two earlier competitions but will use the work of multiple authors to form the basis of the submitted short films and videos. If you or an author you represent would like to participate in this competition please email email@example.com. Participants will contribute to the prize.
The winner of the Dark Green Books Short Film and Video Competition is shortly to be announced (10th Jan!).
Here are some examples of the wonderful shortlisted entries:
From Cape Town, SA:
From the US:
From Bristol, UK:
For more videos see http://www.youtube.com/user/VideoAndFilmComp2012.
The First Prize is $700 / Second Prize $200 / Third Prize $100.
More news to follow!
Have you got great filmic ideas or technical expertise but need to bring this to bear on interesting and unusual content?
Check out the Dark Green Books Short Film and Video Competition: http://www.youtube.com/user/VideoAndFilmComp2012…
Dear friends, colleagues and fellow lovers of the written word, a brief dispatch from the frontier between writing and film:
We have just uploaded a new film onto the channel for the Dark Green Books video competition. The link for this three minute indie flick by Erin Gaddi and Nick Breeser is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6aKXddSQVI&feature=plcp . I would love you to take a look. Please ‘like’ and share freely!
The prizes for the competition are:
First Prize $700
Second Prize $200
Third Prize $100
The competition rules and submission guidelines are available from http://shortfilmandvideoaward.wordpress.com/ .
Please let your budding film-maker friends know all about it!
With thanks and best wishes,
www.hunchthenovel.com ; www.greenmessiah.com ; www.tothebridge.info ; www.nowwearegreen.com ; www.portnoysdefence.com ; www.agreenphilosophy.net ; www.beingleftbehind.com ; www.thebookofnewcreation.com ; www.speakinginamonotone.com ; www.swogstongue.com ; www.theoutskirtsofmymind.com , www.amazon.com , www.amazon.co.uk .
The elephant and the butterfly
The zebra and the lark
The cuttlefish and the humming bird
The albatross and the shark
The ant and the orangutan
The razorbill and the whale
The hyena and the skunk
The piranha and the mole
All creatures in their diversity
All life forms great and small
Are the children of evolution
Charles Darwin made them all
The rattlesnake and the tarantula
The penguin and the dove
The dragonfly and the weevil
The tortoise and – the crane?
The wren, the hen…
The cat, the rat, the stoat, the hog
The sow and – the cow…
The dog, the bat, the toad, the frog
All living things in their complexity
All creatures great and small
Are explained by natural selection
Charles Darwin made them all
The porcupine, the lemur
The anaconda and the bear
The antelope and the bison
The python and the hare
The possum and the cockatiel
The mantis and the conger eel
The parrot, the ferret, the weasel, the goat
The catfish, the dogfish, the stingray, the roach
The blackfly, the greenfly, the dragonfly, the wasp
The adder, the mamba, the corn snake, the asp
All creatures of land and ocean
All inhabitants of air and earth
Are the fittest of survivors
Evolution gave them birth
The flamingo, the swan
The rhinoceros and the lynx
The grizzly and the elk
The manatee and… the crab?
The worm, the germ, the monkey, the racoon
The slug, the bug, the donkey, the baboon
The hake, the crake, the snail and the bee
The coot, the newt, the quail and the flea
All creatures in their complexity
All life forms great and small
Are explained by evolutionary theory
Charles Darwin made them all
From my volume of poetry ‘Speaking in a monotone, a monotone, a monotone, speaking in a monotone, or not speaking at all‘.
© Copyright Luke Andreski 2011
Available for use in the Dark Green Books Short Film and Video Competition: http://www.youtube.com/user/VideoAndFilmComp2012
www.hunchthenovel.com; www.greenmessiah.com; www.tothebridge.info; www.nowwearegreen.com; www.portnoysdefence.com; www.agreenphilosophy.net; www.beingleftbehind.com; www.thebookofnewcreation.com; www.speakinginamonotone.com; www.swogstongue.com; www.theoutskirtsofmymind.com.