1917 has inspired a contest for filmmakers to tell a story using only one continuous shot -- just like Sam Mendes' film uses.
Sam Mendes' 1917 has Film Twitter drooling before the movie is even released, thanks to it being filmed as one long, continuous shot. The World War I drama, which follows two British soldiers struggling on the frontlines of a desperate mission in real-time, lead to Mendes and his collaborators to film their efforts in oners. Now, Universal Studios wants to see how you'll pull it off.
NBCUniversal and Ideas United have partnered to produce a video submission contest targeting emerging filmmakers to help promote 1917. According to the press release for the contest, "filmmakers are challenged to submit a two-minute video filmed in one continuous shot, focused on the theme of delivering an urgent message."
The shorts don't have to be about war, or set during wartime. The genres are at the filmmakers' discretion. All entries must be no longer than two minutes in length and submitted by December 2, 2019.
“Ideas United has the unique opportunity to tap into a global network of talented filmmakers and creative thinkers,” said David Roemer, co-founder and CEO, Ideas United. “By partnering with Universal Pictures, we are able to challenge the next generation of creators with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will help them showcase their talents and give them a chance to meet some of the filmmakers and cast of 1917.”
More from the press release below:
"Ideas United will manage the open call for emerging storytellers through its Campus Movie Fest participants and its global network of filmmakers, producers, and writers. To be considered, each participant must be 18 years or older and a U.S. resident. Contestants will have until December 2 to upload their two-minute video to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube using the hashtag, “#1917oneshotchallenge” and then upload the public link to 1917oneshotchallenge.com .
Ideas United will narrow submissions to the finalists, and 1917 filmmakers will select the ultimate winner. The winner and a guest will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 1917 premiere on December 18, 2019."
For more information and official rules, visit 1917oneshotchallenge.com .
What You Can Learn
As challenges go, finding a way to service character and story all in one continuous shot (or by stitching several together to seem like one shot), you'd be hard-pressed to find one more rewarding. While there will no doubt be many submissions for this contest, most of them will probably be very low-grade. If you don't have a budget, but you have an iPhone and the friends and colleagues to help you pull it off, then this is the perfect opportunity to get very crafty and inventive to tell your story. Use the limitations as a feature, not a bug. Find a story that makes sense to shoot on your phone with no budget, and make up for the lack of production frills with characters and themes worth caring about.