Video: Film critic’s role change

A FILM critic from Suffolk has helped budding directors battle to win a national competition by remaking Hollywood blockbusters – lasting just seven seconds.

Software giant Microsoft visited the British Film Institute on the Southbank with a mobile film studio in the hope of unearthing the next Steven Spielberg or George Lucas.

Competitors made their own mini versions of hits such as Pulp Fiction and Peter Pan in a mere seven seconds.

They were joined by ITV At The Movies film critic James King, 34, who comes from Woodbridge.

He made his own films and gave participants advice on how to impress the judges.


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James created his own versions of boxing classic Rocky and Tom Hanks’ 2000 hit Castaway.

He said: “I’m more used to being on the other side of the camera but creating my own film was great fun.

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“I’d like to think I got into the spirit of it all by dressing up and showing my best method acting.

“The tough time limit forces you to be creative and means you can only really focus on one iconic scene or key message from the film.

“I have been impressed by the quality of films that people have produced on such a low budget and using a home computer.”

Entries will go against hundreds of others in the Windows 7 ‘Seven Second Movie’ challenge and the best one will be screened at this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

The challenge encourages people to upload a seven-second story, animation or movie, inspired by their favourite film or genre.

The winner will get to walk the red carpet before their film is screened in front of a live audience ahead of the premiere of British movie The First Grader on October 26.

The films will be judged by a high profile panel including Justin Chadwick, the director of The First Grader and The Other Boleyn Girl, Radio 1’s film critic James King and actress Alice Eve, star of She’s Out of My League.

The winner and two friends will also be treated to a full VIP experience including travel transfers, a one-night five star hotel stay alongside tickets to the premiere and after party.

Mr King said: “I’ve seen some of the films that have already been produced and think they look amazing.

“I’m looking forward to seeing and judging the others.

“People have been really creative with the software by inserting credits, music and effects that a few years ago would only have been available to studio vision mixers.

“My advice to people today has been to keep it simple, inject some humour where you can and deliver a punchline.

“There has to be a point to it and it has to make an impact. It can’t just end.”

Mr Chadwick said: “There’s a hotbed of film-making talent out there and many people do not know how to put their skills into practice.

“I am delighted that Microsoft is providing the nation with an opportunity to showcase their creativity in the most accessible and fun way possible.

“Fresh talent is what keeps the industry moving.”

If you are interested in entering the competition visit www.windows.co.uk/7secondmovies. Films must be made by Windows Movie Maker and the deadline is October 9.

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