Seems I am effectively making a feature film out of the footage filmed for One Hundred Blinks. My calculations were the film would be about 30 minutes long but of course my 6-9 sec counts telling my subjects when to blink would be out a second here, a second there. And when shooting at 215fps, these seconds add up to minutes, lengthening the duration quite a bit!
So what length defines a feature film? I’ve asked several filmmakers this and received several answers. The BFI states a feature length films is more than 40 mins, as does the Academy Awards. The Sundance Film Festival states anything longer than 50 minutes is considered a feature film. The Screen Actors Guild states that it is 80 minutes or longer and Screen Australia defines it as long than 60 minutes, as does the Cannes Film Festival. In fact, Cannes says a short must be under 15 min and ‘does not accept films that have a duration between 15 and 60 minutes. Not that I’m submitting One Hundred Blinks to Cannes, but .. you never know!
Anyway, as I near the end of the editing process, I’m pushing 60 minutes in my running time. I’m not worried about the length so much, so far it’s quite a meditative timeless piece looking at all these faces through their ages especially as the very rhythmic and ruminative (just found that in Thesaurus, seemed fitting) soundtrack takes shape – working with musician/filmmaker friend George Joseph Miller IV on this. I don’t mind saying I found my eyes fixed upon these changing faces with the first soundtrack draft and my eyes welled up. God, I love slow motion! It slows down these people in their day, in their lives and lets us consider them gently without judgement and somehow they become fleeting reflections of ourselves.
So as I near the final placing of the 100 year old face on the timeline and watch it dissolve into the 7 week baby I feel quite emotional about it all. Maybe it’s because finishing this film marks the end of my 2 year NHS arts residency. Maybe it’s because I feel very aware that my initial ideas of making something that slowed down time has actually made me appreciate the present more because you can bet tomorrow will come faster than the blink of an eye.