In light of the upcoming 140 movie, The Shorts Report threw the 5 questions at 140 mad creator (or madly genius) Frank Kelly.
Here's his response:
1) What inspired this idea?
I was using twitter quite a bit and honestly being distracted by it, I think my wife was worried that she was doing to become the worlds first 'Twidow!'. I figured I had better stop using this or find something useful and constructive to do with it. Being a filmmaker my first thought was to use it to make a film - but how? was my second thought. I sat with it for a couple of weeks, then one sleepless night the idea to synchronize 100 filmmakers to shoot 10 minutes at the same time popped into my head. The next day, after some thought, that idea developed into 140 filmmakers in 140 locations shooting 140 seconds each. And there it was.
2) How did it feel when you started getting complete strangers sign up and send in their footage?
It was nervous at first. I wasn't sure if the idea was going to take off or not. I don't think I was fully aware either of what it was going to entail... I didn't quite grasp what 140 filmmakers meant... until they started getting on board and emailing me their individual questions! That was hectic. Two weeks of nothing but returning emails. Then I set up the FAQ page, which was a great help - in hind sight that should have been the first thing I did!
But it was exciting and gratifying, no question. It meant people believe in the idea and were willing to get involved and be a part of it, which was incredible. Once the ball started rolling it was pretty easy really. People seem to quickly understand what was being asked of them and the energy and excitement I got from everyone kept me going, kept me thinking it was a good idea worth seeing through.
3) What was the most surprising discovery about the footage that started arriving?
The similarity of a lot of it, then the stark difference between some and really the level of intimacy, people really opened up their worlds to me. Alot of people sent footage of the family, their kids. Alot of people sent footage of their homes, pets and environment. The feeling of connectedness really came through. The effort people put in surprised me, I don't know why, maybe I thought people would just put their camera out the window without much thought, but people really went out of their way to get good footage - footage that meant something to them.
4) What is your hope for this film?
First I hope the filmmakers like it, I want to give them a good film, something they can be proud to have been a part of. Then I hope audiences enjoy it. I plan to tour festivals with it. Hold screenings. Just get it out into the world whatever way possible. I would also hope it inspires people to do something similar. Whether they organize a large group of people or just do something small themselves. The idea behind this project is that art, film, can be created out of just an idea, energy and willingness. There was no budget to this film. It was a simple idea. Something very personal for everyone involved. But it has become something very unique and quite special I think.
5) What's next for you?
I don't know for sure. 140 came out of the blue, as did my two previous projects, so I imagine the next one will be a surprise too. I've just finished a feature script with my writing partner, so we're going to try and get that made. It's something completely different from this, or anything I've done, it's quite a dark thriller. I have a low budget feature script I've been working on myself that I would like to shoot, a very personal and autobiographical story about working on building sites with my family.
I'm also thinking about another internet based film project, along the lines of 140, but with a fictional twist, but more on that later!
In the meantime I'll keep pushing 140 out there. Really the journey for this film has only just begun and I'm looking forward to seeing where it takes me, where it takes all 140 of us.
Thanks Frank, can't wait to tell the world about the 140 Premiere in November.