To participate, people must edit a one-two minute version of the film they wish to make from the available footage. Participants are then invited to post this manipulated footage back onto the Stray Cinema website, to be judged by their online community.
In October 2005, Michelle Hughes directed a short film in London. Michelle had no formal training or previous experience in film making. She gathered a team of six people to help her shoot the film, none of whom had formal training in the film industry, just related experience. A handheld digital camera was used to shoot this film, which allowed greater freedom with the location and content of the footage they were able to capture. The main point of interest at this stage in the film project was the accessibility of digital film, allowing different people to tell their story via film, placing filmmaking into new hands. Originally the footage shot in London was to be used for only one cut of the film - their own. When Michelle moved to Wellington in early 2006, she worked in collaboration with a small team to develop the concept of Stray Cinema – an open source film project.
Stray Cinema is a independently funded, non-for-profit project. The reason for this, is that we are asking our online community (the general public) for their feedback and ideas to help grow and develop the project. At this early stage we are seeking contributions from people who genuinely want to better the project for non-commercial reasons. Eventually we would consider taking on sponsorship or partnering with another company that aligned with our vision. Then we could embrace our sponsors, bring them into, and make them a contributing part of our community.
To help with promoting Stray Cinema, we have developed a form of 'user generated advertising'. For every film that is submitted into the Stray Cinema competition, we ask the person who is submitting their film where they heard about the project. If you told them about Stray Cinema then www.yourwebsiteaddress.com appears on their film page.
This is a great way to encourage people to spread the word.
This has been particularly successful with film schools so far, as it allows them the opportunity to showcase the talent of their students. It also means we can support the people who are truly supporting us. Participants are also able to enter their own website address on their application page, this will help them promote their own endeavours.
* Stray Cinema is an online community where you are able to download and re-edit the raw footage from a film we have shot in London. This will provide people from all over the world with an opportunity to create their own version of the film. Stray Cinema will navigate the film experiment out of the online digital world, into the 'real world' with a screening of the top five films in London. The footage shot in London is the first of many open source films to be provided by Stray Cinema.