The premise of the 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competition is relatively simple. Each year, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival selects 10 scripts written by area high school or university students. The scripts are paired with 10 young directors, who rally together crews, actors, props, and locations to shoot a 10-minute film in 10 days or less. Sure, there’s some planning time, during which the director and screenwriter meet and discuss how their narrative will fit together, but when the action starts it’s a hectic, all-out sprint to the finish in front of a ticking clock.
The Santa Barbara Independent dropped in on the set of Killer Raise during the film’s last full day of shooting at downtown’s Santa Barbara Tourist Hostel. Director Johan Bodell had led his cast and crew through a whirlwind of filmmaking, shooting the movie in around five days. And the crew, many of them Swedish SBCC students, had worked together before on the set of an earlier Bodell film, but UCSB screenwriter Paula Ersly’s script was brand new.
The script, a dark comedy involving office romance and an undead boss, was originally intended to play out in a grocery store, but getting permission to film in a major supermarket proved too much for the time-pressed crew, so Ersly and Bodell modified the script to take place in a hostel.
And that’s the spirit of the competition — things happen in ten days. The films are due by 10 a.m. February 1. Around the city, nine other crews are doing the same thing — checking shot lists, taking hasty cigarette breaks, cradling borrowed gear, and figuring out ways to incorporate the cloudy weather into outdoor scenes. It’s not the ideal way to make a film, but by all accounts it’s a fun one. “I like the time limits,” Bodell said. “I like to know that in a week I’ll have a finished film in my hand.”
Killer Raise and the rest of the 10-10-10 submissions screen on February 3 at 1 p.m. in the Lobero Theatre.