It's a unique film project that will bring together 140 filmmakers in 140 locations all around the world to film 140 seconds of footage on June 21st at 8pm GMT.
Because the idea came from the website Twitter.com, which is a unique website that allows you to keep up to date with the people you are following moment to moment, day to day.
What's unique about it is that one can only type 140 characters at a time in answer to the question What are you doing?
Why Twitter, why not do it by phone, sms or another blog?
It's where the idea came from, the 140 is key - 140 filmmakers, locations, seconds.
It is also about the expedient nature of twitter, the idea that you have to communicate so much in such a short space, in 140 characters!
And it's about connection, which is what the internet and twitter is all about - real connection to people's lives as it happens, not something that is edited together later in a blog.
It is a great place to synchronize such a project. And it's a hell of a lot cheaper and easier than phones or sms could ever be! Imagine trying to txt or phone 140 people at once?!
Plus, as twitter explodes around the world and becomes more and more popular, I don't think it will hurt us finding publicity and have our film seen.
Do you expect people to film at the same time?
Yes, that's the whole point. It may be more difficult for some then for others. Whereas someone may be filming at 12 in the afternoon, someone else may have to film at 4am! But that's the commitment you take on if you join the project.
It's all about being connected and capturing the same 140 seconds all around the planet.
What do we film on? Is quality an issue?
It should be the best quality you can achieve with what you have.
Crews are not necessary. Just you, your camera and your thoughts.
In camera sound is fine.
Everyone invovled will be at different stages in their career. Not all the filmmakers involved will have access to the best equipment. Some may have hi-def cameras, other will be using handy cams, and that's fine. The most important thing is that the image capture the theme of the piece.
What is the theme?
You must capture what it is that connects you to you home in 140 seconds. What is special about where you live, that lifts you, inspires you, connects you to that place.
It can be anything. You children. The Ocean. A sunset. Sunrise. A lovers smile. Friends laughing. Traffic rushing. A landscape. A cityscape. There are no rules as to what it can be. Only you decide. But it must be true to you.
Can I edit what I shoot?
You must send me the raw 140 seconds. I will cut it into the whole piece.
Do I have a say as to how my footage is cut?
Please feel free to add notes. But once I get all the footage I will be concentrating on making everything work toward a coherent and flowing end piece.
What will the end piece be?
A scored documentary style feature length visual poem, dedicated to the moments we shared and the unity of our art in this vision.
What will you do with the film?
I will promote the film on the festival circuit around the world and try to find distribution.
Everyone will receive a copy of the film.
What will happen to our uncut footage?
My plan in the long term is to set up a website that will display a world map. When the user clicks on any part of the map the entire 140 seconds filmed in that location will pop up in a player.
Will we make money from this?
It's not about the money. If you're doing this for money it's probably not for you. So, No, I don't think so.
How will I be credited?
Each person will be given a Directors credit from their country, eg. Frank Kelly - Drogheda - Ireland.
Who is Frank Kelly?
That's me. I'm a filmmaker from Ireland. AMong other things, I've made three short films, Emily's Song, Bill, For Short and Slán agus Beannacht.
I run a small production company called Pale Stone Productions.
I have been working in film and writing for about 10 years. I've had some success with my shorts. UNICEF Award, Crystal Heart award, Special Mention in Oberhausen, over 30 International Film Fests.
Alot of almosts with feature scripts and TV show scripts, all only to fall through as they were just about to happen. So got fed up with that and decided to make something happen. That's about when I signed up to Twitter!
You can find out more about me on my blog or by listening to my podcast, which is available on iTunes (search pale stone productions podcast.)
Is there a date set?
June 21st 2009 at 8pm GMT (Check http://www.worldtimezone.com/ for your time)
When will that be?
Your guess is as good as mine! But hopefully soon. In the next two months ;-)
When I shoot my 140 seconds what do I do then?
If you can, convert your footage to a Hi Res Quicktime file, put it on a disc and send it to me at: Frank Kelly, The 140 Project, 60 Scarlet Crescent, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland.
If can only send tapes then that's OK too.
Can I shoot on film?
If you want!!! But it's up to you to do telecine etc. and get the files to me as Quicktime! I reckon digital would be the way to go!
Is this project funded?
This is just a simple idea I had, where I thought we could make something special out of nothing.
How much time does it require on my part?
I just ask you to think about the theme of the piece and be prepared to shoot when it comes time.
When I set the time and give the signal all you have to do is film for 140 seconds. Then convert that and send it to me.
It really should only take up a couple of hours of you time.
What if the 140 seconds I film isn't any good? Can I film it again tomorrow?
What makes the project special is that we all film at the same time, and that we're connected, so all the footage in the documentary is of the same moments all around the world.
So just know what you want to capture and what you want it to say be fore you open your aperture!
How long before the film is finished?
I'll have about 5 or 6 hours of footage to get through and cut down to 80 or 90 minutes, so hopefully it wont take too long. Perhaps a month after I get all the tapes. I will continue updating you as I work.
Are you a good editor?
I have a vision. I want to do the best job I can on this. This is something special, for all of us. I wont let you down. I will have professional help from good editors too. So your footage will be in safe hands. I promise.
Can I email you if I have anymore questions?
Yes, absolutely, but remember, there will be 140 of you, so it may get difficult for me to stay up to date on emails!
What do I do now?
Join www.twitter.com, find me, www.twitter.com/frankwkelly, click follow and watch for updates. I'll be setting a date as soon as I get 140 filmmakers and then we'll be ready to go.
To take part in the project requires that you understand, agree to and follow all the above information. More information, if needed, can be got by emailing me at frank(at)palestoneproductions(dot)com. There are no contracts to be signed, this is more of a handshake kinda thing! But to take part in the project is to consent to your footage being edited, as outlined above, and distributed as part of the final film. All of your footage will not be seen in the film, only a segment, the main effort will be given to creating a cohesive flowing final film. But your segment will be available to view in its entirety as part of a dedicated website to be constructed following the film's completion and to coincide with release.