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Calling all filmmakers!

The Grand Cinema Wants You! To Make a Movie! (WHY AM I SHOUTING?!)

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Maybe my cynicism is peeking through, but our little corner of the globe doesn’t hold much hope for aspiring moviemakers. A thousand miles from La-La-Land, this group must pursue more pragmatic goals (finish school, find “real” job, raise family) while quietly waiting for the next opportunity to show off their creative side.

Wait no longer, filmmaker. Time to dust off the family camcorder and brush up on Eisensteinian montage theory — The Grand Cinema’s 72-Hour Film Competition, aka “Tacoma’s Oscars,” has reared its celluloid head once more. The city’s favorite movie joint continues its tradition of giving citizens one weekend to whip up five-minute Brilliant Pieces of Cinema. And with the Showcase Party at the Rialto on May 8, there’s no bigger celebration of local talent in the South Sound.

Sounds like a hoot, you think. But it’ll probably take me 72 hours just to find the RECORD button on this fucking camera.

First off, that language is uncalled for.

Second, the handy checklist below will guide you safely along the road to cinematic glory.

I.    Assemble a ragtag group of diehard film fanatics that will commit a weekend of their lives to help realize your artistic vision. Politely ask friends and family to try a hand at acting — resort to coercion if necessary.

II.    Get camera batteries juiced, test those microphones and stock up on plenty of miniDV tapes (or flash drives for the High-Definition elitists among us). And would it kill you to use a tripod from time to time? The audience left its Dramamine at home, so save the handheld wizardry for J.J. Abrams.

III.    Sign up your crew. The $50 registration cost gets you four free tickets to the Rialto screening. The competition allows only 28 teams, so visit The Grand soon.

IV.    Contest begins at 7 p.m.  Thursday, April 30. Pace yourself. Though everyone works differently, I recommend this panic-free schedule: write Friday, shoot Saturday, edit Sunday.

V.    Each submitted film requires a specific prop, phrase, location and action. Says Grand Executive Director Philip Cowan, “The films that really impress me are the ones that use (the four elements) in some unique way.” So make Cowan happy, and your short might walk away with a Slumdog slew of awards.

VI.    RECORD is the big red button.

To register, stop by The Grand Cinema at 606 Fawcett Ave. in Tacoma. For more details, give them a buzz at 253.593.4474.


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