More Like Phwoar Memorial

Since Anzac Day is coming up, here’s one of my favourite bits of The Hot Guy. In this scene, our heroine Cate is travelling with her boyfriend Adam (the Hot Guy of the title) to his rural hometown, Ladbroke, where Metadata, the short film Adam has directed, will be competing in the local film festival.

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Amateur Film Festival Clichés

In The Hot Guy, Adam and Cate spend a weekend in Adam’s country hometown, Ladbroke, where Adam’s short film Metadata is premiering at the local short film festival. We had a lot of fun coming up with the other films that screen in the festival.

Well, just now we were chuffed to stumble across this SBS Comedy article: “The programme for every amateur film festival ever”.

A lot of these clichés are heartbreakingly familiar from every student short we’ve had to sit through while ‘supporting our mates’: the murder mystery with the inevitable not-quite-dead body; 20-year-olds clearly pretending to be older adults; people shamelessly filming themselves doing their hobbies, with very little actual story; heavy-handed political subtexts that are more like actual texts; and the entirely predictable twist that someone “was dead all along”.

The other thing that makes amateur film festivals so cringeworthy is that the filmmakers’ craft limitations are so poignantly obvious. The SBS article skewers the way that students try to make a virtue out of their lack of skill with lighting, cinematography, sound and editing, and the way most of the films are shot in backyards, share-houses and classrooms.

Will Adam’s film be any better than these? You’ll have to read The Hot Guy to find out!