The premiere of straight 8 shootout: the nature edition has been set for Thursday April 29th at straight8.net.

Agile Films, Caviar, Dog Eat Dog, Gear Room, Groundglass, Iris Worldwide, The Lift, Mullen Lowe, Pitch And Sync, Presence, Prodigious, The Producers, Pulse Films, Studio: Alexa Wynter, Thomas Thomas Films, Vccp, We Are Familia, Yolafilmo have all entered the straight 8 shootout challenge: to make a 2.5 minute short film created entirely in-camera on just one cartridge of super 8mm film.

Every shot is taken in story order, with no opportunity for re-takes or editing. Any visual effects, colouring and titling must be done the old-fashioned way: as part of the shoot, with the camera. Super 8 doesn’t record sound, so soundtracks are made ‘blind’ and must be original. Entrants send their exposed but un-developed film cartridges to straight 8 partners Cinelab London who will process and scan the films. straight 8 will then line up each soundtrack with the first frame of the film.

Shootout: The Nature Edition is the sequel to The Isolation Edition, which saw the companies entered for the 2020 Cannes shootout competition pivot to lockdown filmmaking and a livestream premiere last June. Companies have been encouraged to interpret the theme loosely – however they wish.

Every film will hit screens all around the world at once, no matter how well, or even if, they have come out.

Ed Sayers, straight 8 founder, comments: “We can’t thank these companies enough for having the loco cojones to put their brand name on the line in this insane way – all for love of craft and truly raw filmmaking. Help us cheer them all on – they deserve it.”

This premiere will be a hosted live stream direct from the screening room at Cinelab London just upstairs from the bath that the films were processed in.

During the stream, right after the films have played all entered companies will cast their vote, not voting for their own film. The winners will get an iconic camera trophy made by shootout partners, Machine Shop, and get to donate prize money to the charity of their choice.

straight 8 shootout partners are: APA, Cinelab London, No.8, Panavision, Machine Shop, and Warner Chappell Production Music (new for this shootout)

Roberto Borzoni, Head of UK Production Music, Warner Chappell Production Music, comments: “We’re really excited to be partnering with this competition. We really like the punk aesthetic and creative spirit behind the straight 8 shootout and just the full on fun factor of it. Some real positivity and good vibes that match our ethos.”

Peter Grasse, Mr+Positive, comments: “Nothing is as thrilling as watching your straight 8 film for the first time alongside your peers and soon-to-be friends. It’s a worldwide community of positive people eager to create”.

Adrian Bull, Managing Director, Cinelab London, comments: “We process hundreds of films each year, from 70mm down to super 8, with recent films including No Time to Die and Wonder Woman 1984, and yet still one of the most exciting projects we are involved with is straight 8. I’m very excited to see the ‘isolation edition’ entries, lots of opportunities for some post-apocalyptic films without the expense of stopping the people, traffic and planes! – But without going anywhere!!”

straight 8 began in 1999 when director, Ed Sayers, asked friends to have a go at making a short film on one cartridge of super 8 each – with no waste, at a 1:1 shooting ratio. The films were screened in London’s West End to a packed audience, projecting off Super 8 with audio playing from cassettes.

straight 8 now receives 100-200 entries to its annual open competition, from all over the world and has enjoyed 14 years of premieres at The Cannes Film Festival, plus stints on Channel 4 broadcast TV and has appeared at many festivals. Past entrants include Edgar Wright ( Baby Driver, Shaun of The Dead ), Alice Lowe ( Sightseers, Prevenge ) and many more.

straight 8 is a division of Seven Productions whose recent live streaming work includes: Take That Live with Robbie Williams and Shots Awards The Americas.

Jon Creamer