Darla Bayer is the Director of The Jukebox International Film Festival; here is a link to their website:
Q: What made you interested in starting a film festival?
A: It all started when I discovered the 48 Hour Film Project. I wanted to do one myself so I started a free group to help find filmmakers willing to compete. I called the monthly meeting “Wired Wednesday”. We taught each other, crewed for each other and even participated in The No Film Film Fest.
It became evident that we were not going to do a 48 Hour film, as they were all too far for us to journey, so instead I suggested we start a competition called “City Wide Short Film Competition”.
This competition was modeled on the 48 hour except it was a one week time frame, from Wednesday to Wednesday to get the film written, cast, shot, edited and back to us. All teams were to use the same three prompts, a specific sound effect, a specific line of dialog and a specific prop. They had their choice of 6 genres to chose from. It was a blast! And the films were remarkable!
City Wide is now in it’s 6th year and has a spin off called “Carson Creepy Horror Film Competition”. This one came about because I had refused to let horror be a genre in City Wide, trying to keep it more family oriented. Well, a few filmmakers convinced me and we have had some truly awesome films come out of that competition as well.
Ok…rolling right along, we’ve done the competition thing. Wired Wednesday knows how to do this now, so why not a festival?
Q: What makes your film festival unique?
A: We like the basis of our festival because it is all about music. We accept music videos, documentaries and feature films. An added bonus is our screening dates are during an established music festival, Jazz and Beyond.
Being a musician and a filmmaker myself, I enjoy seeing documentaries about musicians or styles.
Q: What can your film festival offer that others cannot?
A: The fact this festival is smack dab in the middle of a live music festival. With musicians all over town in multiple venues. Free concerts mostly.
Q: How did you obtain funding for the festival?
A: Past competitions have brought in money from advertisers. That’s pretty much it.
Q: Who will judge the contest?
A: We have industry professionals, writers, directors, musicians. Some not yet confirmed, but, Joseph Bly, Celtic musician, director Brian Nunes, Rita Geil, Lacy J Dalton.
Q: What advice would you give to a potential entrant?
A: Please be sure your film is music themed, we expect more than just music in the background. The film should play on specific stories about musicians, venues, styles. Singer songwriter moves up in the world, that sort of thing. Music videos of course can tell the story of the songs lyrics, those will be more interesting than just watching a band play their song, although we are not opposed to that either. Music, music, music.
Q: What kind of day job do you have and how does it affect your ability to organize a film festival?
A: I am a freelance costumer and do video production (camera to edits). My last job however was running a public access tv station. We had a studio where people could check out cameras and learn all needed to create film and tv.
Q: What is the best musical film you have ever seen?
A: A few years ago a friend of my daughters had a film he had just completed called “Find Your Way”. A documentary about buskers. We screened the film thru our Wired Wednesday group, open to the public followed by a skype with the director. That film, not only for the technical aspects which were very good, touched me on a level that made me very happy. To see musicians out there doing their thing and being appreciated. Another film that I love is Oingo Boingo‘s “Hot Tomorrows”, obscure, yes, but truly memorable film noir in black and white. I’d be willing to say that film was what made me want to make films myself
Q: What is the worst musical film you have ever seen?
A: I don’t really have a worst, I’ve liked nearly all I have seen. I enjoy musical theatre as well and enjoy seeing the filmed productions. Some of my best memories are from my high school years when Mrs.Morrow, our drama teacher, introduced us to shows like Studs Terkel’s “Working” and “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”. Those films were inspirational to my entire life.
Q: What living musician’s life do you think has been over documented?
A: I don’t feel there is an over documented issue. The more out there the more we have an effect on people. So if there’s a film about, say, Paul McCartney, and yet there’s been others, those who want to see them all can. But someone who knows nothing about him, only one of the films might look interesting enough for them to view. It’s not a competition between films. They play on each other, build and grow interest.
Please note; Eliza’s interviews are done by email. All answers are unedited and come right from the lovely fingertips of her subjects.