September 26, 2013

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Ready to be CAPTURED

Chattanooga filmmakers and filmmakers-in-training have a unique opportunity this weekend as AVA launches the first year of community filmmaking project CAPTURE, a 48-hour period in which participants will jointly create documentaries about Chattanooga.

For $10, you can participate as a filmmaker and upload video—but you must be registered before CAPTURE begins on Friday at Walker Pavilion ( On Saturday, all footage will be turned over to three professional editing teams that will edit submissions to create three “mini-documentaries.” On Sunday, September 29, the project concludes with a screening at Track 29, including awards and live music.

AVA has announced that Jonathan Taplin, currently director of the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Innovation Lab, will be one of three jurors evaluating the documentaries. Taplin’s own films have been nominated for both Golden Globes and Oscars and chosen for presentation at the Cannes Film Festival.

We asked AVA Executive Director Anne Willson and Board Member Bobby Stone about how CAPTURE came about:

 The Pulse:  How did the idea for the project arise? Is it modeled on something another community has done?   

Anne Willson: CAPTURE is a new concept; it borrows elements from other film projects, but is very much rooted in Chattanooga's unique sensibility. The idea came about in a conversation between Bobby and me. AVA had wanted to extend its filmmaking program and when Bobby joined the board last year, the discussions started taking hold.

We wanted something that was both broadly participatory and tapped into the skills of professionals.  Second, it needed to be creative, expansive and compelling—all the elements that make Chattanooga such a great town.

TP: Who do you expect to participate in it?  

AW: This first time, most participants will probably be people who are already filming parts of their lives. I don't think it's an age or demographic subset as much as it's a psychographic. But then again, maybe people who aren't as comfortable taking video will see that it really is an easy entree. If you have a cell phone that captures video, you can participate.

Bobby Stone: The idea of the project is to be very inclusive. We hope to have a range of people, from professionals to hobbyists to complete amateurs. But we hope that the experience will bring more people into the process of filmmaking. 

TP: Do you see the project as being connected to the growth in Chattanooga's filmmaking community?  

AW: Absolutely, even if it's indirect. Chattanooga's incredible broadband internet technology is intentionally a part of CAPTURE from the very beginning. We're using it to transfer the created films to California for the juror, Jonathan Taplin of the Annenberg Innovation Lab, to screen. And he will be piped in at the premiere screening on Sunday night to announce the winner. So for professional filmmakers, a combination of broadband streaming capability and a dynamic creative culture is a dream location.

TP: Will the films have a life after they've been presented? If so, what will it be?  

AW: Our intent is that they live on and are broadly used. While AVA will retain the rights to the films, they will be available under a Creative Commons type of license so that anyone, from the Chattanooga CVB and Chamber of Commerce to a foundation or realtor, to a college student wanting to show his parents back home where he lives. It's about the community as a whole and the community as a whole has access to them.

BS: The films will be exhibited publicly throughout the year, and will be on the AVA and CAPTURE websites.

TP: If CAPTURE is successful, will AVA consider it as an annual event?  

AW: It's already planned as an annual event. This is the first year. More accurately, this is the crazy first year when we work through most of the kinks and learn much in the process. And what a great adventure it's already proving to be.

Filmmaker participants receive a $5 discount on the $15 per person tickets to the premiere screening at Track 29, Sunday, September 29, 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Register as a filmmaker online at Screening tickets may be bought online as well at the CAPTURE website or at AVA, 30 Frazier Ave.


September 26, 2013

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