Digital Life Leaves Diarist Cold

Day 5 at the EIFF: Digital Realities day no cure for hangover.

by Kotleta

Desperately seeking Joss Whedon, pictured here directing Serenity. Whedon is doing a (sold out) Reel Life at the EIFF.

Desperately seeking Joss Whedon, pictured here directing Serenity. Whedon is doing a (sold out) Reel Life at the EIFF.

Edinburgh International Film Festival, Sunday, 21 August, 2005

A week surviving on canapes, cakes, coffee and an average of three hours sleep a night is starting to take its toll. I have adopted a new strategy of trowelling on lurid green, purple and gold eyeshadow and lots of sparkly blusher to distract people from the permanently hungover pasty wreckage that used to be my face.

Sunday mornings are supposed to be restful, giving you the opportunity to unwind from the week before and prepare yourself for the one ahead, whilst intermittently boking up pure vodka and unchewed chips into a basin. Instead I spent it cuddling a plastic cup of lukewarm tea as I sat in a dark cinema watching the first of last year's New Found Films, and quietly wanting to die.

It was Digital Realities day in the industry world so, unsurprisingly, it was a digital film. Robbie Fraser's directorial debut gamerZ (no, it's supposed to be spelled like that) is a coming of age comedy set in the fantasy role-playing society of Glasgow University. The characters were all vile yet sadly recognisable, so I was grateful to have spent my own time at Glasgow Uni completely oblivious to that very real society's existence.

Even after the film I still haven't grasped either the rules or the point of games where you pretend to be elves and trolls with stupid names, but that's ok, as I have nice friends and a real life.

What about digital docs?

Lunch was more canapes (today's menu: vegetable samosas, unidentifiable mini quiches, sandwiches and scampi) and a small bucket of white wine sitting on a sunny penthouse terrace, and then back to the Filmhouse for a panel discussion on what digital technology will mean to the future of film production and screening.

As I know everything there is to know about everything, the content of this was a little basic. If you're interested in digital cinema then you might already know about Hollywood encoding standards and the UK Film Council's big digital roll out project. If you aren't interested then I expect by now you have closed this window and looked up eBay instead. I was a little surprised that in all this talk of groundbreaking innovation they forgot to mention Docspace, an organisation that has been screening documentaries digitally in the UK since last November. Oh well.

Home-grown cinema

More coffee, more cake and then another digital film. This afternoon's screening was Night People, Adrian Mead and Clare Kerr's first feature. Set in Edinburgh, this is a series of vignettes which tell the story of how one night changes five people, when each has to confront an unpalatable truth on how they have chosen to live their lives. So west coast in the morning and east in the afternoon.

Feeling a bit digitalled out, I sat outside the Filmhouse with some more lukewarm tea and ate donuts until it started to rain. Sleep was a concept too beautiful to grasp, so I went drinking in the Cameo bar til 3am instead. The rest of the week will be spent intensively stalking Joss Whedon. Maybe I can close my eyes in September.

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