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Two Australian-based filmmakers are among the top ten entrants in Getty Images’ peer-judged, short film competition, ‘The Next Big Idea’, which garnered more than 200 entries from 23 countries.
Morgan Christie from Sydney and Melbourne-based Santiago Sierra made the final cut with their respective films, following a simple brief: explore the one thing that links all creative work – ‘the big idea’ – and produce a 60-second film with at least half of the content originating from the vast collection of digital film and still imagery available at ‘The Next Big Idea’ is the first competition of its kind to provide filmmakers with unlimited visual assets. With immediate access to more than 1.4 million still images and over 100,000 film clips, filmmakers were able to conceive and execute their ‘big ideas’ to create innovative, original work.
Morgan Christie is a film industry professional and is committed to a career in directing. His film, ‘The Future Box’, has past, present and future wrapped up in one, 60 second, 1920s action film with a magic twist. Christie used archival imagery after discovering the vast range of such material available on “I started playing with era and genre to see what an old film from the early 1900s might have looked like if it were made today using modern camera and editing techniques," said Christie.
Mexican-born Santiago Sierra is a final year advertising student and hopes to develop an international career in advertising and film. His short-film, ‘Dark Forest’, is a metaphor in which the forest represents a magical other-worldly place where ideas, thoughts and images can be captured. The concept originates from Sierra’s belief that “the best ideas are very instinctual and natural". After shooting the film in Melbourne, he merged his material with Getty Images still imagery and film clips to create the final product.
The Next Big Idea’s overall winner, Mark Tapio Kines from the USA, will be awarded the grand prize for his film ‘The Closest Thing to Time Travel’, which depicts an invention that enables people to witness past events. He was selected from a shortlist of 28 films that made it to the final round of the competition for online peer voting. In addition to receiving US$10,000, Kines’ film will be premiered around the world together with the films of Morgan Christie and Santiago Sierra.
The initial 200-plus entries were reviewed and shortlisted by an international panel of industry experts including: Jeremy Hollister, founder and creative director, Plus et Plus (New York); Sophie de la Motte, executive producer and managing director, Hamster Publicité (Paris); John Turk, co-founder and head of production, RES Media Group (New York); and Mark Waites, co-founder and creative director, Mother (London).
“These films surprise with fresh ideas that exist in ways not possible before," said Lewis Blackwell, senior vice president, group creative director for Getty Images. “They display three crucial factors coming together brilliantly: the filmmakers’ creativity, the effectively infinite resources of our pre-shot footage and stills, and the potential of new editing tools. This leads to work that is unique to these times."
In 2004, Getty Images launched ‘The Big Idea’ which challenged seven of the world’s most innovative filmmakers to create works expressing their personal artistic vision. Responding to the enthusiastic feedback from the film community, it was reconceived for 2006 in a new, interactive format that would engage not only filmmakers but their creative peers interested in exploring ideas through film and photography.
‘The Closest Thing to Time Travel’ and the nine finalist films can be viewed online at , and are scheduled to premiere at Getty Images’ events around the world:
New York City: Friday, May 19, at the AIGA MOVES event, Hiro Ballroom at the Maritime Hotel, 8:00pm
Los Angeles: Wednesday, June 7 at CineSpace, 7:30 pm
Sydney: Wednesday, June 14 at TANK, 7:30 pm
London: Thursday, June 29 at AKA, 7:30 pm

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Anonymous said:

Congrats Santiago! Watched your film and in my opinion it blows all the others out of the water! Very strong concept,

Anonymous said:

Gee there's some good stuff on there. But the overall winner is unadulterated SHIT.

Dr Jackie said:

Santiago is a major talent in the making, no doubt about it. If only he wasn't so bloody good looking to boot.

Anonymous said:

San , Im with you all the time keep on the good work , dont look down , allways up and lets go for the next big thing.Mr cheese.

Ak said:

Santiago´s work is the best one. He is a very talented, intelligent, and passionate man.His ideas are over the top, he shoul have won first place.

Anonymous said:

Sure, Santiago's film is a slick looking little ditty, but let's be honest, folks. It did not in any way fulfil what this contest was actually about. For one thing, he only used about 4 seconds of stock footage, instead of the 50% dictated by the rules of the contest. And what that gay little elf mincing about has to do with the next big idea, I'll never know. The fact he added the Getty logo to the end made it appear like nothing more than a cheesy Getty TV commercial, and not an actual short FILM. I think all of the other top ten films were pretty good, and Santiago should thank his lucky stars he managed to con enough of his friends into voting for his silly little contribution that he was even able to make it into the top ten at all. I for one was shocked to see his hokey commercial included in the mix.

Anonymous said:

Won't he return your calls, 5:13?

The English Skeptic said:

Is Santiago good looking?

Anonymous said:

I do agree the pansy elf thing is a little bit naff - and it did look more like an ad than a film, but can't we just support these blokes for trying? I reckon the other Aussie bloke deserves a mention. It's about the most original of all the films there in my opinon.

Anonymous said:

Definitely hot! Just like his work. Loved it.

Anonymous said:

I agree with 7:37. Morgan Christie's film is great. It's my second favorite one of the top ten. It looks wonderful and it's very smart and original. But I must say I feel that the winning film is the best of the bunch, and it does an excellent job of condensing a huge (and very poignant) story into a mere 60 seconds. Quite an accomplishment! Sure, it didn't have the most special effects, but this wasn't a special effects contest. Even if you don't like it the best, it's a huge leap to classify it as "unadulterated shit."

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