'Mimes Like These' is June 2018's Film of the Month

24 Jul 2018 in Film of the Month

7 mins
'Mimes Like These' is June 2018's Film of the Month

We are very pleased to announce that the June 2018 winner of Film of the Month is Mimes Like These, made by Chris, Joe, and Matt from the West Midlands.

Mimes Like These (Engaging for 7+) sees two competing mimes end up brawling during an audition in this funny and cleverly choreographed homage to the age of slapstick and silent cinema.

I loved this creative short. It was well paced, very funny and had some fantastic sound effects as well as some brilliant performances and choreography from the actors.

Film of the Month judge on 'Mimes Like These'

We got in touch with the filmmakers to find out more about their film. 

Congratulations! How does it feel to win the Film of the Month?

Chris: It's very humbling to realise that our work has been formally recognised, and that it has received appreciation.

Where did you get the idea for Mimes Like These?

Chris: The idea for Mimes originated from our interest in slapstick comedy, which led us to looking into the works of the slapstick greats like Charlie Chaplin. We paid homage to this with the black and white filter seen in the opening, and the text scroll, which mimics the opening of many of Chaplin's silent films. Naturally, the physical nature of the comedy was the main aspect of this which we took as inspiration, featuring no dialogue in the film, and instead relying on the actors performance to the convey the humour.

Have any of you made a film before?

Joe: This was our first film together as a group, although we have all worked with each other separately before. Over the course of making films, we have all learned a lot, such as the importance of planning, timetabling and accurate scheduling, as well as individual lessons, taught to us by the prior films we have made. For me, the major lesson I learned was to make sure the script was tight and the actors and crew all scheduled and committed to the project on certain dates, otherwise it all tends to fall apart.

Mimes Like These shows a great love of comedy - were you inspired by any particular comedy actors or filmmakers?

Joe: Definitely. As I said Chaplin was our main inspiration, and helped us to come up the original idea, as well as informing the visual style, and slapstick performance of the film.

Everyone looks like they're having so much fun in the film - tell us a little bit about what it was like to make.

Chris: It was very enjoyable to make, though it required some improvisation on the day. The venue we originally planned to use was unavailable to us, so we had to use our initiative to find a new location in a short amount of time. Thankfully we were able to overcome this setback, and the rest of the shoot was remarkable easy and fast, with us managing to shoot the film in about two hours, thanks to our planning, detailed script, and highly energetic and cooperative actors.

If you could make Mimes Like These again, what would you do differently, and why?

Matt: I think we would liked to more clearly establish the role of the audience in the film. The three audience members are meant to be critics. However due to them being so few in number, and the fact that we only cut to them a few times over the duration of the film, this was not perhaps as clear as we would have liked it to be. Therefore I would insert more reaction shots of the critics, and provide a scene before their entry, to establish their role.

What top tips would you give to a young filmmaker who's about to make their first film?

Joe: I would say that planning is vital; a clear and detailed script is the vital first step to beginning your film. The hardest part can be to gather actors who share your passion for the film, as unmotivated actors will get rid of the fun inherent in the process. So long as you have planned in advance, and have actors who are dedicated to the vision of the film, then I would urge you to go out and make the film. Often when making films we worry about the complexities of shooting, however so long as you have the foundation of an idea, and the willingness to create a film, you should not be afraid of shooting, and should embrace the process, feeling free to divert from the script on the day if you feel you have a superior idea, or a better way of shooting a scene. This dynamic form of shooting often leads to the best results in our experience, allowing true creativity to flow.

What are some of your favourite films? Have these influenced Mimes Like These, if so how?

Matt: Personally I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright, and the Cornetto trilogy. These films have influenced my filmmaking greatly, as my preference for creating comedic short films has certainly stemmed from these films, and I often take inspiration from them when creating my own films.

Mimes Like These will now be showcased to over 300,000 film club members online and all of this month's films can be seen on our YouTube channel. The filmmakers have also won a £100 Amazon voucher and a DVD! If you've been inspired by this month's winner, find out more about how you can enter our ongoing Film of the Month competition.

If you enjoyed Mimes Like These why not try these related films:

  • The Artist (2011, PG, 97mins) Engaging for 11+
    Romantic, black and white ode to early cinema, which won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, revolving around the dawn of the ‘talkies'.
  • Laurel and Hardy - Way Out West (1937, U, 65mins) Engaging for 5+
    Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy travel to the Wild West and everything soon begins to go drastically wrong in this enormously popular comedy from the slapstick duo.
  • The Complete Buster Keaton Short Films: Disc A (1917, U, 180mins) Engaging for 7+
    This compilation features eight early short films from one of the great comedians of the silent era, full of incredible stunts and amazing set pieces.
  • Charlie Chaplin: The Mutual Films, Vol. 1 (1916, PG, 141mins) Engaging for 5+
    During one of the most creative periods of his career, silent cinema star Charlie Chaplin develops his famous ‘tramp' character to glorious effect in these hilarious shorts.

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