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How I Won Canon's Project Imaginat10n Contest: Ronnie Allman Looked to Others for Inspiration

Photo of Nigel M Smith By Nigel M Smith | Indiewire December 2, 2013 at 11:56AM

As inspiration, first-time filmmaker Ronnie Allman looked to others to help fuel his thoughts after becoming fixated on a haunting photo called "Fires Be Damned!" [Melissa Wollenberg, Highlands Ranch, CO] of a suburban boy outfitted with a gas mask.
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"Fires Be Damned!"
"Fires Be Damned!"

[Editor's Note: All filmmakers want to be noticed and contests are one way to make that happen. But what does it take to make a film that wins? This is part of a series of five articles that profile the winning directors of Canon's Project Imaginat10n and how they created their incredible short films. To learn more about Project Imagination, please go HERE.]

As inspiration, first-time filmmaker Ronnie Allman looked to others to help fuel his thoughts after becoming fixated on a haunting photo called "Fires Be Damned!" [Melissa Wollenberg, Highlands Ranch, CO] of a suburban boy outfitted with a gas mask.

"I talked to people, friends, who had lived all over the world," he said. "One woman, I think she was in Turkey, told about this time she was at a cafe and there was a riot outside. Somebody start shooting teargas and everybody in the cafe put on their masks, everybody but this one girl who was visiting. It was just normal to them."

Her story of a foreign world inspired Allman to pen a troubling tale of a future that "could be right around the corner."

The Short's Official Synopsis: The hardest part of life is living. "Filter" is a story about a couple who struggles to survive in a world that has changed them forever.

The Short:


How He Won the Contest: "I basically wrote it with every resource I knew I could pull off," Allman explained. "I shot the apartment scenes in my own apartment, the office building where I work and then with everything else, I just made sure it was in a public place so we didn't have anything too noticeable around it. I was using a really small camera so people wouldn't notice where I was."

Advice to Filmmakers: Allman, who comes from an advertising background, said he surprised himself with his short. "I pushed myself further than I knew I could," he said. "Just push yourself."

What They Shot On: Allman shot on a Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR camera for "98 percent" of the film. For one of his last shots he used aCanon EOS 6D DSLR camera that he bought during the last week of shooting.

Indiewire has partnered with Canon's Project Imaginat10n, the first film festival inspired by your photos.


This article is related to: Canon Project Imaginat10n Contest, Interviews, Filmmaker Toolkit: Student Filmmakers, Filmmaker Toolkit: Publicity, Filmmaker Toolkit: Production, Filmmaker Toolkit: Tech, Filmmaker Toolkit: Shorts, Shorts