26 Seconds


London Design Festival 2010 has been something of a triumph for writers collective 26. Not content with dreaming up one of the more unusual LDF events in 26 Treasures, they've also teamed up with IVCA film makers to create a series of 26 second movies that pack a big punch. And all for a few pennies.


Back in May, a group of writers and IVCA film-makers gathered together on a damp May evening in Soho. The evening was spent speed dating, talking about ideas, discussing approaches, debating what could be achieved in short time lengths.

Their plan was to form into writer/film-maker pairs, and then go forth and make a 26-second film on a subject of their choice. The aim was to create something that would influence attitudes or change behaviour and the subject could be anything from a minor annoyance to a personal obsession. The only constraint was the finished film had to last exactly 26 seconds.

Oh, and one other thing there was no money.

Not two shillings to rub together.

In short; the production budget was a fat zero.

Now, just whisper the words no money to a film director and most will pull a face like they're having their prostrate examined.

Yet for 26 Seconds, they rose to the challenge and found ways around the obstacles. They pulled favors. Cut a few corners and slowly but surely the impossible became possible.

In fact, one of the organizers, Ben Afia, believes the results have delivered way above expectations; It was always a tall order. But the results have blown us away a series of little stunners. It's proved that people really care... about everything from the origins of life to the threat of extinction, and from bee migration to how fashion can sexualise children

The results are not only impressive but prove that an apparent limitation can turn into a great creative incentive. The tighter the brief the more imaginative the solution. Check out all of these incisive little videos for yourself here.

John Fountain is senior writer at Avvio


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