For all of you who have ever left a film thinking "I could've come up with something better than that", or longed to create the next Bad Taste or Clerks, the perfect competition has arrived.
Launching today is Make My Movie, an opportunity for budding directors, scriptwriters and producers to pitch their idea for a film to the public and, if they win enough votes (along with the support of the expert judging panel), they'll get to make it - with a budget of $100,000.
Created by film guru Ant Timpson and nzherald.co.nz entertainment editor Hugh Sundae, the competition aims to mine our Kiwi tradition of pretty zany but often ingenious ideas.
Timpson founded the Incredibly Strange Film Festival and the 48Hours short film competition and sees Make My Movie as an upgrade on that contest.
"It's a natural progression from the 48Hours competition in some respects," Ant explains.
"It's kinda like that, but on steroids. And what I've always wanted for 48Hours, is to create a kind of revolution in low-budget film-making in New Zealand and I thought this could be another great avenue to kick-start things on another level. You know there will only be one winner but hopefully all the other teams will be inspired to keep moving forward with their projects as well. Basically, just wanting to generate a whole bunch of activity, without taking ourselves too seriously, and finding some great talent."
Entrants will have one month to upload a synopsis and poster to the website and drum up support for their idea, before the public and experts will vote to create a shortlist of 12 films. The poster will represent the final vision for the film, a reflection of the aesthetic and the idea.
The teams will then submit video pitches, and a panel of experts, along with the public, will assess the applications to decide on the two final teams.
The finalists will have two months to finish a feature script to present judges and, following panel discussions, the winning team will be announced in January 2012.
But that's only the beginning because they will then have three months to produce the film (with the help of mentors and various industry experts if they want it), which will premiere in April.
On top of this, the entire process, from launch to premiere, will be filmed cinematically on high-end cameras and turned into HD webisodes to be screened at www.nzherald.co.nz, so we can all watch the madness unfold.
Given the number of funding applications that the New Zealand Film Commission (also partners in the project, along with NZ On Air) receives each year, you can bet this will be popular, despite the fact that $100,000 isn't exactly a Hollywood blockbuster budget.
"If you look at what people make on no budget for 48Hours, if you scale that up, $100,000 might go further than people think. Obviously you aren't going to be getting paid at great rates, but if they can keep the shoot to 10 to 14 days, it'll work out.
"Also, they can ask whoever they want to help out. They could set up a web page for donations or look for sponsorship. And Images & Sound will be providing post-production and Panasonic are providing cameras, so $100,000 is not all they get."
*Entries close on October 31. Details and entry here.
Watch the first webisode here: