Film is a powerful storytelling medium, and can be used as a window, through which we can observe the lives of strangers. Their thoughts and feelings are often laid bare to provide us with insight into the human condition. These human stories can often hit universal truths, whether they are documentaries or works of complete fiction.
Such was the (slightly pretentious) blurb for Hello My Name Is, Gorilla Film Magazine’s second event for the East End Film Festival (last year we did a Treasure Hunt) and our first collaboration with IdeasTap. Gorilla curated and hosted a film screening on the 1st of July in the Brickhouse on Bricklane, with a selection of short films by IdeasTap members, as well as some fun with face masks, name tags and booze.
Things kicked off at 1pm with films being show on the big screen on the ground floor throughout the day, while five documentaries played continuously on a loop on individual televisions on the 1st and 2nd floor.
As usual we had a bunch of loyal Gorillas, looking smart in crisp white lab coats, out on the street talking to the public about the event, and shamelessly plugging our merchandise (incidentally, did you know a £10 T-shirt gets you a free magazine?).
The Brickhouse was a great venue, particularly as it’s location meant we were able to catch a lot of the people enjoying the Sunday market. After all, it’s difficult for passers-by to resist a door with a bunch of arrows pointing to it (this is what we call psychology, we’re all really good at it in Gorilla).
There were no admission tickets, no entry fees, just like our Treasure Hunt last year, the event was totally free and open to all. Our extensive and credible market research shows that people like free stuff.
On the door, we were giving out name tags for the public, to reinforce the theme of identity and add a little silliness to the event.
The Gorilla desk is our base of operations; here we sold magazines and T-shirts, as well as free face masks and leaflets for other events (including our outdoor, pedal powered Troll Hunter film screening).
The films’s shown on the big screen were in sets that lasted between 10 and 15 minutes each, with a half hour break in-between, so people could come and go as they wished. We tried to keep the event as casual and relaxed as possible, with fun music playing whenever the films stopped.
Upstairs on the first and second floor, we had televisions playing individual documentaries on a loop. People could come and sit down with friends, or by themselves, and listen to the films with earphones.
The main film sets were dotted throughout the day from 1pm to 5.30pm. All of the films shown were submitted by IdeasTap members, and we selected our collection from 70 submissions. All the films were of great quality, so we chose a bunch that either had similar themes or could fit our continuity.
The documentaries were all character pieces, following the lives of interesting individuals. We wanted out theme to be quite loose, so that we could show a variety of films.
The Brickhouse had a ground floor, a first floor with tables and a second floor with a bed. We used the space to compliment our theme, with the ground floor representing a meeting place, the 1st a kind of restaurant environment for first dates and the second a bedroom environment.
Introductions were kept to a minimum; we had someone on a mic briefly welcome the audience and explain the general idea, but we mostly wanted the work to speak for itself, so we made a point not to have Q&A’s with any of the filmmakers, even though many of them were there.
Naturally we had our capitalist hats on for the event, selling merchandise and Gorilla Film Magazine Issue 4 (which is only £3, and is also available to buy online).
It wasn’t difficult to usher in a crowd for the event, considering how much practice Gorilla has had at acting silly for attention. Besides, this is London, it’s kind of expected.
The feedback from the public, the Brickhouse and IdeasTap has been extremely positive. All in all it was a fun day that went smoothly and hopefully added something to the Cine-East and East End Film Festival experience.
The fabled (and official) Gorilla T-shirt, exclusively designed by our robot, Jack Lee. We have three designs in total, each unique and well worth the £10 price tag. And I’m not just saying that.
The documentaries shown on the televisions (and on the big screen at the end of the event) were: Lifes Too Short Not to be Frank, Boots, Lust in Translation and Sonny, the Freeman.
The films (and animations) shown on the big screen throughout the day were: Blue, Insatiable, Jackie and Kevin, Peace One Day, Awkward, The Phone Box, The Force That Through The Green Fire Fuels The Flower and Mooncake.
We’ll end with a picture of us all looking slightly creepy. Keep an eye out for more Gorilla events coming soon (you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook) including the pedal powered cinema and our ongoing collaboration with Magnificent Revolution.