In The Pocket with Mark Beckaus: Pocket Fest Short Film Festival

Faceless anarchists in remote Northern California…A father reflecting on his life post Hurricane Katrina…Bloody wolves on desert highways in 29 Palms…These are just a few of the inspirations that were revealed at the inaugural Pocket Fest Film Festival, screened at the Pacific Design Center’s Silver Screen Theatre in Los Angeles last week.

New York and Sydney based Nylon Studios asked eleven professional directors to make any film they’d like– no clients to answer to, no restrictions, just be creative with the principle idea of “from small things comes something big.” The constraints? The films had to be about two minutes long, each director had to use the same Kodak handheld pocket camera to level the playing field, and each had to include the signature item, binoculars, to ensure that the film was made for Pocket Fest.

Aussie Mark Beckaus, the creative mind behind Pocket Fest, founded Nylon Studios in Sydney in 2002, and headed to the US in 2006. Billabout got the chance to speak with him about why the boutique studio started this film competition in the first place.

Mark Beckaus, David Gaddie and Simon Lister

“It came from a conversation that we were having in the office about clients stifling our creativity,” he said. While he’s the first to acknowledge how lucky they are to be so busy in such a competitive market, it is important to make something without a commercial angle, hence the festival. No fancy equipment or costly crews, just a film made on a pocket camera.

Focus Creeps & guests

Nylon Studios fosters a collective approach to creativity, and this philosophy clearly shines through with Pocket Fest. Directors pushed the pocket camera to its limits with some astounding cinematographic results. Students from Inner-City Film Makers (ICF), an orgaisation that provides free year round industry education for disadvantaged youths in Los Angeles, were a pivotal part of Pocket Fest. ICF was involved in every aspect of the festival from assisting on shoots, to observing the mixing process and shooting their own films.

Check out the eleven films @

By Angela Ledgerwood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>