Movie News & Reviews

Wammies competition’s challenge to make film 1 minute long or less

The third Wait-a-Minute film competition, in which participants have one week to make a film one minute long or shorter, will kick off Saturday.

Better known by organizers and participants as the Wammies, the competition is designed to get novice filmmakers to make movies because of the easy time frame, said John Kephart, a member of the Tacoma Filmmakers executive committee. The group, which formed to help promote and foster filmmaking in the community by providing connections to local actors and production assistance, sponsors the competition.

“I think a lot of the members of our group want to make films but don't know how to get started. It's an intimidating process,” Kephart said.

“The idea behind WAM was to create a competition that would give filmmakers an opportunity to create with an easily manageable goal — one week to make a film of one minute's length or less,” he added.

That’s also why the entry fee is just $5, to encourage people to make a film.

Now in its third year, the Wammies features a mystery element which must be included in each film. The first year, the element was time. The winning film, “Anything Helps,” was made by Jeff Barehand of Olympia. Last year’s event had the mystery element of reflection, and it was won by “Flying Kisses” by Tarun Seth.

This year’s surprise element will be revealed to contestants at Saturday’s “Revenge of the WAM” at 4 p.m. at Sanford and Sons Antiques, 743 Broadway, Tacoma.

Filmmakers then have one week to put together their entry, which must be submitted by June 12. Kephart said they hope to attract about 40 entries this year.

The films do not have to be any particular genre.

Kephart and the rest of the executive team will then judge the films, which will be shown June 18 at the Knights of Pythias Temple, 924 ½ Broadway, starting at 7 p.m.

At the showing, awards will be given out to winners for best picture, best use of mystery element, best male actor, best female actor, best editing, best sound and best film by filmmaker under 21. Kephart said there also will be an audience award for best picture.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

Learn more

The official rules are posted at The mystery element will be posted there Sunday and on the group’s Facebook page. Previous winners can be seen on the group’s YouTube channel.