Christopher J. Garcia is a writer, historian, fanzine editor (editor of The Drink Tank and co-editor (with James Bacon) of Journey Planet), and filmmaker from Santa Clara, California. He’s lost 16 Hugos in three categories, but managed to win Best Fanzine in 2011. He’s a Curator at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. He is also working on a fannish documentary series called 5 Cons.
by Christopher J. Garcia
For the last 13 years, I’ve been a part of the Cinequest Film Festival‘s Shorts Programming team. Every year, usually starting in June, I’ll watch hundreds of shorts from around the world. Yeah, it’s a lot of viewing, but the films are all 40 minutes or less. In the old days, when we still got our submissions on VHS, nearly half of the films we got had some terrible problem….they looked like hell or the sound popped and creaked. They were entirely amateur, and looked it. As time went by, and DVD replaced VHS, we found our selves getting films that were technically more sound in general. Where once we could instantly discount half the films, now we had more to consider. The explosion in inexpensive digital cameras of quality helped even those with little knowledge make films that looked great. It also meant that we could focus more on story and less on technical issues. Once on-line submissions replaced DVDs, we found something incredible – genre films, and more specifically science fiction films.