Traverse City Record-Eagle

Arts & Entertainment

January 3, 2014

Feature film may be first to be filtered on Instagram

TRAVERSE CITY — Cat Muncey got an early Christmas present: lots of snow for the opening montage in her film, “Division.”

The suspense film — a spooky social commentary on the use of social media — began shooting Dec. 20 and 21 at locations like downtown Traverse City and the Grand Traverse Commons. But it’s what will happen after filming that makes the movie unique.

Muncey, 30, expects to become the first director to create and market a full-length feature film entirely filtered on Instagram. The photo- and video-sharing smartphone app allows users to take a picture or a video up to 15 seconds long, choose a filter to transform its look and feel, and then post the result to Instagram or share on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr.

Muncey’s film will be shot with professional cameras instead of a cellphone and won’t be posted or shared after filtering. But it will be composed of more than 1,000 Instagram videos of 15 seconds or less, strategically stitched together for a seamless look.

Instagram’s 15-second-limit format lends itself well to advertisements, since 15 seconds is an established ad length in the TV world. But Muncey, who recently left her job as creative director for a digital marketing agency to make films for her own production house, maintains it’s equally well-suited for feature films.

“It’s very rarely in any film that you rest on anything more than 15 seconds,” she said. “You have quick cuts.”

The director said she was interested in using Instagram as a production tool because other filmmakers haven’t done it and because it will allow her and the film’s three editors to alter and enhance video footage more quickly and efficiently.

She also hopes to inspire others without professional equipment to make their own films.

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