This past weekend, I finally participated in the 48-Hour Film Project. Friends of mine have been doing it for years, but until this year, I’d always been on the road for Louisville’s event.
Forty-forty-forty Eight Hours to Go…
Imagine an insane love child of Startup Weekend, improv theater, and finals week.
Before the weekend, we chose our team, assigned roles, and scouted locations, without actually knowing what we’d do until we began. On Friday night, each team draws a genre out of a hat (actually, each drawing has two genres, and the team picks the one they’d like to do). The final film must be 4 to 7 minutes long (credits at the end of the movie don’t count against the maximum time).
A schedule typically goes like this:
- Friday night: draw genre, frantically write the script and contact the actors, wardrobe, and locations that are needed.
- Saturday: learn lines, assemble costumes, rehearse, film (ay, there’s the rub)
- Sunday: edit the film, add soundtrack, add title and credits, frantically rush to turn in the final product on time
On top of randomly drawing a genre, each team has three required ingredients: a line, a prop, and a character. Even though each team gets its own genre, all teams share those same three ingredients.
The randomly assigned genres include one of these:
- Action / Adventure
- Coming of Age
- Dark Comedy
- Film de Femme
- Holiday Film
- Road Movie
- Sci Fi
- Silent Film
And one of these:
- Adventure Serial
- Animal Film
- Buddy Film
- Detective / Cop
- Family Film
- Fish Out of Water
- Martial Arts
- Period Piece
- Sports Film
- Time Travel Movie
- War or Anti-War Film
Some are harder than others. With the variety of talent we had on our team, we could have handled any of them, but I personally would have had a difficult time with Musical and Animal, and several of them would not have particularly interested me.
Thankfully, we draw Mystery or Film de Femme. Mystery is a well understood genre, and our writers bubbled with ideas.
Our (and every team’s) ingredients were:
- Character: Dylan (or Diane) Murphy, a cook
- Prop: Rubber band
- Line: “But what if you’re wrong?”
Our team included people that I’ve been friends with for a long time, like Jessica Mathis, Patrick Gabbard, and Rachel Allen. And many more that I’d sort of known, or hadn’t met at all until the weekend.
My title was Assistant Producer. That meant that I ran for coffee, shuttled people around, and otherwise tried to make the experience smooth for the rest of the cast and crew. I also acted as an extra, and got kicked in the shins a few dozen times as part of a scene.
A Fool’s Errand
The movie we filmed is “A Fool’s Errand.” We’re part of the ‘Group A’ block of films that are competing. The movies will show at Village 8 Theaters in Louisville, KY.
- Premiere: July 31, 2016 at 5:00 PM
- Encore: August 1, 2016 at 9:00 PM
- Best Of: August 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM (this is also when the winners will be announced)
Sadly, we don’t qualify for an official award, since we turned in our project late.
The power in the building where we were shooting and editing blew out on Saturday night, forcing us to reshoot several scenes Sunday. Without that previous footage, which got lost in the outage, we weren’t able to finish in time.
Still, our movie will be shown, and is eligible for the Fan Favorite vote. Everyone who attends can vote.