48 Hour Film festival
Happy Tuesday Everyone!
This year I took part in the 48 hour film festival again this year. Again, we had a great success! For those of you who are not aware of what the 48 hour film festival is, it is a film festival where you arrive at 7:00 pm on the first day. You are given a Genre (choice between 2), Character, Prop, and a line of dialogue. You then have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film and turn it by 7:00 pm (48 hours from the first 7:00 pm, obviously).
So we got Superhero or Period piece, an activist (they gave a name as well), a calculator for a prop, and the line of dialogue was "I believe in Peace". We ended up doing a Super Hero that had a period piece in it so that worked out. I ran lights and did the soundtrack. Since part of the film took place in the 70s I totally funked it up. I made most of it on my keyboard but some of it was old recordings of me playing bass.
The 48 hour film festival is basically a caffeine-fueled insanity nightmare of creativity. You pretty much don't sleep the entire time because of the short deadline. I got to work with a lot of cool new equipment that I normally don't get to touch because of budget issues on a lot of sets. I got to play with some really awesome C stands and tungsten lights. Tungsten lights are great light sources for good color but man do they heat up and SUCK energy. You have to pay attention to how many you are running from one area. Don't want to overload that socket!
The part I was most excited about was the short was shot on a Red Epic Dragon. For those who don't know it's a cinema-quality digital camera. The Red series is used on a lot high-level productions in Hollywood and worldwide. A few of the Marvel movies have used them, The Martian among others. So being able to be near this camera was just a huge gift in itself.
Ever since making the jump from DSLRs (which a lot of filmmakers have been using the last 10 years especially), back to camcorders there was no going back. Yes, for the price a DSLR offers some great options but you get used to nice conveniences of a camcorder and you're spoiled again. Man does that suck! Everything is more expensive with a camcorder. The tripods, the rigs, the batteries.
About 12 hours into the film festival is typically when we start getting ready to shoot (7:00 am) the next day. Of course there is always delays, because you know, life. But those first hours and that first day is always the most fun. Everyone is all about it. Everyone is excited to be a part of the project, everyone wants to get it done, etc. There is food everywhere. WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS! And of course, we did. We did do it. But of course, then that next 24 hours comes. About 10 hours in that 24 hours we are still shooting this is towards the end and we are still raging off all the caffeine in our systems. Fast forward 4 hours later and we are zombies. We are sitting on the roof at night with a 1000w, 2 500w and a fluorescent light on our subjects. I have to hold on of the lights with the sandbags in the back because we are so high up and there was a little wind so better safe than sorry, right? Not gonna lie, I totally took a power nap while they were shooting scenes laying on those sandbags.
After the dirt nap, er, sandbag nap we were done. It was then onto creating the soundtrack. I was a delirious state by now recreating any funk groove I could remember on whatever clav I could find. I definitely fell asleep at the keyboard a few times while the others were there editing including my partner in crime of the cinematographic nature, Toran. I did manage to get a one hour nap in, and woke up again to finish off that soundtrack. I believe the film was finishing up about 2 hours before finish time when they rushed it into the submissions.
In the end, we ended up winning second overall and best directing (nice job Spenser!). We had won last year so if we didn't place at all that would have been disappointing. It was such a great time and if you ever get a chance to check out Indy Film Fest and the 48 hour film festival, definitely do it. We had a blast and will definitely be back for more next year like we have some sort of sick pain fetish... who knows!