48 Hour Film Project 2011!

Well, it’s the calm before the storm again. The 48 Hour Film Project kicks off next Friday in Indianapolis. In about 6 days, 21 hours and 10 minutes, I’ll be in a very crowded Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, surrounded by rapid local filmmakers, drawing a piece of paper from a fish bowl that will dictate the next 48 hours of our lives.
The paper will have a genre (please not musical, PLEASE NOT MUSICAL), and the organizer will also provide us a Character, Line of Dialogue, and Prop we must use. Friday night will be spent at a team member’s house near the kick off location, scripting and storyboarding away. We’ll meet there again at 8 AM the next morning with some auxiliary crew and whichever cast members we need and shoot the day away, hopefully finishing by 6 or 7PM. Then hopefully by about 8PM we’ll have a rough cut and spend a couple of hours refining it together. Last year we were on IUPUI campus editing until about 3 AM when campus police kicked us out, so I think this year will be considerably less stressful – no impending arrests, no key cast members sleeping past their alarm clocks, no need to have a PA supervising the space with our equipment, no mad dash to a store on the north side for a proper Firewire cable. When I summarize all the stresses of last year in this manner, it’s no wonder I feel anxious! We did have an awful lot of hurdles to jump last year and I really don’t foresee the same nonsense again. Sunday will likely be spend at our sound recordist’s sweet studio, composing a score, refining the audio, and basically doing the color grading and any last minute updates. I hope to make a backup output at 3PM. Then we’ll make the mad dash to the finish line in Fountain Square by 7:30 PM, dropping off the 720P QT file in a rather anticlimactic manner. Six days later, we’ll gather to watch our film on the big screen at the Indianapolis Museum of Art Toby Theater.
Despite the numerous challenges last year, we created a great film that went on to have a very long life. It showed on 4 (perhaps 5) different screens in 2 cities and won a couple of awards including Best Film at the 3 Minute Film Fest where it competed against non-48 Hour Films. I think we have a solid chance for something very cool this year. And regardless, we’ll have a crap ton of fun together which is what really matters. The group of us could put together a production anytime we want and have relative success crafting a film over the course of several months. To throw ourselves into a film race is great fun and has the benefit of providing us with a possibly awesome little film.
Last night I ordered some business cards for us to pass out at the Premiere on the 6th. Many groups pass materials out to the audience members to get their name out there. I put together a small card with a silly graphic, our team name, our Tumblr URL, and a QR code that will lead to a page on our Tumblr with behind the scenes photos and videos, our 48 second trailer, and eventually the film itself. Since we won’t know the name of our film until maybe even Sunday night on the 31st, that doesn’t give much time to make marketing stuff, so I thought something somewhat interactive would be a lot of fun to play around with. I’m going to optimize the page for mobile and maybe make it even more interactive with stuff visitors can mess with or leave comments on. There’s a lot of downtime during the screening so it gives people opportunity to check us out. Who knows, maybe the concept of our film will be such that it will make the page we send them to integrate into the story somehow – some kind of viral marketing happening DURING the screening process. It’s great that we aren’t locked into anything because the page the code will go to can change constantly. I love it, it can potentially be an awesome way to engage the audience in a new way.
Here’s the pending cast and crew list for 2011’s 48HFP:
Director – me (yea, I’ve never actually directed before, my comfort is behind the glow of a monitor :-X)
Directors of Photography – Aaron Whiteford and Jeremiah Nickerson
Assistant Director – Joshua Fike
(Basically the 4 of us will be doing the script supervision, gaffer, and grip roles too.)
Sound recordist/boom operator – Ricardo Laranja
Editor – Katie Toomey
Any VFX will be done by me if necessary
Original score by Ricardo Laranja
Possibly starring:
Sarah Hoback
Christopher Patten
Joshua Breece
Gavin Zinn