So if my memory serves correct, two weekends ago I shot my SEVENTH 48 Hour Film. (For those unfamiliar with the quite popular, international filmmaking competition, the 48HFP gives filmmakers the opportunity to write, shoot, score and edit a 4-7 minute film in, you guessed it, 48 Hours.) I actually get fairly preachy about how great the 48HFP is, and I HIGHLY encourage people filmmakers of all skill levels to try it out. The most you have to lose is one weekend of your life, and hopefully at the end you have something shiny and new to show off.
I hooked up again with the core team I worked with last year on our short film Gro2. Our producer Keith had procured an awesome industrial textile mill (after I suggested we get an awesome industrial warehouse space) to use as a location, and he and I had scouted it out a few days before shooting. (48HFP Tip #1: I think picking a location and deciding no matter what, that you’ll shoot there, is a great way to go about the 48HFP.) It was a working facility and there were many cool places to shoot, and we envisioned a ton of of great locations to use (ultimately due to time and story we only skimmed the surface of what the place had to offer).
On Friday night we got our genre (War or Anti-War) and our other required elements (prop, character, and line of dialogue) that had to be worked into the film. After some brainstorming, Keith and Micah went off to write Friday night, then got some sleep. (48HFP Tip #2: Get some sleep, don’t treat this as a two day cram session. If you’re organized there is time in the weekend to sleep.) We met up with our cast (two of the three only Keith had met) and the rest of our crew on Saturday morning to begin shooting. Our plan was to front-end any of the shots requiring visual effects, so that our VFX guy (the amazingly talented Will Cavanagh) could get to work on those, so we shot the 2 scenes that we needed VFX for and sent Will on his merry way. Honestly the rest of the shoot day went surprisingly well. I have to commend our team and our actors for making sure everything went smoothly. There was no drama, no real sense of major urgency, in fact I think the whole process was somewhat uncharacteristic of what the 48HFP organizers want you to think the weekend will be like.
We wrapped up shooting around 9pm or so, back at Keith’s apartment for one scene, and then headed to National Boston Studios (where Will works) where we were going to do all the editing. It was definitely nice to get to work out of one of the nicer post houses in Boston for this. Thanks National! I was not planning to be too involved in the edit, but I wanted to setup some quick color grades, so while Keith and Micah started cutting in one room, I worked in another room setting up filters that they could drop on the clips after they edited the film. Then I took off, around midnight or so, and left them to do there magic.
Sunday was Mother’s Day, and since it was my wife Kate’s first year as a mom, I wanted to celebrate with her, so while around Boston, many filmmaking teams were in a nervous editing crunch, I went out to brunch. (Sorry.) Keith and Micah (and Jason working on the score from his own studio) had things under control. I went in later in the day to see what they had done and was pretty blown away. I think for two years running, our team has done an awesome job with creating an interesting viewing experience. The biggest challenge with the 48HFP is creating a REALLY compelling story and characters, but we keep it simple (48HFP Tip #3: KEEP IT SIMPLE) and use our skills at creating excellent sounds and visuals to help move the story along.
So here’s the film, followed with a little tech. Enjoy!
For those interested, we shot this film on my Panasonic AF100. Lenses used were the Olympus 14-35 f2, Nikon 28 f2, Nikon 50 f1.4, and Nikon 85 1.4. We shot to the internal SD cards (AVCHD) and transcoded to ProRes for post.
*Thanks to Mike Flanagan and Will Cavanagh for photographs.