The 48 Hour Film Project

The Detroit 48 Hour Film Project

What Happened During Your Weekend?

The Detroit filmmakers share stories from their wild weekend of filmmaking. (Blogging ended shortly after the filmmaking weekend.)

When you only have 48 Hours to make a film every second counts.

This is my third time competing in The 48 Hour Film Project, and my second time directing my own team. I found this time around to be less stressful than other times that I have competed. I truly had a wonderful cast and crew and we all worked very well together. Really this year I can honestly say that the only issues we had were with final cut:) There are so many moving parts that go into making a film and all of our parts worked well together and we ended up with a pretty good film. I don't know what will happen this year at the judges table, but I do know that I am proud of my team regardless and I am glad that I ended up working with this amazing group of people. When you only have 48 hours to make a film every second counts. We made it count.

- Julie Ariane Russell, Morton DeWalt Pictures

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Twist of Fate

I'm not a filmmaker. Well, I wasn't anyway. I am a physical therapist who happens to love cameras. A local filmmaker broke his ankle and ended up in my clinic and before I knew it, I was running Camera B on his set for a no budget short film. That was my foray into filmmaking.

When he told me about the 48HFP, I knew I had to get involved. I formed a team with Tom Gurisko and Gerald Blakeslee, a creative director and beer columnist, respectively. Three creative minds. Though we had not even shared a dinner together, we were about to become really good friends.

There is magic that happens when you throw creative minds into a weekend and give them some parameters. At least half of the cast and crew of our film, Our Big Day, had never worked on a movie set before. It was a creative rush from beginning to end. I never laughed so much in so little time. I never formed and strengthened friendships so quickly.

I told Tom as we were heading back from the drop-off that the writing and telling of a story will begat stories for years to come. That is the magic of the creative process. It just keeps creating.

It was our first 48HFP collaboration. I assure you it won't be our last. Thanks for organizing a great event.

- Sherry McLaughlin, Play Nice

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Stop Motion + Time Travel

With animation you can make anything happen! Accept maybe finish on time... So we didn't make the deadline but we DID make a film and that's what it's all about. We had a wonderfully creative crew working on original artwork, graphic design, sculpture/character design, music & video/photography - it was an amazing team effort. And what better way to celebrate than enjoy the Pig & Whiskey festival in downtown Ferndale. Good times and good food. Thanks so much to the organizers! Great job! See you at the screening. :) - SJD

- Deb Scott, Think So Animation Studio

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The Road Bloggers

So is everybody blogging this as SJ Denison? Just checking. Method acting, people!

During this film, I, SJ Denison, went for quite the wild ride. It wasn't very good on my end (you'll see in the movie), but the audience sure might get a kick out of it. We got to go by strip clubs, cemeteries, music festivals, and lots of liquor stores! Of course, I was stuck in the trunk most of the time, so I didn't really get to see these awesome things!

Driving around while filming can be scary though. Not only do you have to contend with traffic, wind, sound, and daylight, but sometimes people are just plain scared when they see you holding something out the window. Thankfully, no one tried to chase us down!

One more thing to remember, no matter how much you think your movie might be complete, you'll always be trying to edit and add more stuff in. At some point, you just have to stay, "this is it," and be done with it. Otherwise, you'll have Star Wars: Special Edition stuff going on that no one really cares about anyway.

Also, celebrate that you made a film! Our team ordered all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pizzas from Pizza Hut when we finished filming! Also cookie pizza. So good.

So, to all my other SJ Denison blogger clones out there, I hope a similar fate did not belie you during your short film experience. What happened to me? Well, let's just say I can't quite put my finger on it at this time. See you at the premiere!

~SJ Denison, Blogger 4 Life

- Paul Oparka,

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Lovin' the Challenge!

Had a blast this weekend with the best cast and crew that I\\\'ve ever had the privilege of working with. Our genre was definitely something that took ALL of us out of our comfort zone but in the end, it worked out great. It opened my eyes to new ideas and opportunities and I look forward to working with my crew again in the near future.

- Nicholas Barone, Twisted Stitches

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My favorite experience from this last weekend, is seeing the amazing amount of ideas flowing from each and every crew member. When you have so little time to execute, it's difficult to do another take, as each take chews up storage(800 gigs total)and adds to the post time. With that said, some of our best takes, came when sheer exhaustion, sparked some amazing creativity, leading to some perfect, and hilarious scenes. It was awesome to work with such an amazing crew, and see everyone dig so deep, to make this happen. Just a great experience.

- Christopher Metzner, Sum Of 4 Studios

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Great Experience

We had such a great time with this 48 hour film project. We couldn't ask for a more fun and patient crew. The dark clouds didn't bother us, but the rain wasn't as easy to deal with. One of our camera crew fell down while shooting a scene, cut his forehead (7 stitches) and later found out he has two fractures near his eye. After a short break and a butterfly bandaid, he picked up the camera again. Total trooper! Another challenge was making the streets of downtown Detroit look empty of people. Not an easy task, especially when the Tigers had a double header on Saturday, ha! That alone was a satisfying goal. Lunch at Lafayette Coney Island was fun as our entire crew walked in, sporting bloody wounds (2 fake, 1 real). The stares and double-takes from other customers was priceless. Most important, we all had a great time. Pretty much the same crew as last time with a couple awesome additions. We're really lucky to surround ourselves with such great, positive (and patient) people. Big thanks to all that helped make this another successful 48 hours! Good luck to all the Michigan filmmakers and thanks to all the sponsors that make this event possible.

- Jeff Moore, Motor City Massacre

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Too Much Fun!

The goal was to have even more fun than we did last year and we accomplished our goal. I don't remember a dull moment in our entire 48 hours of making our project. We were fortunate enough to move equipment and crafty fast enough to dodge majority of the rain coming down and we also finished shooting 20 minutes before the entire neighborhood we were shooting in lost power. We are so grateful that we were able to enter again this year!

- Johnny Flynn, Courageous Lion Cinema

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