The Atlanta 48 Hour Film Project
What Happened During Your Weekend?
The Atlanta filmmakers share stories from their wild weekend of filmmaking. (Blogging ended shortly after the filmmaking weekend.)
Exhausted, but happy.
Hey, here's an idea. Instead of enjoying your usual summer away from the teenagers you work with during the school year, why not ask them to try and make a film in 48 hours?
As a drama teacher at Grady High School, I help produce several student-written plays throughout the year, including a set of plays written under similar time constraints as the movie this weekend. However, making a film is an entirely different animal.
Writing was fairly easy. Next year I will assign only two or three writers to the job. Too many writers this year! Finding locations was hard. I guess we could have found some outdoor setting for the first part of our film, but since we had access to what was essentially our own sound stage, it made lighting and sound much easier.
Of course, since the tech was so easy at our first location, we ran into trouble at our second location. Our lights were theater-specific, and did not travel well. We had a few instruments that were portable, but we did not have any portable dimmers, so the lights were going to be on or off. We made a reflector out of a bed sheet to create some soft light, which I had used in some theater applications before but never for a film. It worked great!
We were so worried about time that we didn't take many breaks. Huge mistake. We look so tired in the pictures of us from Saturday night.
Editing was relatively easy, as I had students who had done editing before. However, as Sunday was Father's Day, they had to run back and forth from the school to home throughout the process. I would have liked another 4 hours or so to fine tune some of the editing, especially some of the sound.
In all, it was a success. Our goal was to try and have a finished film, regardless of quality. If it was done on time, even better. As it happened, we turned in our film with 7 minutes to spare, and the quality was better than expected. We still have a long way to go before we look and sound professional, but we achieved our goal and then some.
Can't wait to do it again.
- Jake Dreiling, Grady Thespians
Making the challenge even more challenging
There is no doubt that putting together any kind of film in 48 hours is a challenge. It is tough to do in the best of circumstances. Everyone completing the project deserves kudos.
We followed the genre assigned, used a towel as a prop, included a character with the name Liam Oakley-Brown who was also an inventor and complied with the remainder of the rules. Nothing special there.
There was one thing special about team neomaxcom. That special thing was our cast - at least three-quarters of it. I will speak in detail only of my son on this point and that only because this project was a sort of \\\'fathers day\\\' gift of engagement.
See, my son is impacted by a moderate to severe case of autism.
Let me say that it was actually an act of courage on his part to lay on the ground. The reason is the sensitivities he has as part of his disability. The part he had required he be attacked and be killed and since most dead men cease to stand, he had to take a prone position on the ground. I didn\\\'t think about it when I wrote the part but I don\\\'t think he has ever laid on the ground before, much less play dead on the ground.
I actually had to lay on the ground to get him to do so, pop up and spread the fruit-punch dyed glycerin on the towel and snap a few stills for the film.
His speaking part was minimal but he did get to use his favorites words - pizza, cola - and in all, he performed his part perfectly.
The other \\\'on-screen\\\' players did great as well in their roles.
The main character, he played the part of David Wilson in the drama, didn\\\'t know it but his literal interpretation of his role effectively wrote the movie. What you see on screen was about four-and-a-half minutes of close to 45-minutes of an interrogation in which I though, going in, I could get him to confess. He wouldn\\\'t and it was his line about the lawyer that concluded the interrogation.
The one crew member we had also did a standout job particularly in running the live video switcher (three cameras) and effectively editing the video of the interrogation in real time. An amateur musician, he also did a great job composing the music bed for the movie which he performed in one pass - a real advantage in a 48-hour competition.
I only wish I had done the things I had to do as well as my compatriots. They met the challenge!
- G Patton Hughes, neomaxcom