The 48 Hour Film Project

The Inland Empire 48 Hour Film Project

What Happened During Your Weekend?

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


Worth the Punishment

This is my 5th 48 Hour Film Project, my 4th as a Team Leader/Director. It goes without saying that I love the 48.

I think it is fantastic for team building, pushing creativity, cultivating an attitude of perseverance, and building relationships with people you now KNOW can handle anything. I also happen to think the lack of sleep, stress, and time pressure are most likely some of the same tools used by interrogators.

Each year I have competed has its own unique story regarding the obstacles, the joys, and the experience overall. I always try to go in with a goal to these things and this year was no different.

This year I am in pre-production for my first micro budget indy feature, a horror comedy (or as I like to put it...a comedy in a horror situation) called "Lichlord Dan and the Fall of Man." My goal for the 48 was to do more "live test" work with our recently acquired primary feature camera, and to (hopefully) be able to make a short film that could be a promo piece for LLD. Not make the same film but a completely different one - with similar themes and circumstances. That depended on A LOT going right (ha!)...it depended most on the genre we selected however. The comedy in a horror situation gods were on our side however as I drew COMEDY for our genre!

We had already ran into numerous hurdles...losing our location...gaining it....losing it...only to finally have to shoot in PALM DESERT (with some people coming from LA)....which caused me to lose two actresses and two crew due to the distance. Another hurdle was the "main" actress I planned to use (and my make up artist) both had to leave Palm Desert by 3pm Saturday.....GAH!!! That said, pulling comedy out of that hat totally invigorated me. Writing came easy...a story that I felt would entertain flowed...and suddenly making the call time 5 am (to compensate for the loss of actress/mua by early afternoon) didn't seem like such a dumb idea. We just might actually have a story ready to shoot by then! Huzzah!! Still...by the time 1pm came and I realized we had only shot HALF OF OUR SCRIPT I could feel the desire for panic welling up....but instead I just cut a page and a half (losing our "Phantasm" scene...sorry Ken!) and we made it work.

I can't say enough about our team. I really am touched by the many fantastic people I have had the pleasure to cross paths with. This team is beyond dynamite. We shot, had a green screen photo op area, and dealt with curve balls...all while laughing non stop. I can't wait to hopefully hear the audience do the same at the screening.

- Michael Antony Pierce, Dream More Than Sleep

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No Challenge is to BiG to Overcome!


Going into this festival, we knew we had a HUGE challenge before us because, well all of our friends (actor/crew people) were unavailable. That meant we would be doing EVERYTHING with two adults, a teenager, and a five year old.
We knew we would have to shoot scenes quickly with easy set up & tear down. So we gave ourselves another big challenge; could we shoot a competitive, quality, short film with ONLY an iPhone 5 and a shotgun mic? I think with those given constraints, we produced something respectable that a crowd will enjoy viewing.
Our genre was Sci Fi. My daughter is a MEGA Dr Whovian, however, we were intimidated at producing something 'believable' without the professional equipment for CGI effects. We decided to throw caution to the wind and just go for it because we thought with our luck, we would draw the creature/monster wild card and be right back at CGI issues, only worse!
Our inspiration behind film technique came from a small documentary by Alfred Hitchcock. He was one smart dude!
Our methodology for shooting a good short without professional equipment came from Indymogul.com, Frugalfilmaker.com, and commentaries from participants of previous iPhone Film Festivals.

We had an amazing weekend as a family. Only one casualty to report at this time (not to ruin some of the plot about the actor with no stunt double): me falling down a steep incline on a mountainside because I was holding a wedding dress under one arm, while shooting B film with the other hand in a big hurry to get back before dusk.

Would we do it all over again? Absolutely! The film industry is an amazing machine and we enjoy learning from it.

Dana Hite
Team Leader for: 'Fraid of Hite's

- Dana Hite, 'Fraid of Hites

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The Boobs and the Beautiful

This was my first year entering, as a team leader no
less, for the 48 Hour Film Project. I had just recently met a young lady from a comedy sketch group called JustBoobs Sketch, who are doing very well with their recently aired YouTube channel (look them up!). I decided to send their team a video invitation of myself, asking them to join forces with my production team, Primus Pictures, for this year's 48. From there, magic and great friendships blossomed. They joined us on set, with their wonderful director Davey Vorhes, and we sketched out a piece for our genre of comedy. I can think of few times I have ever had so much fun and have laughed so hard on set. With 40 hours of no sleep (my new personal record), we persevered through time constraints, technical set backs and utter fatigue. But it was all undoubtably worth it. With my crew of professionals and their natural artistic talent, I would confidently say that every bit of this opportunity was something I'll never forget. Can't wait to do it all again next year =)

- Andrew Becker, Primus Pictures

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We love making films!


We'll I pulled out from that hat... Drats... Musical or Western ??!?? Oh what to do? go for the secondary option? What if it's worse? Nope, let's go for it! Musical it is. I've never written a musical, I'm sure not many of us have, but I am musically inclined. So, my wife and decided lets do it. What a great team of friends new and old. We all kept a positive attitude and we got through it. Can't wait to see the other flms too! See you at the screenings.

- Mark Schaefer, AbsurdTV.us

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