The New York 48 Hour Film Project
What Happened During Your Weekend?
The New York filmmakers share stories from their wild weekend of filmmaking. (Blogging ended shortly after the filmmaking weekend.)
We're in Metro
- David Stott, New York City Producer
We Are Featured in Time Out NY
Check it out:
- David, New York City Producer
Cooking a "Spinach Quesadilla"
Everything went smooth as a slurpee for the Both Hole crew. Over the last three years of shooting the Joe Pal & Eggs web-series we've been fortunate to amass a group of actors that are now super comfortable with each other. They trust the scripts, understand the DP's vision (maybe the most important factor) and have patience in the overall process that is making a short.
The 48 Hour Film Project is important for aspiring filmmakers/writers/cinematographers/actors because it literally forces you to just do it. There's been times when projects get put on the back-burner, we get lazy, we postpone for something we think is more important. But with an expensive fee and a deadline there always seems to be a focused "high stakes" energy that potentially is lacking when there is no time restrictions.
Congrats to everyone that made a film! Congrats to the audience award winners and the 48 Hour Film employees for watching them all!
Both Hole Films
- Joseph Palestina, Both Hole Films
I hate you
Team Viaduck: “Bait and Switch”
“I hate you.” Hoppy said to me when I told him to wait a second while Molly and I tried to finish an edit.
We yell at each other a lot in the final hours before rendering. We are in triage mode:
NO time for sound sweetening we have to get that scene to make sense.
Didn’t we shoot the dog in focus at least once?
Did we get a release form from the thirty thousand people in the background in times square?
Yes, but that guy in purple never gave us his email address.
You have to cut that music right before the key change.
I don’t even know what a key change is.
Let me do it!
No, let me do it!
I want to export at least one cut by 3:00. David Stott said that is a good idea.
Who the hell is David Stott?
How come there’s no sound?
Where is the sound!?
Your head phone is not plugged in.
Are you drinking a beer at 9:00am!?!
It feels much later.
Don’t eat that pizza one of the pepperoni’s just moved.
I’m too old for this.
You’re only 16!
Well, one of us is too old for this, I thought it was me.
We are frustrated, tired, spent, rude and impatient, but we love it all and can’t wait to do it again. Thank you, David Stott, whoever you are.
- Gerard Byrne, Viaduck
The Settlers: Patience, Persistence, Passion
I am staring at the clock. It’s 3:23 AM. Traffic is moving in a very specific rhythm outside. I watch as lights cast shadows through my friend’s living room, and I restlessly try to catch some shut eye. I close my eyes, but like a kid waiting for her birthday, I can’t fall asleep. I’m too anxious. I’m too excited for what’s ahead. We are only eight hours into the 48 Hour Film Project (NYC), a competition that asks groups of filmmakers to create a 4-7 minute short film in under 48 hours. Filmmaking. THIS is the HOBBY and CAREER I moved to New York City for. And while I’ve done much of my own filmmaking and video work–I’ve never ever taken part in a film competition. This is what we call: Awesome. As I open my eyes again and stare at the ceiling, I can feel my excitement only growing with each echo of each car that passes under the bridge outside. We’ve finished our our script, we’ve plotted our shot list, and in three hours we are going to wake up to shoot a movie. And all I am thinking in my head is “Hell. Freaking. Yah.”
It can be very lonely in New York City–especially when you first move here.
I moved to New York City in January of 2010, and I can remember, very vividly, two months into my move, walking out of my internship, calling my best friend on the phone, and crying to her for an hour about how lonely I was–how I didn’t know if I could make it here–how I wanted desperately to be able to make friends who were creative, who were ready to collaborate, who were passionate, who were looking to make things happen–BIG things–earth shaking things-friends who were ready to take on the world as if it were Mount Everest and fight hard earned battles to make it to the top.
What I’ve learned from that loneliness is a lesson in persistence, and in patience, and in passion.
I realized that I couldn’t make these friends that I was seemingly struggling to find if I didn’t put myself out there, if I didn’t take an initiative to start and to create myself. This city is comprised of 8 million people–I can’t break down the stats for you on where they are all from–or how they all got here, but I can safely say that many of these people are searching for a light in a tunnel that leads to success–a light in a tunnel that may perhaps lead to a Broadway Stage, or a credit on a feature film; a light in a tunnel that may lead to a sold out concert at SummerStage or a part in Shakespeare in the Park; a light in a tunnel that leads to a metaphorical pot of gold symbolizing that all dreams did indeed come true.
I knew that within those eight million people, amidst all of the skyscrapers, all of the Broadway shows, and all of the chaos of the city that these people were out there. I just had to be very clear that I too was one of these dreamers.
And then it happened.
I made a good friend through my internship, who could see my passion and my drive as I shared my latest projects and or films with her. She could also see my willingness to put myself out there and to openly express my interest in “making it” in order, not to be famous, but rather to make an impact on another person’s life. And so she introduced me to many of her friends in the Big Apple.
She, herself, was a young makeup artist who was working on TV shows and movies. And her friends? Young cooks, young chefs, young musicians, young actors, young filmmakers, young producers, young directors, young writers, younger performers, young singers. Most of them worked shifts at Ruby Tuesdays to pay the bills. But what stood out more than anything to me, was that like me–they were all dreamers. And they still are.
Since that first year of living in New York City, I have maintained many of the friendships I have made with these friends. And I am proud of that. I have seen each of them do amazing work. I’ve seen dreams transition to realities–and I’ve seen passion and persistence and patience, all the things I needed in order to make these friends, play out in extremely rewarding ways.
Our conversations extend from general “How are yous?” to endless banter, debates and smiles over all things creative.
“You liked that movie? But it didn’t have this, this or this….” and “But his acting in this was far superior to his acting in…” “I just think he should have never made that film.”
I always wondered when I’d get the chance to sit down and work with some of the people I connected with when I first moved here.
That answer was this weekend, for the 48 Hour Film Project, in which a team of 14 of us, organized by my good friend Kim, took on the aforementioned challenge to create a 4-7 minute film in just 48 hours.
On that team were 6 individuals from that initial group of friends that I forged friendships with founded on a common love of film, television, and theatre. On that team were also 7 individuals that I had never had the pleasure to meet before–but who I can’t imagine not surrounding myself with again.
Each team must enter with a team name, and when the festival kicks off each team must select at random a genre. After the genre is chosen, EVERY team must then make sure that they include three specific details within their film: a specific character, a prop, and a line (Genres differ but specific details remain consistent for all teams). All of this is noted here.
Our Team: Ruby Squared Productions
Our Genre: Dark Comedy
Character: Cat or Cam Dean–an ad executive
Line: When do you expect her?
In less than 48 hours, we scripted, we crafted, we envisioned, we executed, we edited, we composed, we exported, and we delivered a 6:30 minute dark comic film; a 6:30 minute film that gave us all a little reminder why we came to New York, why that patience and persistence in pursuing our passions mattered and what we are truly capable of when we take on a challenge and attack it together, and lastly a little reminder what happens when the talking stops and the making of films starts: Magic.
In his book, Here is New York, E.B White writes: ”There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter — the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something…Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.”
Here’s to the settlers that I had the brilliant opportunity to work with this past weekend:
Alex Zingaro, Brandon Jacobs, Brandon Opel, Brandon Pro, Chris Grady, Kimberly DiPersia, MaryLynn Suchan, Matt Van Vorst, Megan Magee, Nate Smith, Robert DeSanti, Sean Gallagher, and Shannon Kendall.
And here’s to being patient, persistent, and passionate.
- Libby, Ruby Squared Productions
Was in hell and loving it!
5/31/2013 bed at 2am, up at 6:30
1st location downtown Manhattan 10am
wrap up there by 12 leave for long island.
Arrive 2pm shoot until 10:30 pm.
Okay so one of my actors Friday afternoon tells me he can't be in the film. I get a back up. We continue our shoot ending in long island NY and am waiting for one of my actresses to arrive, and she never does. We scramble to create an ending which makes for a shallow ending. I get home at 1130 pm and find the sound guy only recorded half of the audio dialogue. I began to panic!
I edit until 6:30 am on 4 hours sleep, mind you I was lugging around a 25 lb camera for 12 hours on 4 hours sleep now up 24 hours. I slept from 6:30 to 9:30 got up and edited and rendered the film do DVD until 4pm.
Mike my trusty do it production assistant/actor drove 35 or so miles, picked up the films and paper work and handed in the film at 7:26pm. We were on the edge of our seats from 7pm on 5/31/2013 until Sunday evening.
Looking back I hated everyone and everything while shooting with very little sleep but am happy to say that in retrospect, I had a wonderful time.
Dave and the 48HFP staff.
- George Canzaniello, Film Team Six
Total team effort
The 48 Film Project New York has come and gone, and if there’s one thing we learned as first-time participants it’s this: It’s not just what you do, it’s who you know.
Our night to the kickoff began with a limo ride from Emmaus, Pennsylvania to Manhattan. If anyone’s counting, that’s 1 hour, 40 minutes and roughly 92 miles door-to-door with six of us nervously anticipating the forthcoming event. And where did we end up parking once we got to the city? Inside the set of USA Network’s White Collar, which was filming across the street from the 48HFP kickoff hub at Murphy & Gonzalez. (No biggie, right? You should’ve seen the looks from the production assistants and the people banging on our windows probably horribly disappointed to find out none of us were actually famous ;)
In a nutshell, here’s what happened after…
We drew fantasy as our genre, but ultimately decided to throw it back and go with a wildcard instead. What we didn’t consider is that we ultimately jinxed ourselves by telling a local newspaper we had “no idea” what we’d do if our wildcard was zombie. Naturally, guess what happened next? We got zombie.
Well, we’d be lying if we said nobody panicked (we did). It’d be dishonest to say we felt prepared (we didn’t). And we’d be completely falsifying the rest of this blog if we insisted we had all the help we needed lined up to go make a killer zombie movie (pun intended).
But we’re proud to say after a two-hour brainstorming session on the ride home, during which our executive producer was dialing her phone and texting her friends and calling in favors faster than you can say “Keep Calm and Kill Zombies,” we had an amazing cast and crew show up at 8 a.m. the next morning more than ready to work. And where did we shoot, you ask? The Allentown Rose Garden, The Cantelmi Funeral Home in Fountain Hill, and (some 10 hours after we began) we wrapped at neighboring Stanley Park. Where better to have a zombie rip someone’s heart out than at the top of the hill backed by a beautiful sunset?
Though the real story wasn’t just the filming, and the number of friends, family members, acquaintances, and live animals that came to help us out … but the drama that spilled over into Sunday when decided to rush to New York without our film. (Yes, you read that right). Now truth be told, our film was ‘on time’ in the sense that it was done well before 7:30 p.m.. But it was not ‘on time’ for the contest deadline after we trekked to no fewer than four places, toting two laptops, only to discover we couldn’t get our video file downloaded in time to hand in. Commence an hour or five of crushing disappointment, piled on top of exhaustion, layered with the cold food we carried in bags as we jaywalked (or in this case, ran) around the city.
Moral of this story? We’re tempted to say we’re not going to do the same thing next year. But what we really learned was that this project ended up being less about the deadline and more about the amazing group of people who turned out to help us on this 48 Hour Film Project. We had a blast. We still made the screening deadline. And we can’t wait for next year.
(For our running live blog updated during filming Saturday, check out http://firerockprod.blogspot.com/2013/06/manic-movie-making-madness-commences.html )
- Stephanie, FireRock Productions
Thoughts on the 48 Hour Film Project 2013
On Friday, May 31, 2013, representatives from Killer Goose Films trekked into the city to draw a genre for the New York 48 Hour Film Project.
The requirements: 1) Main character named Cam or Kat Dean, ad exec 2) Line of dialogue, “When do you expect her?” 3) Prop – trophy
The genre drawn: Dark Comedy
Between Friday, May 31 and Sunday, June 2, Killer Goose Films wrote, shot, edited and submitted their short film “Fuzz” as their contribution to the NYC 48HFP.
The founders of KGF share their thoughts and experiences below:
SHAWN REBER (actor, producer):
The good: Getting some awesome people together to work on a film with a time constraint forcing creativity. Having enough crew and actors to do what we needed to do without any issues. And making another great soundtrack with the relentless babies and Glenn man.
The bad: The weather was pretty damn hot. Not knowing your genre and props etc can be a little nerve wracking.
The ugly: One of our actresses was throwing up on everyone. The brainstorming writing process gave me a giant head ache with 12 people throwing out ideas and thoughts on scenes, and props it was pretty damn loud in that room. Seeing one of our actors smoking a cigar spraying a can of compressed stage fog while only in his underwear, and he wasn't using his hands to spray the stage fog.
All in all it was a lot of fun, working with a great team, and we have a hilariously dark film on our hands. Can’t wait to do it again.
SCOTT WYLLIE (lighting designer, actor):
My life has moved away from film making, sadly. Recently I have been working for a radio station in the city and the only “film” type thing I have done in the last 6 or 7 months has been to work on a script that I hope Killer Goose will soon be going into production on.
I remember feeling my nerves tensing when we dove into our first 48 project “Redistribution”. Like I said, then I knew we could MAKE a film in that amount of time but it was the concept and script-writing part that I feel like I am totally useless in (my current script is over 2 years in the making now). Having a work conflict last year I was unable to participate in “3 Guys, One Hole” which made me seriously depressed since “3 Guys” won some awards and “Redistribution” did not. In my mind, somehow I justified the fact that my being present during year one was somehow a detriment to the team. This made me even more nervous about this year; I was out of practice and wasn’t sure if I would be able to be a true asset to the team. As the writing process began my fears about the conceptualizing were very nearly confirmed. Two excellent ideas were put forward and we decided to run with neither one of them. Ideas were flying back and forth but for some reason we couldn’t get them to work cohesively. I was beginning to fear that we would not be able to come up with an idea good enough to get us to the next level but as usual the magic that seems to hover over the Killer Goose team activated just around the time we were almost ready to start strangling each other. From there on it was all gravy.
Unlike the grueling production process that “Redistribution” went though, we moved through each of our scenes on production day like lightning. We wrapped so early I was able to get a full 8 hours of sleep that night! I think “Redistribution” proved that it was possible for us to do it and our current film “Fuzz” proved to me that even under adverse circumstances we can make amazing things. It was also a proving ground for myself; not having strapped my gaffer’s tools on in quite some time I felt like I was able to use my skills to help the team make this thing happen. It also helped that my teammate Dale DeVino said a few nice things about my skill set while we were finishing the edit.
Is the 48 hour challenge stressful, challenging? A mental and social experiment of demonic proportions? In a word, yes. But it is because of all of those things that I always see myself on the other side of it as a better filmmaker and a better creative mind. I swear if people aren’t rolling in the aisles with laughter after our final frame drops then I just don’t know what is wrong with the world.
CLARKE MAYER (cinematographer):
Three is a very significant number. Three strikes, you’re out. Once, twice, three times a lady. Three Guys, One Hole. Well this is three NY 48 Hour Film Projects for Killer Goose, and I thought that was a bit of a landmark. It shows that you want to stick with it, and that you truly are inspired by the process. If you tried it once, awesome. Maybe it was cool just to do one time, maybe it wasn’t for you, or maybe you just suck. It’s neither here nor there. If you tried it twice, maybe you corrected some mistakes or improved on what you did the first year. Three times though, shows that the 48 Hour Film Project is something Killer Goose Films shows no signs of stopping. I thought about why that might be, and it didn’t take me long: it’s the fun we have doing this shit.
Seriously, the laughing, the arguing, the stress, the creativity, and most importantly, the finish. Finishing projects is really important, and this challenge forces you to do that in the hands of great company. In 48 hours, you are going to have a film in your hand. Whether it’s bad, good, funny, sad, or you win or lose, you took a chance, and it’s extremely addicting because so are our friends. Teamwork is what this project is about, something that is essential to the art of film-making. As we began principal on “FUZZ,” I couldn’t help but wonder what might have happened to team morale had we never finished our first 48 film, “Redistribution” on time. Then I realized that we finished BECAUSE we had a team, and when the shit gets rough, someone ALWAYS comes through in the clutch.
Best Moment: Any and all of the team’s Twitter feed, especially Shawn Reber’s tweets.
Worst Moment: 110 degree van interior shots.
DAN O. LINKE (assistant director):
No sleep until completion
How I miss my bed
A fever dream of
Offensive subject matter
God, what have we done?
Were not impressed
By Nazis and suicide
Settled on child porn
We must sacrifice
Our minds and bodies for art
Damn this van is hot
An aching within my bones
Godspeed, edit team
I raise my glass to
All the weekend warriors
Who fight the good fight
AARON GARFINKEL (producer, actor):
When brainstorming the layout of our script, “Fuzz” was on my mind. As I cleared all of my Dad’s contracting equipment out of his truck, and drove over to Montville as fast as possible with no working air conditioner and a sunburnt left arm, I thought about “Fuzz.” After we wrapped and ate a hearty meal, still, I long for “Fuzz.” It is “Fuzz” that keeps me smiling, and yet always seems to drive me mad. I am fortunate that this past weekend I was drenched in “Fuzz” with my extremely talented friends and colleagues.
DALE DEVINO (producer):
There was a sort of out of body moment I had this weekend. Sitting amongst a bustling collection of actors and filmmakers an enormous amount pride came over me. I felt proud to be woven into the fabric of that group.
A group that takes the craft of storytelling and film-making seriously but doesn’t take themselves too serious.
A group that leans on each other with the sort of trust reserved for siblings.
A group that has an appetite for food and beer that is unmatched.
A group that for the 3rd year in a row absolutely nailed the 48 hour Film Project which can create some of the most pressurized and nerve-wracking moments a filmmaker will ever feel. We nailed it not because it’s easy, not because we’re cocky or cut corners or phoned it in because we didn’t get enough sleep. We nailed it because there isn’t a weak link. We take a workman’s-like approach and there is absolutely ZERO ego present. It will take an absolute godlike natural disaster for us not to make a deadline in this competition or produce something we can all be proud of.
I wouldn’t want to be associated with another group.
THE GOOD: Awesome guest stars, new friends, the genre…
THE BAD: Vomit stained t-shirts, stolen Vines and the character occupation…
Can’t wait til next year.
RISA PAPPAS (producer):
I think what set this year apart for us was that we all took the crew positions we wanted to take. No one settled. We never even had a face-to-face conversation about it. We just sort of started doing what we wanted to do and it all came together. It didn’t feel like a 48 to me; it felt like a breezy day of pickup shots.
My circumstances should have made me one very stressed-out Risa. I spent the first 10 hours of my day moving into a new apartment, and the night before I spent cleaning the old one. I was physically exhausted and mentally unsettled. And yet, I must have had a little angel-goose on my shoulder, because the whole weekend was one big, beautiful, living blur to me. It was like the calm before the storm, but by the time the actual thunderstorms rolled in on Sunday night, I was inside the house with all my best friends eating burgers and laughing my ass off at the great little short we made.
I don’t honestly know what happened that made this weekend so smooth, successful and sexy. But hey, I don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. All I know is, I am grateful every day that I get to work with this group of people, and if nothing else, the 48 Hour Film Project is a yearly company retreat for us. Yeah. Believe it or not, the 48 is the best vacation I can think of, because when film is what you love, you’ll cram it in whenever you can.
- Risa Pappas, Killer Goose Films
WAY TO GO!
New York, New York! Quite a showing! 72 teams attended the Kickoff and 61 teams turned in a film on time! Looking forward to seeing you at the screenings. Each Team Leader will have 2 comps waiting for them at the box office. Get your tickets online here:
- David Stott, New York City Producer