The Philadelphia 48 Hour Film Project
What Happened During Your Weekend?
The Philadelphia filmmakers share stories from their wild weekend of filmmaking. (Blogging ended shortly after the filmmaking weekend.)
Thriller/Suspense until the very end
At 7 p.m. Friday, our director picked up our packet and promptly went to a cousin's wedding for the night. Meanwhile, our DoP was playing a gig with his band for the evening. I went for a mountain bike ride to clear my head. The result? Two completely different screenplay drafts by 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
We picked one, and started filming around noon. It was going great! My tired husband, looking forward to a relaxing weekend at home, really got a kick out of having to hide in a remote bedroom while listening to the sounds of our main character beating the snot out of the poor victim. Since we wanted a lot of camera angles, this occurred for at least 3 hours straight.
After invading my husband's private bathroom upstairs with the Steadicam, complete with our director stationed in his bath tub, we took to the streets out front. Now, I live in the type of neighborhood where everyone knows everybody and likes to do things like yell greetings out the window and beep the horn when they drive past. Camera shots that should've taken a couple of hours took at least 4, due to the extraordinary number of retakes we had to do because of all the verbal attention from passersby.
We wrapped up filming around 7 p.m. Saturday, and then the crew (sans me) congregated at the director's house for the night, to edit and enjoy the experience. I figured I'd check in with them in the morning, and head over in the afternoon to put the finishing touches on the movie.
At 3 p.m., I walked into the director's house, where the movie looked fabulous...at least what was done for the rough cut so far. No panic yet, though--we had plenty of time, right? Sure, until a rift occurred in the time/space continuum, forcing us (and by "us" I mean "them," really) to work feverishly.
At 6:45, we ran out to the car with one MacBook rendering the video file in Final Cut, and the other MacBook cued up with a DVD in Encore, ready to burn. Cruising down Kelly Drive, which was lovely except for the sounds of worry and carsickness coming from the back seat, we hit the cobblestones on Chestnut Street in full DVD burn mode. Miraculously, nothing happened, and our computer kept on trucking.
At 7:28, we leapt out of the car in front of Triumph Brew Pub and set up shop on a table out front. At 7:29, the DVD ejected. We threw it into the envelope and ran inside, just inside the official cutoff time.
To say it was a dramatic ending would be a gross understatement.
An amazing time was had by all!
- Jesse Piersol, 16 Lloyd Productions
Night and Sunrise
Following the kickoff event, the team sat at a diner for about 3 hours writing the outline and about half of the script. We picked up the lead actress and went to our first location, a state park in Bucks County. We set up the lights and did our first ever night shoot. Completely flying by the seat of our pants, we figured out how to shoot night driving scenes.
We then packed up and drove to Seaside Heights NJ to shoot the sunrise and our beach/boardwalk scenes. We were able to capture the sunrise and then our dialog scenes before breakfast on Saturday morning. The team had a huge breakfast overlooking the ocean. Afterwards, we shot our montage scenes, packed up, and headed to our last location back in Bucks County.
Everyone was exhausted at this point. On the ride back the dialog for the final scene was written. We worked quickly to shoot the opening and closing scenes of the film. We finished principle photography at 10:45am Saturday morning.
The team split. The editor took the camera and Zoom to upload the footage to his computer; that took about a half an hour. He took a 3 hour nap, ate a little something, and got right to work syncing sound. By 11:00pm, he had a solid working edit; by 1:00am, music had been composed and the film color corrected. He went to bed and passed out cold.
The team reconvened to make small changes and build the credits. We all packed into the car and got to Triumph Brewing Company only to find out that no one would be there for over 4 hours. The team had lunch and discussed production, tv shows and film in the Reading Terminal Market, bought comics, and had iced coffees from a nice little coffee shop on Chestnut before making our way back to Triumph. It was an amazing experience and we look forward to both Tuesday night and next year.
- Glenn Fahnestock, Community College Rejects
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