It takes a lot of guts and courage to knowingly enter a contest that requires you to move fast, avoid obstacles, endure sleepless nights, face incredible amounts of stress and then put it out there on the big screen for everyone to watch…always second guessing what you could have done better.
But sometimes that’s what it takes to spark creativity.
I’d been preparing for the 48hr film project weekend for almost 2 months in advance, setting up schedules, trying to anticipate situations, testing camera equipment, adjusting equipment (that I didn’t even use). It wasn’t just that weekend I worked…it was more. And I know many on our team were doing the same. Calling it the 48hr Film Project is misleading. I had been on pins and needles waiting to watch our film on the big screen which was was really 120 hours from when we started.
When the 48 hour weekend finally arrived, the starter pistol was fired and the countdown began.
There were many challenges during this process and we had numerous team members going above and beyond the call, creating, thinking and producing. Whether it was moving lights, unloading trucks or running errands – it was team effort with everyone pitching in, exuding camaraderie that rivaled the military corps. But all the while feeling like a bull in a china shop when moving the equipment because the house we were shooting in was a spectacular Parade of Homes house exquisitely decorated. Believe you me – our film did not do it justice.
One of the most demanding challenges we faced was to present our movie in a “night time” setting while shooting during the day! It took an incredible amount of time and coordination to block out the light streaming through the windows of this home. As a matter of fact – there is a dark hallway scene that was shot at 3pm in the afternoon! Kudos to everyone that helped overcome this monumental challenge.
From a personal standpoint – I stumbled towards the end. It was late on Saturday night and I (amongst others) had been operating on 3 hours of sleep in the past 36 hours. I was trying to shoot the final scenes of that night but just couldn’t keep the camera steady. I had to give up and let someone else take over. I was doing more damage than good and with the compressed schedule – that was unacceptable. Without a hitch – someone took over and finished the scenes. I stuck around while resting my feet then went home after helping the crew pack. I fell asleep around 1:30am and got my second wind after 7 hours of sleep. There was still editing to be done and other challenges to face to get our film entered by 7:30pm on Sunday.
We did cut it to the wire but we delivered our movie with 3 minutes to spare.
In the final production of the movie, I can see where I (we) could have done things differently – if there was time. But that’s just it…there wasn’t. There’s a reason it’s called 48 hours. That’s all you get to concept, write, storyboard, rehearse, shoot, edit and score a movie! And for our effort and the record, I’m proud of what I helped produce.
Now that it’s over – I can sit back and enjoy the fact I have another film under my belt. I yet again fulfilled my creative outlet. And most of all, I learned what I can do better, quicker or different on my next creative endeavor and move forward.
One of the most common questions asked of me is, “Will you do it again next year?”
Last year after my first time doing this project I vowed I would never put myself through this again. And I’d by lying if I wasn’t thinking the same way again – but what’s that saying?
“Never say never.”
You never know what life has in store for you so for now, I’ll just acknowledge the fact I couldn’t have gotten through experience without the love and support of my family and friends.
PS – I’ll be posting our movie online sometime this weekend. The awards ceremony is Saturday night.