So the 48 Hour Film Festival was this weekend!
San Diego had 105 teams sign up for the event - blowing the previous record out of the water. In fact, it was said that San Diego was the third largest city in the world participating this year, if ranked by number of teams signed up.
I was on the same team I was on last year - Team Viva, spearheaded by Horacio Jones and Fabrice Murgia of Cinema Viva.
Things began for Team Viva on Friday night at the genre pull, where representatives of all of the teams showed up to pull their genre for the film they had to do, as well as get the common items that had to be in every film.
Photo: David Brubaker
It was in Point Loma (Liberty Station) not far from the airport. They had the Genre Plinko Board set up again this year, and the teams were arranged in groups of 13, and they dropped the puck to see what type of film they had to make...
We got Fantasy genre! We phoned it in to the writing team.
Initially, Horacio was hesitant. There's a rule that if you don't like your genre, you could trade it in for a Wild Card category, which is assigned to you. My thinking was that Fantasy was such a broad category, you really could do just about anything and it will fit. [If your film didn't fit squarely in your assigned category, your film is disqualified from the competition.] But Horacio decided to keep Fantasy, and the brainstorming began.
Of course, we had to wait until the other "requirements" were announced. Every film had to contain the following features:
- A character named Alan or Alice Downing
- A coach
- A flashlight
- A line of dialog that said "Well, sometimes that's all you need."
So we scooted back to Team Viva headquarters and joined the idea storm. After much debate, we decided to do a film focusing on Angels. I ended up getting story credit and shared credit as writer as well, since I sent the story outline to the writing team (they were a bit stuck) and powered out a draft of the script, which they modified into the shooting script. It was nice to feel like I contributed on that end of things!
A veteran angel is training a new angel recruit how to harvest the souls of the dying. It's a black comedy, in a way. The new angel (played by the illustrious Lisa Winans) was dressed in black, with black wings, and she had an attitude, whereas my character also wore a black suit and white wings...
It's a fun character, and was great fun to play. And, frankly, it has some language in it, which I think adds an interesting theological wrinkle to things... do we magically change when we die, or do we stay who we were when we died, and the transformation process continues on the other side? My character is unphased by my partner's language... should I be shocked? Should she not be allowed to talk like that and still be an angel? Are they just words? Will that habit be slowly worked out of her over the centuries or does it even matter?
Well, I found it interesting to contemplate anyway...
So we pulled a long day of shooting, at two different locations. I was able to get some actor friends of mine involved, including Ruslan, Leslee and Brenden... even Horacio got to have some screen time - even though it was as a dying man on the floor...
Horacio! We've come for your soul!
The film will screen on August 13 downtown, with the rest of the films from our group. I can't post the film here, for obvious reasons... but after the competition is over and things settle down, maybe Horacio will put it up on YouTube, and I'll embed it here.
So we got the film edited and turned in on time, and Horacio and the team were all very pleased with the results. It came in well under the 7 minute mark (the maximum run time allowable), which is likely because we didn't have time to film a bridging scene that involved our characters riding a city bus, lol... would have been awesome, but the film works fine without it.
Here are a few more on-set shots...
Fabrice designed a movie poster for the film! Cool, eh?
So all in all, it was a great event, even though I did get one of my killer headaches midway through the shoot. I think it was from filming in the sun most of the day. I thought I drank enough water...
It will be fun to see how the film stacks up against the competition, not just within our screening group, but against all of the teams that turned films in (over 80, I believe).
Hopefully, I'll be able to return to Team Viva next year and we can do it again! Although Jeff said we might do an Etched Motion Team next year, so who knows...
I had some other nonsense to mention, but I'll call this post over.
Adios for now!
Dave the Actor-Type Individual