So last weekend myself and my film making compardes under the guise of our (Myself, Motke Dapp and Bobby Marko) Fighting With Forks production, took part in the Nashville 48 Hour Film Festival For those of you not familiar with the concept a brief rundown: Teams are given a genre, a line of dialogue, a character and a prop at 7pm Friday we then make a movie from start to finish and hand it in Sunday at 7pm. I can assure even though this sounds difficult it is even harder than that.
Photo: David Bean Poster Edit: Paul Armstrong
(Flash back) Friday night 6pm calm before the storm
Motke, Paul and I are enjoying a beer and some hot dogs everything seems peaceful and the mood is high, we are about to get the team arriving and we are feeling good. 640pm and we get the genre “Drama!” (the back story to this is that i had a great idea in the back of my head when i though i had Dave Beans photo studio as a location – when i was in this dilusionary state i thought what i really wanted was drama as a genre – if only this wish had not passed through my mind) As the group sat in a circle hears the news we all look at first pleased we did not get musical/western and some of the other far worse possibles. However it quickly becomes evident that to achieve real drama and emotion is such a short time (the movies must be 4-7 minutes) Is VERY difficult. We passed around ideas ranging from a movie in peril killing off the main actor for publicity, to a sparse scene of couples strife and turmoil over hearing news of a miscarriage, then group tension rose as i mentioned a scene of pacifism being tested. As the night went on we knew we still did not have the final piece we all wanted. It was now 1230 and the clock loomed at us, we needed to have a script! Somehow my idea of a man suffering from memory loss / mental issues stretches his relationship with his wife and family seemed to resonate with the group and we all saw the potential in it. It was decided, the pizza in the oven was ready and i was making headway on a bottle of wine. It was time for Paul, Motke, Josh and myself to sit down and write the script. Bobby sat by figuring out how to shoot this masterpiece (ha) 445am roles in we have lost Josh and Bobby a little earlier (we needed to conserve Bobbys energy for the editing) We have something that looks like a script but what we really know is that we have a 8 am call time and we will get 2 hrs sleep.
7am – alarm clock. I ask my wife if i can pull out. She says no.
730 am – Motke Paul and I in a state of exhaustion fuled only by adrenaline swang by the office to print scripts and then headed to a awesome location offered up by our sound man John at the last minute (turned out to be perfect for this story – brownie points for John) We arrived on set and the magic began immdiatly – Actors getting dressed and running lines, camera and lighting being set up and tested. From then on we went full speed working a short respite for lunch provided by the wonderful wives of Bobby and I (thanks Wesley & Susan !!) We worked on through the day, everyone working their tails off and with smiles on their faces. Looking back i can not believe how great a team we had!! Amazing. I want to go through and mention each one but that may be too time consuming and unless you were there; boring! But siffice to say they were all top kats!
So the evening rolls in and in the last rays of sunshine we hit our final scene in the pool. A huge sense of relief waves over me. Dinner and now to some parts with Paul – indoors – wait indoors?? no we have a outdoors scene and the darkness is our nemesis – we do all we can to get the shot – we finally manage something and it looks great. Now indoors, we had to lose our main actress who has given us an amazing performance and left us with a gap to fill. Samantha Bean steps up to the part and plays some great ankle/calf shots and passes wonderfully in a blur to pass as Ellen. Motke and I look at each other at this point with a sense of relief – we may have pulled this off. 1030 wrap.
Now begins the epic journey to take the 3 1/2 hours of footage and turn it into 7 mins or under of movie gold. Bobby Motke Paul and I return to the office to begin the task. The footage is being pulled down i take a much needed cat nap. I wake and the guys are making headway Bobby is in his element. As i return to the fray Paul retreats for rest (Paul and I know one of us has to be there to keep and eye on these jokers- ha) At this point Motke is nodding off every ten seconds in the chair besides me – Bobby and I press on with the next part – sonic breakfast – Bobby is making the magic and we are standing around offering our opinions (mostly not wanted but given anyway) The day looms on – there is so much to do – we have amazing music by the talented John Marshall, its just not hear yet, we dont have a title for the film and we dont have the paper work we needed filled out. Bobby is left alone while we get all the above done. So a long story short the final edit comes out at 630pm we watch it – there is a problem a big chunk of dead air has found its way in there and the credits are urm unviewable – no time left – Motke and Paul head to the drop off with this copy and i wait behind for a the new version that bobby is working on. Somehow we make it in time and the movie is safely in the hands of the judges.
We are all sick of the movie at this point. But it is in and the idea that food and rest is so close is obvious on our minds and faces. We retreat to beer and burgers followed by some insomniac wii. Then sleep.
The movie is made in 48 hrs and of that we are all proud. Of course there are things we would have changed but i loved the making of this film and i enjoy watching it. Nothing else would have improved the time. The movie will be posted in a couple of weeks after the judging has happened. Sorry thems the rules.