The 48 Hour Secret That Never Was One

Making a movie is a difficult task. It involves a concept that gets put into a script format, then rewritten a few times. Finally, it’s cast, filmed, edited, scored and all the other post-production work is done. Then BOOM you have a movie. Only it’s not quite that easy. There’s a lot of work ahead of time that totally gets ignored. Things like costume fittings, hiring the right sound person, making sure you have the permits you need, etc.

So when someone said to me recently ‘Hey, we’re going to make a movie. In 48 hours. And you’re going to help us!’ I thought perhaps she was insane. Maybe she finally snapped. Maybe she lost it entirely. Maybe aliens abducted her and replaced her with a pod person who only knows ‘I now inhabit the body of someone who makes movies’ and doesn’t know enough to think that 48 hours is a very short period of time for filmmaking.

Maybe I’m the crazy one. After all, not only did I say I’d do it, I said it in a rather enthusiastic manner. SURE! I yelled into the phone, I’D LOVE TO JOIN YOUR 48 HOUR TEAM!

And so I became part of my friend’s team for the DWIFF 48 Hour Film Challenge.

Our movie had a secret weapon: ROB WOLCHEK. Yes, the guy from Fox 2 that does the HHHHAAAAALL of SHAME segment was in our movie. He was great to work with. Very funny guy!

Here is the poster:

Pretty cool huh? I think so, but I would since I made it. You can see some shots from the movie, but it doesn’t really tell you the actual story. DUN DUN DUN! 🙂

Anyway, what’s it like to make a 48 Hour movie? Well first off, for those who don’t know about it, let me explain. Your team leader shows up on Friday night at 7 PM to get your information. Here are the things that were assigned to us:

GENRE: Camcorder film
LINE: “You think that it’s a secret, but it never has been one.”
CHARACTER: Ambitious aficionado
FOOTAGE: Apollo mission clip
LOCATION: Dequindre Cut Parkway

The surprising thing this year was the footage to incorporate. It came on VHS. Yeah. VEE. EHCH. ESS. We had a helluvatime finding a VHS player let alone one that could convert it to a format we could incorporate into the footage. It was craaaazyyyy and it made absolutely no sense, but we got it into place, and not with a cop-out of having it playing on a TV in the background or anything. Nope, no using the easy way out for us!

So we got our assigned information and on the way back from the kickoff, the team leader and company called us and gave us the information to use and we started brainstorming. By the time they got back, we had 31 ideas written down of types of camcorder films. I mean when you think about it, it’s a pretty broad genre. You can do a lot with it. One of the best parts of any episode of Doctor Who was when the Doctor was talking into the camera and someone had to play the video to find out what was going on. It was creepy and awesome. Or there’s kids messing around with a camera who happen to capture something on tape. Or there’s surveillance video. Or there’s a camera being handed around at a wedding or something where everyone talks into it. Or… well, you get the idea. There are a lot of things you can do with it, plus it didn’t lock us into an overall genre of movie, like comedy or horror or something. So we were able to play to our strengths and make something that everyone had some input on.

Friday we brainstormed, then started writing based on an outline while the various cast members went into wardrobe and got fitted for their clothes. Once we had the basic scenes down and they were being fully written out, the crew went to start setting up for shooting and the cast started reading the pages as they were done. It went pretty smoothly overall.

Saturday was spent doing some other filming stuff and we finished up ahead of schedule. Saturday night and Sunday morning/afternoon were spent editing and then the movie got turned in about 20 minutes ahead of the deadline.

Sure, we didn’t sleep for a few days, and our team leader lost something like 11 pounds from not eating and running around like a madwoman for days on end with no sleep, but hey, it was worth it. Not only do we have a great little movie, we had a blast and have a lot of fun memories together. I can’t wait to do it again!

And for those who want to see it, here is the finished video!