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January 27th, 2011

gfish: (Default)
Thursday, January 27th, 2011 01:52 pm
On a September Friday in 2002, at 19:00, I received an email. It gave a theme (remorse), a prop (a whisk) and a line of dialog ("I'd reconsider if I were you."). At that point we had until Sunday night to make a movie no more than 10 minutes long which included all of those elements. Intersections is what we turned in 48 hours later.

Most of the production crew gathered Friday night, and we brainstormed ideas. (In this case, I wanted to do a time travel story told linearly from the POV of someone trapped in realtime. The details of the plot flowed from that and the needs of the contest elements.) I then stayed up writing the script and got a couple hours of sleep. Saturday morning we ran around collecting props and costume pieces, then started shooting in the afternoon. In a pattern that continued for future contests, we shot the scenes strictly in order. As there weren't real location changes, it was just as easy this way, and it allowed us to worry slightly less about changing lighting conditions as the day went on. Normally I would say it also allowed the actors to naturally follow their emotional arc through the story, but *no* single shooting order would allow thSaturday night I encoded the video, manually broke it into individual takes (this would not be automated until we finally moved to a real DV camera), and started editing. I got a couple more hours of sleep after the rough edit was done, then spent Sunday fine tuning it and fighting with the export process (which was still painfully primitive).

The process was an exhausting, frantic hoot. Totally worth it. 48 hour film contests are pretty common these days. If you have the chance to get in on one, I recommend it. The one at Burning Man seems a bit extreme, though.