We've already gone through the tentative schedule, which we would later throw out the window, and now we are sitting in silence, staring at the phone and waiting for the call. In unison, we all tense up as the phone rings.
This call would secure our fate for the weekend. Would we get comedy? Silent Film? Western/ Musical? Our genre? Vacation/ Holiday. Some faces dropped, some turned into big smiles. It was obvious who had ideas for the script and who was voting on the wildcard. And with that, the 48 Hour Film Fest began.
12:15 a.m. on June 2, 2012. The script was finally finished. Well, a rough copy was finished. Pretty confident in the story and our actors, we do a read through. As soon as approval is granted by the rest of the team, we jump into action. We can't waste any more time, we are already two hours behind our original schedule! Good thing we have one scene that can be shot tonight. With excitement running through everyone's veins, we start shooting!
8 a.m. on June 2, 2012. After a late night of filming, script revision and shot listing, we all meet up in the morning for a full day of shooting! Most of the cast and crew are working on about three hours of sleep, and many have slept on the floor, but as soon as we pull the camera out and start filming, none of that matters. Our first scene is an indoor scene, and luckily it is the only scene that needs to be lit! We finally get started at 9 a.m., and this scene should only take an hour tops. Whew!
12 p.m. on June 2, 2012. Well, our one-hour scene took around three hours to complete. Let us HOPE as a group we start moving quicker, or we will have to beg the officials to turn it into a 62 Hour Film Fest! I don't think they would go for that…
Now on to our next location, which is the only other location we have. It is outside, and there is a chance of rain! I know there is a rain dance, but is there an anti-rain dance? I better learn it fast!
4 p.m. on June 2, 2012. The more we work with our actors, the more I love them! They are so talented, and they are taking direction so well! Could not be happier with our cast! As for crew, we are all tired but holding it together. We are zooming through our shot-list and ahead of schedule! Hopefully a caffeine run will help keep us on track!
9 p.m. on June 2, 2012. Filming is done! Time to EDIT! Everyone gets to go home and sleep except our two editors and our sound designer. Time for some pizza and more caffeine!
11 p.m. on June 2, 2012. Filming is SO NOT DONE! We have a slight set-back. And by slight, I mean MAJOR! About 40% of our shots are over exposed. About 25% of our shots are under exposed. That leaves us 30% of what we originally shot that is usable. Could we make a movie out of just that footage? Hmmmm? Nope, no way to do it. Looks like everyone who was told they can sleep in tomorrow will be getting a text that they must be back at 8 a.m.! Now is time to edit the bad footage so we can at least get a feel for the movie and to make editing the new footage easier.
8 a.m. on June 3, 2012. Working on 0 hours of sleep, our editor shows the director and director of photography the edit with the bad shots. Their faces drop, and for the fist time this weekend, there is fear in our directors eyes. Unfortunately (or should I say fortunately?) we don't have time for fear. We don't have time for fear or for stressing or for being mad. All we have time for is reshooting 65% of our movie. Well, we hope we have time for that!
1:30 p.m. on June 3, 2012. WE ARE DONE SHOOTING! And this time for real, because even if what we got was awful, we have no more time to reshoot anything else!
2:30 p.m. on June 3, 2012. Luckily the new footage is FANTASTIC! Hoping it really is, and it's not just the lack of sleep talking! Now the countdown begins! We have five hours to edit, do sound design, finish voice-overs, add in credits, turn this thing into a movie file and burn it on a DVD. No problem, right? That would be easier to believe if the fear hadn't grown to inhabit the eyes of most of our crew.
6 p.m. on June 3, 2012. In our original schedule, we would all be sitting at The Schlafly Tap Room all eating and having a beer, waiting until 7 p.m. when we can turn in our movie. In reality, last minute editing is being done while everyone else bites their nails and watches the clock. Our director peeks his head in a few times to ask how much longer and gets a dirty look as a response. All everyone can do is wait and hope it will be finished in time.
7 p.m. on June 3, 2012. The editor and DP are pulling into the parking lot, computer in lap, and the movie JUST finished turning into a .mov file. Both people hold their breath while we watch the beginning of the movie, making sure that the file isn't corrupted. ITS GOOD! Time to get it onto a DVD and turn it in, and that officially ends the 48HFF!
This weekend has made me confident that I want to pursue a future as a filmmaker. Not because it's fun, or because it's a social event, or because its glamorous. Because it's a passion…. And after the sleepless nights and the stress and the endless hours of hard work, all I want to do is make more movies.
-- Destin Cylkowski, Producer/Editor for team Hand Llama Productions
All photos by Hand Llama Productions.