Neil Bennett (foreground) and Pat Williamson (bkg)
That headline isn’t an insult…well, yes it is, but I don’t mean it, it’s just the ever-so-clever title of our latest 24 hour short film. This one was for the worldwide film racing contest.
Sadly we couldn’t rangle our whole team from Book Club but we did manage to pull in Neil Bennett, Pat Williamson, Pamela Tophen, Eric Myles and myself for a pretty solid team. Despite missing at least one of our regular crew we managed to muddle our way through yet another 24 hour brutal test of sleep deprivation. The main lesson learned from this one? Two 24 hour film contests within one month is a) too much and b) makes one punchier than they expected.
Going through my notes I have this breakdown on Get A Life:
Stage 1: 10 pm. Receive our assignment. Theme: Identity Theft. Prop: Noodles. Action: Pouring a Drink. Brainstorm begins.
Stage 2: 12:30 am – script written, loving the idea.
Stage 3: somewhere around 4:30 am. Realizing despite having a one page script, it’s written incorrectly and probably should have been in point form and expanded to at least three pages.
Stage 4: 5:30 am. We are going to be heavy on footage for something that is only supposed to be 3 minutes and 30 seconds long, not including credits. Already cutting in our heads we decide not to shoot a gag that isn’t necessary and helps get Pat and Neil wrapped ASAP…
Stage 5: Pat and Neil are wrapped. Eric is digitizing footage, not loving the idea as much as I did at writing stage. Going through the typical shooting depression where everything is awesome and next minute, everything is horrible.
Stage 6: Working on picking out music and SFX while Eric edits. The first rough cut is 4 minutes and 10 seconds. Exactly 40 seconds too long and it seems to move at too much of a breakneck pace. Eric begins cutting back.
Stage 7: Eric lops off 33 seconds off without damaging flow…still moving at a fast clip…how to lose another 7 seconds without seeming like just a series of shots.
Stage 8: Eric has a cut running at 3 minutes 26 seconds…oddly it seems slower than the 4 minute + version, but the film now seems like it is working. I begin working on credits which can run for 30 seconds but we hate long credits so the briefer the better…run back to one of our locations to grab a shot with the Nikon D7000 to try and utilize it in the credit crawl.
Stage 9: We are ahead of our usual schedule for a 24 hour film contest but Eric and I are both punchier than usual…laughing at things that are not funny. In fact, this is easily our least funny film…but it’s shaping up to be something different. Different can be good…right?
Stage 10: We complete the film and begin uploading 2 hours prior to the end of the contest.
We can’t post or link to the film as of yet but there will be a screening on May 18th at the Bloor in Toronto…so come on out and see it if you can. I think it is one of more interesting and tonally different films…and it is something Eric and I have always, especially me, wanted to do…make a completely silent film (dialogue wise) and I think we mostly pulled it off!