Tip #1: Make a film. You don’t need another tip. (But if you do, read about it on this blog.)
Over a week ago my team and I participated in the 48 hour film project.
I think. It’s all a bit fuzzy.
Friday night my DP, editor, sound guy, co-writer and I drove to the mall where the whole kick-off was supposed to go down. We tried to relax by eating supper ahead of time, but that didn’t really work for me. Maybe outwardly I ate food and said words, but inside I was running around in circles and screaming.
Wigging out, as I’m always accusing others of doing.
My DP and I finally made it to the event room, where we stared at a staircase for about an hour until the actual ceremony thing started. I think we chatted with fellow filmmakers. I remember laughing appropriately and smiling too much.
Announcements. Rules. Blah blah blah I’M ABOUT TO DO A 48 blah blah blah….
THEN. The announcer guy gave us the elements:
Line of dialog: Let’s take it from the top (let us take it from the top).
Character: Celebrity chef Deborah Gordon.
Prop: A necklace.
Okay, those are all pretty cool. I mean, a necklace is easy. That dialog can be worked into anything. A celebrity chef…I can work with that.
Like good little filmmakers and producers, we wrote it all down and my DP texted it to our editor, because my hands shook too much. Stupid hands. I was doing so well hiding that nervousness. I guess they didn’t get the memo.
“DefineUncommon,” the announcer called. That was my cue to walk to the front. I wove in between the chairs and I didn’t even trip. I reached my hand into a hat (I’m pretty sure it was a hat…) to pull out our GENRE.
That tiny piece of paper flipped open in my hand. ROMANCE, it said. Romance. What in the monkey…?
I made my way back to my seat. I sat. I hope. And I made my DP text our genre. And I took a deep breath.
I have never written a romance film, I thought. I just haven’t done it. How am I going to write one in a few hours? How am I going to film it? How can I know that I won’t let my team down because of my inexperience in this genre?
You know what I was doing?
But my DP leaned over and asked if we were going to keep the genre. See, we have the opportunity to draw a wild card. The wild cards are ALL harder than the normal genres. All of them. And I said, “I don’t think we should.”
He said, “Me neither. We got this. I think we got this.”
I thought of my team: twenty some people. I thought of my actors: half a dozen. I thought of my editors and my co-writer waiting out in the mall.
And I thought, “We can do this.”
Because the 48, and all filmmaking really, isn’t about one person. It’s a team.
Here’s a trailer for our film: