twenty four hours of film


Two years ago Phil, Wade and I decided that we would give the 24 Hour Film Challenge a shot. Between the three of us we thought we'd make a pretty good team. And what a combination we were... Phil, a talented composer as well as skilled editor in FinalCut. Wade, also a bit of a video man as well as former thespian. And of course me, former preteen stage actress and child star of the indie-home movie circuit. I also possessed a certain love of cinematography. Naive but committed we set out to make our 5 minute masterpiece.

That first year it was just the three of us (with the exception of a brief appearance by the gentleman who served as our cook and narrator). We didn't really know what to expect so other than a few excited conversations we did almost no preparation for our 24 hours of film-making. In fact we did not even pick up the equipment we were going to use until after we had received the envelope that contained the instructions and the ever-important challenge including the genre of film (suspense) as well as the prop we needed to integrate into the film (golden coins).

Props are supposed to be shown onscreen at least four times. We could have taken the easy road out and just done a few gratuitous shots, but it's a bit more fun to make the prop a part of the film, which is how we ended up with our tragic tale of a mysterious woman (running in stilettos I might add), a suspicious death and poisoned chocolate. It was all very Hitchcock-inspired.

Our experience of 2009 was positive enough that we decided to try again last year. We had less equipment (which we had prepared the evening before) but increased the number of our cast, adding the talented Marsha and Kris as well as a few others who had a certain vegetable quality on camera (watch for Wade's brief appearance on screen. He's rather handy that one). Our genre was comedy and for a prop we had to spend an allocated sum on something from the Downtown Farmer's Market. We were at a bit of a loss at first but everything seemed to come together when we realized that one of our cast had a collection of googly eyes. Googly eyes always make vegetables more appealing. Once our leek and cauliflower had some personality it was an easy extension to film the story of the breakdown of a popular children's show.

I am selectively vague on the details of our film-making process since this is cut-throat business and we must protect our secrets. We were lucky before, as both years our films were selected in the top 10. You might even say we made some award-winners as Phil won for best score in 2009 and in 2010, Marsha, our lead won best actress. I have no idea if we can repeat the success this year, but we'll find out soon. We're preparing for another 24hour cinematic whirlwind this weekend. We're all looking forward to another fun and stressful 24 hours. I'm pretty excited to see what the other competitors come up with. There were some really great films last year. The top films are screened the following weekend on October 1st. Hopefully we finish our film on time.