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Topic: I survived the 48 hour film project

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  1. #1

    I survived the 48 hour film project

    For the second year running, Poorly Projected Pictures entered the 48 Hour Film Project. And this year our randomly assigned genre was... musical. Argh!

    Normally, you write a script, get the production materials (props, costumes...), go to your shooting locations, film then edit - all while the composer sleeps comfortably. Then, once some scenes are locked, you compose like mad, mix, deliver and go back to bed.

    For a Musical, it's all inside out. After some of the writing is done, you start writing songs. From here there are two choices: 1) play the music live on camera, like taping a stage show, or 2) record the voices and lip sync. We chose option 2, since that allows cinematic editing and has better sound quality.

    So... Next you make temp tracks with clicks, melodies, and maybe a bass line and record the actors signing their lines. When this is all done, you finally get to start filming. The contest started at 7:30 pm Friday. The production crew hit the road at about 7:30 pm Saturday. With a non-musical, they would have started shooting Saturday morning.

    We had two scenarios: songs and, well, not-songs. The songs are easiest. They set the whole rhythm, so you can start laying in the orchestration while the crew shoots. The not-songs are tougher. You get a few lines of song, separated by a random bit of time and maybe some dialog. You don't know until some edits start being delivered. And then you have to figure out what crazy rhythms, pads and key modulations can connect the dots. Whee!

    So... I started getting edits Sunday around noon. They shot the final scene at 2:30 pm. I ended up using the temp track (without clicks) for that! I'd say that 50% of the music was finished well. 40% could have used more instruments, but the audience won't notice. 10% was on the rough side.

    But we got it all done, rendered it, dubbed to tape and drove the package to Portland - with seven minutes to spare. Musicals should get 60 hours, rather than 48!

    The story? A goodie-two-shoes is dumped by a woman who wants a "bad man." To win her back he enters a life of crime, but he's pathetic. All the while he pines for Jenine. During the heist, well, I'm not going to give it away! The title is "Heart Break Break In".

    We plan to show the film on the Colonel Crush site in two or three weeks. Our first screening is at the Hollywood Theater in Portland at 7:15pm on Thurs., Aug. 16th. If we make the finals (we hope to; we did last year), it will run at 7:30 on the following Thursday.

    If you ever get the chance to participate on a 48 hour film, go for it! http://www.48hourfilm.com/portland_oregon/

  2. #2

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    Try 24 hours...

    The Dallas Video festival hosts this anually. Now there's a nightmare.
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  3. #3

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    Quote Originally Posted by timzydee
    Try 24 hours...

    The Dallas Video festival hosts this anually. Now there's a nightmare.
    Yes, but you only go one day without sleep.

  4. #4

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    Quote Originally Posted by timzydee
    Try 24 hours...

    The Dallas Video festival hosts this anually. Now there's a nightmare.
    That's intense. If we had gotten musical with that, we definitely would have gone the stage show route, rather than the bits and pieces lip sync routine.

    BTW, your flute, clarinet, bassoon and horn were all put to good use during the quiet bits. I would have used the oboe too, but RAM was tight...

    Hey, I just noticed your banner ad above, and checked my mail. Congratulations on completing the classical woodwind set!

  5. #5

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    They give you a theme, prop, amd line of dialogue that you have to incorporate. I'm kind of a musical buff so last time we went into it wanting to do an original song. We got about 75% through and decided what we were coming up with was really terrible so we scrapped that and went with a completely different idea. In the end the music we did use was very interesting since it consisted of me playing violin and trumpet poorly, a friend of mine playing trombone after a 10 year hiatus and another friend who is a good clarinet player. I knew after that long 24 hours it was for people much younger than me.
    Westgate Studios
    Sound Libraries for Gigastudio and Kontakt

  6. #6

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    Quote Originally Posted by timzydee
    ...I knew after that long 24 hours it was for people much younger than me.
    I know what you mean! Our crew is between 17 and 21 years old. And here I am approaching the half century mark. At one point I was thinking, so this is how people get heart attacks!

    But to be honest, I think I held up well. I was busy the whole time, so I was pretty buzzed. The actors who had to sit around forever, and then jump up and be perky had it hardest. Hours of boredom; moments of sheer terror.

  7. #7

    Re: I survived the 48 hour film project

    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Music
    ..... so of COURSE they decide to do all this green screen stuff. The final cut was due Monday at 6. I got my first rough cut at noon.
    That's just plain wrong!

    When my son and I work together, he's trained to get me a time locked scene ASAP, and worry about effects and color correction later. As soon as I get hungry for the next scene, he locks it and keeps me well fed.

    I gotta say, we've been releasing a new Webisode or Microfilm every week or so since January, and it's really helped us develop our chops. Some weeks my energy is low, I procrastinate and I shortcut it. Other weeks, I push myself really hard. Either way, I get the experience of reviewing the work and figuring out how to better it next time. Same thing for Nathan and his writing/shooting/editing.

    Recently, I've watched some 48 hour entries on the web, and I watched On The Lot tonight. Our story is really tight, the editing is crisp, the pictures look good. The result is really competitive. The weakest part are some moments in the mix, and some thin orchestrations. Another hour or two, and it would have been golden.

    I can't wait until the screenings!

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