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/