Over one long weekend in October last year, I had the privilege and pleasure of working as a production assistant with a group of young, talented fellow filmmakers on the annual 48 Hour Film Challenge.
The 48 Hour Film Challenge is a yearly, global, mad dash of creativity centred around teams of filmmakers creating a 4-7 minute long short with only a few basic requirements - a specific prop each film must use (this year: a skateboard), a specific line of dialogue ("Happy, happy, happy, you're always so damn happy"), and a character name and profession (the gender neutral Dakota Flannery, occupation: locksmith). Oh, and, your genre gets picked out of a hat and assigned to you.
On Friday evening the director Katie Anderson and our cinematographer Juan Pablo Pinto registered our team and got our genre, and Friday night we all sat around and hashed out a story structure and then a script. Saturday morning, we all reconvened at the Beaches home that was to serve as our set, and the weather was appropriately gloomy for the dark, disturbing noir detective story we were about to tell.
Entitled "The Case", it tells the story of a brooding detective piecing together the unsolved mystery of a woman murdered in her bathtub, but told out of chronological order with a delightfully creepy twist at the end.
(All of the above photos courtesy of our behind-the-scenes and stills photographer, Chris.)
We filmed throughout Saturday, shooting the final scenes around 1 am, before dispersing to get what little sleep could be had, and then early on Sunday morning, the editing team got to work stitching the story together through the footage, the sound editing and music scoring, and colour correction.
By 6pm it was all done and ready to be submitted just in time for the deadline, 48 hours later.
A few weeks later, there was a mini festival screening all the Toronto submissions at the Bloor Cinema, and then in November we discovered we had been selected as on of the top 15 films out of the 60+ that made it into the festival, to be re-screened separately, once again at the Bloor Cinema. Once there, they had some awards to hand out and we got the best news so far...our film had won Best Cinematography!
All in all, an incredible experience, and a worthwhile reminder that amazing things don't have to take a long time...sometimes all you need is the right team and the right motivation. And a heck of a lot of coffee, of course. :)