Last weekend, our creative group Blind Tiger Films successfully completed its second 48-Hour Film Project. For those of you who don’t know, the Project is just what its name would imply: a challenge to create the best short-movie you can in 48 hours. You get a genre, a character, a prop, and a line of dialogue. Beyond that, it’s up to you to create something which can be turned in by the Sunday-night deadline.
Our second time out saw us confronted with both old and new challenges. I’ve been reflecting on these throughout the week, and in anticipation of our premiere screening tomorrow, here’s what’s been rattling around my mind:
1. Drama Trauma
Here are some taglines for the last few creative projects I’ve worked on:
– A woman is mistakenly sent to the afterlife in place of a drunk she just met at the bar, where she encounters a bureaucratic and mis-managed agency with which she must deal to get her life back
– A Zombie couple invite their human neighbors over for a dinner party, and both sides discover that old prejudices and habits die hard
– The world is plunged into an apocalyptic nightmare after Hostess is shuttered and Twinkies are no more
– A man tormented by the mistakes of his past takes extreme measures to try to make things right
Which of these is not like the others? It you answered Zombies, you’d be right (because it has zombies), but you’d also be right if you answered the man tormented by his mistakes. That one is not a comedy, and it’s not intended to get laughs. I’m having a surprising amount of difficulty coming to terms with this. On one hand, it’s great that we were able to broaden our horizons by attempting a style we weren’t necessarily comfortable with, and I think our talented group pulled it off with gusto. On the other hand, I’ve always judged my own success by how much my movies have been able to make people laugh, or at the very least, crack a smile. How are we to assess our success during the premiere screening? Stunned silence? It will be strange to not get that obvious, audible feedback this time around.
Here’s a tip: if you ever find yourselves remarking that things seem to be proceeding more easily than last year, stop. Just stop before you choke on the foot you’ve placed in your mouth, and remember that there is always, always something waiting in the wings which will drain you of energy and time.
On Saturday during filming we seemed to be well ahead of schedule, and yet, I’m not even sure how, we barely finished the movie on time despite getting all of three hours of sleep Saturday night. We very literally worked right up to the buzzer. The net result for my girlfriend and I was roughly ten hours of sleep from Thursday night to Sunday.
Let me tell you, I am tired. Still. The following Saturday I’ve barely regained my energy. Maybe I’m suffering from Code Red withdrawal.
3. I hate our title
I really do. I’m perfectly comfortable saying so, because I’m the one who thought of it. We spent a few hours trying to think of a title, and that’s what we came up with, but it just isn’t a memorable title.
We thought of a much better angle, which would have lead to a much better title… 24 hours later. Not much help at that point. I suppose that’s part of the challenge too.
In any event, I’m filled with nervous energy for tomorrow’s premiere. I don’t know what to expect, but I hope our team is proud of our achievement. Once again, I think we did something awesome.
Except for the title. Hate that stupid title.