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Monday, May 16, 2005

[General] A Post Fuelled By Caffiene

Well its 10.35am on Monday morning, I’m on coffee number four and I am just starting to feel the real “come down” effect of a 48hour film competition. As I combat sleep here at my desk, let me tell you how it went.

Also have a gander at Mike’s post on the whole shindig (“shin dig” being an entirely accurate description of events).

The deal with the contest is that you have from 7pm Friday to 7pm Sunday to write, film, edit and hand in a completed film of 4-7minutes in length. Remember that 4mins is about the length of a music video and you have a good idea of the time and effort involved.

Mike asked me a few days beforehand if I would like to write. I was all like “Shit yeah!” If he asks me next year I’m gonna be all like “Hell no!” (Who am I kidding it’ll be “Shit yeah”; it’s the same reason I’m planning on a new tattoo, I’ve forgotten how much the first one hurt).

Friday we assembled. The team consisted of writers (Mike and I), director (Darryl), parts and technical crew for the forest moon (Paul, George and James), musician (also called James) and a host of other crew and actors (Sarah, Sarah, Liv, Siobhan, Amy, Andy, Scott, Marcus and Errol). [If I missed anyone please send angry emails]. Our grand leader Jed was at the Paramount to get our genre and the elements needed to be put in.

You see, each team gets a random genre of their own; in addition there is a random draw of elements that need to be included in every film. The three elements were:

  1. a banana
  2. a line of dialogue, “Please don’t do that”
  3. a character called Bodil de Rezney who is an animal lover.

Our specific genre was musical.
I'm sorry that should read: Our %#$%ing specific genre was &$$@ing MUSICAL!!!

As writers Mike and I whimpered, just a little, when Jed’s voice, tinny through the speaker phone, said “it’s a musical”. The team launched into action. We brainstormed for roughly one hour before Mike and I were left to our own devices. This meant long periods of staring into space.

Finally the story began to take shape. We decided on the classic operatic storyline of the love triangle that forms between a man, his wife and his best friend. For our film the best friend would be played by Pablo the golden retriever. I imagine that the film will be up for public screening sometime in the near future so you can see all the sordid details then.

I feel that I should note that first thing Monday morning my brain gave me about twelve or so, easy to film, easy to write, easy to edit ideas for musical films. Goddamn stupid brain! I’mmm gonnna geeet yoooouuu!!!

By 2am Saturday morning, Mike and I had forged a solid musical that we felt was the complete package. We had even crafted spectacular songs with the most hilarious lyrics known to man; at least that’s how they seemed at 2am Saturday. (Mike credits me more than he should in his post, which means I was successful in my ruse of looking like I was creative).

Saturday day was mainly spent at Mike’s house filming. This meant for most of the day Mike and I were hunched over his laptop making rewrites as scenes were cut and recut to make filming easier.

All the while poor James (the musician) had to create music around lyrics like “My speciality is Species-ality / I’ve been seeing your Seeing Eye dog”. He was really looking forward to one scene where Mike and I had a calypso-style song, we had to ring and tell him that it was cut.

The actors did wonders with the songs by the way. It’s pretty hard to sing lines like “Is that dog wearing a bra?” I realise now (stupid brain, where were you on the weekend) that we needed a conductor to keep the tempo of the songs for the actors.

For the last few scenes Mike and I just lazes in the background giggling at the songs and outtakes. At one point I noticed that Paul (who was doing the behind the scenes filming) had his camera on us. I played up and gave Mike a shove, little realising that behind him was a chair. So we kept Mike from tumbling through the window, but I have a feeling he’ll get me back.

I wasn’t needed on Sunday because it was editing day. So I fucked off to the Food and Drink expo at the Stadium and gorged myself on free food and alcohol while everyone else put themselves in the pressure cooker sweatbox that was the editing “suite”. Despite this day off, I was still screwed, because I never got to sit down.

The screening was at Jed’s last night at about 7.30pm. Roughly 37minutes after the film had been handed over to the officials. Yep, Mike and Scott raced through the Wellington city streets and got the tape in seven minutes before the deadline. Seven minutes! That’s practically a lifetime!

Still the universe never lets you get away with out a little drama. At 25 minutes before the deadline, the editing team finished and went to print the film to video (from the computer). The computer told the editing team: “Error: Cannot print to video”. Needless to say that there was a coordinated reaction from the editing team. Jed calmly pressed “cancel” and tried again. That you God/Allah/Buddha/Shiva for letting the second attempt work, we will sacrifice many sheep and oxen in your honour.

Well it’s 11.42am Monday and five cups of coffee now. The first thing I had to do today was meticulously proof the document I have been working on for the past two weeks before it will be printed and distributed to the public (I will tell all of you when it is published because it is so damn cool). It took a whole lot of coffee but it’s done now.

Will I be in next year’s 48hour competition? Shit yeah! I think it might be good idea to start planning now…

Ps: heaps of people were taking photos so I might be able to zap some up here in the near future.

1 comment:

mike said...

I'm impressed - I still can't think of a single other story for musical that would be easier to write, shoot and edit!! Brain my mush turned to. I still have my sci-fi idea that I dreamed up on the way to Jed's house on the Friday night. I might have to write that one up.

Head on over to the 48 Hours discussion boards to check out people's thoughts on the whole weekend. Some very interesting reading there. (Note, you may need to register to view the board, but it's relatively hassle-free.)

And although Hadyn didn't mention it - yes we both know that "speciality" is not a word; we know that it is should be "specialty"; but this is a musical, and they have a proven record of finding extra sa-llylables in words where there were none before.