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Author Archives: Michael Rich
It’s official. I survived the St. Louis 48 Hour Film Project! Here’s a quick run-down of what happened…
On Friday night, my team and I headed over to the Ozark Theatre in Webster Groves where we pulled our genre. To my dismay, we initially pulled the “fantasy” genre. Luckily, you’re allowed to pull for a wildcard if you don’t like your first pick, but you can’t switch back. On second try, we pulled the “film de femme” genre, which is something that the 48 Hour Film Project made up. It’s a movie that features a strong female lead. All the teams were also assigned a prop, line of dialogue, and character that had to be in the films. The prop was an umbrella, the line was “I wouldn’t recommend it”, and the character was Paul or Paula Sweeney, substitute teacher.
— Michael Rich (@MikeRich9) June 14, 2013
The clock began ticking with 48 hours to put a 4-7 minute movie together. Our four person writing/idea crew headed to a house where we came up with a story about a female student trying to get revenge on her teacher. We needed a classroom and spent an hour or so figuring out where to find one. Fortunately, my friend Kegan Myers found a church school that would let us film there the next day. We figured it was best not to tell them that we’d be filming a couple violent scenes.
At 11 pm, we had a script together. Now by script, I mean one of the sloppiest and most incoherent collection of notes ever put together. We skipped on a shot list, which was pretty stupid. But to everyone’s advantage, we headed to sleep fairly early.
The next day at 10 am, the crew assembled at the location to begin shooting. At the peak, thirteen people were on set helping out. This is by far the most people I’ve ever directed. Shooting lasted for about six hours. We moved very quickly and didn’t have too many problems with setups, except for a final scene involving someone getting hit with a baseball bat. I wish we would’ve had a shot list for that, but we managed.
The two main actors were Shannon Wood, a friend from high school, and Cammie Middleton-Helmsing, a family friend. Both ladies did a fine job considering my confusing directions.
Starting around 6 pm on Saturday, we started editing. Four people, including me, stuck around for this long and arduous process. We had three computers going and each one of us took a different section of the film. I got a little flak from my team because I fell asleep several times into Sunday. Essentially, I would pass out for a couple hours and then wake up frantically wondering if we had finished what we needed to do. Kegan was the main editor and stuck with the thing all night. It wouldn’t have gotten done without him.
There weren’t too many problems in the editing process and had what we thought was a final cut two hours before the 7:30 pm deadline. However, right before we started burning the DVD, I took a look at the audio levels and realized they weren’t hitting the “sweet spot,” a term my audio teacher used this past semester. In fact, the audio was so low that you could hardly hear it unless the speakers were turned up to 100%. Kegan and I rapidly raised the audio and we had the whole thing finished and ready to go at 6:45.
— Michael Rich (@MikeRich9) June 16, 2013
The crew jumped in the car and headed to Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood to finally turn the movie in. We had it in 10 minutes before the deadline.
The movie we made is called “Lesson Learned.” It’s 4:38 minutes long and will premiere tonight at the Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis. I can honestly say that I’m proud to show it as something that I made in two days. By no means is it an actually good film, but I think it’s entertaining for what it is. Sometime next week, I’ll put it up on my YouTube channel.
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