The 48 Hour Film Project, www.48hourfilm.com, is an International competition held in major cities throughout the world. This past July, Seattle held it’s 48 Hour Film competition and I was asked to participate as a composer on a team of talented local filmmakers.
The competition has strict guidelines for creating the films. The time frame is literally 48 Hours from start to finish. Films must be 4-7 minutes in length and each film must include certain criteria outlined in the guidelines. Films are judged by a selected panel and are screened publicly a few days after the competition. . The audience participates in nominating films for the “Best of” City Awards and at the end of the competition year, a Grand Prize of $7500. from Visa, is awarded to the “ Best Film” In May a selection of “The Best of 2006” was shown at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner.
In preparation for the weekend challenge, teams are allowed to organize the crew, find a shoot location, select the cast and secure equipment. The creative process can only begin at the start of the 48 hours. This includes, script writing, production, music composing, costume design, props and editing.
This year 36 teams competed in the Seattle 48 Hour competition. Our team, headed by Director Prezmek Pardyak, had producers, a crew, actors, writers and caterers which totaled 35 members.
Our five member script writing team was composed of award winning producer/writer Meredith Binder, http://www.pawky.com/featured/rent_s_due, award winning writer, Barbara Lindsay Selig http://www.dramaticpublishing.com/AuthorBio.php?titlelink=10308, Bill Selig, Ian Stone and Prezemek Pardyak
A film location was secured at an artist’s building called “ The Foundary” This building is used for sculptors who create bronze casts and follow the “ lost wax” process of sculpting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_wax The uniqueness of this building is unmatched and was an ideal setting for the film.
I made my preparations for the weekend by making sure my studio ( computers, sequencing software, music software, piano, etc.) were in perfect working order. I then cleared my schedule for a marathon weekend of composing!
At the start of the competition, directors from each team pick a “ genre” out of a hat. Some of the genres include western, comedy, drama and romance The criteria to be included in the film, such as a prop, a sentence and a name, is also provided at this time.
Seattle’s 48 Hour weekend started on July 13 at 7:30 pm and ended on July 15th at 7:30 pm. On the evening of July 13th at 7:30 pm Prezemek Pardyak, our team Director, picked a genre out of a hat and returned to his team of script writers to began the creative process. Our genre was “ Drama” and the criteria to include in the film was: (prop), a helmet, (sentence) “Everything is going to change, starting now”, and a (name) Lenora or Lenny Chavez, veterinarian.
The writing team worked through the night and by 6 am on Saturday they had a script. I was emailed the script at 6:30 am and began working on music.
Everyone was on location by 8am to start rehearsing. I arrived about 1:30 in the afternoon and spent some time talking with the actors and getting a feel for the set. Prezemek and I talked about more details on the music and I headed back to my studio to continue working.
By 10:30 pm a Main Theme was composed, orchestrated and ready for the Director’s approval. Back at The Foundary they were filming and were approximately one third of the way through. I was very impressed with the Director’s attention to detail and by the support and enthusiasm of his cast and crew. At 12:30 am Prezemek called for a break and was able to spend a few minutes with me going over the Main Theme.
On Sunday, I was in contact throughout the day with the Director supplying him with new music as he needed it. Prezemek and the editor, Thomas Oliver, worked on the editing and color right up to the last minute.
At 7:15 pm a driver was waiting for Prezemek in a running car, he jumped in and they sped through town to the drop off location.
Our film “ The Last to Remember” was a second runner up in an “Audience Award ” Photos from the set can be viewed at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ventchdable/sets/72157600993123560
The film will be submitted into film festivals this year. On my web site, http://www.nanavant.com you can listen to the Main Theme for “ The Last to Remember” and find updates on the film’s progress.
Everyone involved with the production of our film gave their All to make it a success and I am amazed at the quality of work that took place in 48 hours!
This article appeared in the October/November issue of ” No Strings Attached E-News” Please see content ” Films & Movies” www.nostringsattachedenews. com