Wednesday, 16 April 2014

48 Hour Film Challenge Wrapup Report

The claim has been made, largely by myself, that ours was the best team. Of course I'm sure other people are going to use this space in their reports to claim that they had the best team but it should be noted that everyone else is wrong.

The fact that our abilities vary so much is what made us strong since no matter what situation arose we were able to handle it and seek advice from one of our other team members without fear of being dismissed as “the one who doesn't know anything”
Strictly speaking I should have been keeping this journal the whole way through but due to the other assignments pressing down on me the journal keeping aspect more or less fell by the wayside in terms of importance. So while I do have some hurriedly scribbled notes they aren't what I would really call up to my usual standard of writing[1].


    Nobody in the group is taking charge of anything and we don't really have any sort of leader. It doesn't really matter at this stage because the entire class is just marking time until kickoff but I wonder if we do need someone who makes the decisions about where to go and what to do for the team. For now however, we're generating story ideas and bouncing plots off each other which are very generalized and can easily be adapted to suit whatever genre that we get. I personally am holding out for comedy or musical.
    We had filmed this well before the day of the shoot but after it was edited together it needed improvements due to the fact that while Frey Frey was cut out of the shot, the Powerade bottle bottle he was carrying wasn't!  I brought this up with the rest of the group but the general reaction to it and also to the fact that we would need to reshoot the group shot if not the entire introduction was
    “Meh. It's only the intro so it won't count as part of the real movie” and “It doesn't really matter anyway because we're not going to win. I mean we're going up against people who do this every year”

    The thought of our film being disqualified over something which could easily have been fixed with a 10 minute filming session irritated me. Ultimately my worries were groundless however, as the group shot was redone during the shoot and edited together with the previous footage so that everyone except for the bottle of Powerade is in shot.
    You mean we've only got to come up with a script and not actually shoot the film? It was a weight off my mind because ever since I heard that we were doing a dry run of the competition I'd been thinking that we had to do the whole thing. We had a massive brainstorming session and Ukulele Lady managed to get all the ideas down while filtering out all the jokes and funny situations that we threw at her. Once we broke for lunch I took the rough storyline and managed to come up with a more polished version which was well received and only had the one real joke.

    POLICEMAN 1: “The lab boys got back to us this morning. No prints, no DNA, no nothing”
    POLICEMAN 2: “The notes are nothing. Just a random bunch of letters”
    POLICEMAN 1: “and that name. Boar Cub. Boars have piglets, not cubs”
    POLICEMAN 2: “Really?”
    POLICEMAN 1 “Yeah we went to the zoo and had it confirmed”

We got musicals! I mean, not only are we called Intermezzo Accoustica [2] but our logo looks like this:
Random selection my left glutius maximus!
Just as with the dry run, once we'd gotten the genre, prop and the other details it didn't take us long to come up with a basic storyline, locations (both primary and secondary) so that everything was ready for the shooting on Saturday.

At 0300 precisely I'd complied the notes and knocked together the actual script which was then posted onto Evernote. Suddenly finding myself at something of a loose end I looked about for something else to do and decided that I would storyboard this entire movie by dawn [3[. Thus aided by far too many energy drinks I proceeded to work furiously - in my mind.
What really happened was that I made the mistake of sitting down in the comfy couch and all my hard work turned out to be nothing more than the twisted dreams of a fevered mind.

The actual shooting went very smoothly and there really isn't much to be said about the day out, The script was loose enough to allow for editing and revisions but remained structured enough to allow the story to continue in a logical fashion.
We all had a good time with frank discussions about what should be happening next and group contributions to the original songs that were knocked out of the orchestra pit by everyone who joined the Occupy Studio movement.

Once we got back to the Weltec buildings Jordan, Ukulele Lady and myself each took a section of the movie to edit properly. It worked out well as the movie had three different locations and I found myself dealing with the first part of the movie with Jordan being the head editor and ultimate wielder of the thin red line of unimaginable power.

But don't think that Frey Frey and Other Jordan were content to sit around doing nothing. They hid away in the studio and did, um, things. I am a little vague on exactly what everyone was doing during this time because of how we were spread out about the place.
Jordan was working on Level 2. Ukulele Lady was in the studio lab with Other Jordan, Frey Frey was recording in the studio and I was in the Mac Labs on Level 7. Occasionally we spoke with each other to confirm we were on track but really we were one 'orrible murder away from an Agatha Christie Novel.

The worst time wasn't when I was busy but rather when I had nothing to do. It came just after I had given my rough cut to Jordan and found myself at a loose end once again. So I took the time to go over the checklist and getting started on all the little things, like filling out the wrap up forms and getting the release papers signed.

This led to more worrying as I began to worry that the tiniest thing I got wrong on these official forms would not only lead to the movie being disqualified but would also be held up as a perfect example of “how not to do it” But with the help of fresh air and a fantastic cup of coffee [4] I was able to relax enough to get it together and get everything sent off.

Jordan finished the final editing around 1700 on the Sunday and the whole team breathed a sigh of relief. Nobody did a naked victory lap around the computer labs but only because we just didn't have the energy to do anything other than sit there and be relieved that it was all over.
Thus with a song in my heart, a spring in my step and movie in hand I submitted our entry at the very safe time of 1755, despite walking around the building twice because there was nothing outside to say “Yes Tim you are in the right place. Come inside and stop worrying already”, texted everyone to let them know that they could stop worrying because I had given the movie to the official people rather than some random tourists who had mistaken me for Peter Jackson.


It's over! I'm writing this at 4am on Tuesday because I'm still high on adrenaline and everything else. Other people have asked if I'll do it again and my answer is “Yes” but right now my answer would be the same if they asked if I wanted to do a bungy jump. Anything to keep the adrenaline pumping.
    We were a great group. I've already gone on about them so much that I won't repeat myself. The coolness rating of everyone in Intermezzo Accoustica goes up to 11 and I would have no hesitation in working with these guys again.
    I'll admit that Evernote is slowly beginning to grow on me as a useful tool. It's not perfect in every way and throughout this project it wouldn't let me tag my posts with anything beyond my name. It sounds like a minor annoyance and it is but since it couldn't be fixed it does make it look as though I'm trying to take credit for the entire project, which I'm certainly not [5].
    While it was good for organizing who was going to do what and where I don't think anyone really used it beyond the first couple of weeks, if the project had been longer or if the group had been larger then it might have gotten more of a look in but between Evernote and a continuing back and forth conversation on Facebook we were pretty well covered on the organizational side of things.
    If I never drink V again it will be too soon! But something I did note was that their sponsorship of the challenge didn't have the challenge gorilla decked out in V branded gear [6] unlike most sponsored events which are generally billed as SPONSER! event SPONSER!! SPOOOOONSSSSSER!!! Kudos to whoever was in charge of that decision.

  1. I was going to include a scan of the aforementioned notes, just for the sake of completion, but have just realized that I've covered up the pages in question with printouts.
  2. An intermezzo is a short movement between a major section of a symphony or drama. In a nutshell it's what the orchestra would play in order to allow the stagehands to change the scenery behind the curtain.
    Meanwhile Accoustica is a misspelling of acoustics which relates to the audio qualities of a particular location.
  3. “Why stop there?” I asked myself “I've got a cellphone with a camera on it. I could get this film finished by lunchtime” - This hasn't been added for comedic purposes, this was what I was really considering doing.
  4. Officially there was nothing special about the coffee but after two days of junk food and ten million cans of V I was feeling just a touch jittery.
  5. At least not until we start talking royalties. Then it was certainly all my own work.
  6. Unless it was hidden behind the giant Beastie Boys style clock necklace. Good to know that the 90's will never die.

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