Reflections on the 48 Hour

With the red carpet screening of our 48 hour film only 24 hours away, it’s hard to believe what we were able to accomplish over the weekend of July 12 – 14!  At 7:00 pm on July 12, the writing team of Lisa Bruhn, Giovanni Tejada , Aaron Bornstein and myself received our genre “Horror!”  At 7:30 p.m. we received the elements that had to be included the film:  a garden hose, the character, Margaret McCarthy, Interpreter, and the line “You know what I mean?”

Fortified by a quick meal of chicken and coleslaw, we went to work!  By 2:30 a.m. we had come up with our script – A director of a steampunk acting troupe currently performing “Faust” – a play about a man who sells his sole to the devil – “awakens” to discover he is already dead and in hell, haunted by the sins of his past!

We delivered the script via our private facebook page to the actors and director of photography, Paul Mathew Giret, who at 4:00 a.m. began his shot list.  At 7:00 a.m., actors, crew and make-up artists arrived.  While make-up was being applied, we went about our first shot around 9:00 a.m. – and started a full cast shoot around 11:00 a.m.

Shooting went well into the wee hours of Sunday morning, wrapping at 4:00 a.m.  For many, this had been more than a 24 hour day without sleep!  Actors went home to recover and several us of stayed overnight at the shooting location.

Editing was completed at 6:50, leaving us less than 40 minutes to get to the drop off location (which normally would be over 40 minutes away).  Our film was turned in, on time, at 7:28 leaving two minutes to spare!!

Despite little sleep, long days, the time constraint – and pressure, the 48 hour is a fun and valuable experience for all involved!  Perhaps most importantly, a film actually gets completed!  And there is great satisfaction in what can be accomplished in so little time!  For some actors, it is the first time they have ever been on set and that is an invaluable learning experience!  The 48 pushes ones creative boundaries and it is a revelation what can do in such a short period of time

Enjoy our poster and trailer!

48 Hour Film Fest Only a Day Away!

Final Preparations are being made to kickoff our 3rd Annual 48 Hour Film Festival!  We’ve secured the location, equipment, actors and crew, food, writing team and are ready to receive our genre at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow when team members will pick it up at the kickoff!  Then the writing begins, and once finished, is distributed to the cast, (if history is any indication it’s around 2:30 a.m.) and we’re on set at 7:00 a.m. for make-up, set dressing, rehearsal and an approximate lst shot at 9:00 a.m.!  Last year we shot until fbcoverphotomidnight and with 15 actors and approximately the same number of crew members this year, we may go that late again!  We will be editing throughout and then need to get our completed film in by 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 14.  Not alot of sleep, but alot of creativity ahead!

48 Hour Film Festival Preparations

This will be our third year participating in San Diego’s 48 hour film festival!  I added this to the advanced class curriculum to give advanced students the opportunity to experience “guerrilla filmmaking” at its finest and to receive IMDb credit.  I’m happy to say that both 48 hour entries, “Baited Breath” (2011) and just recently “Wedding Hi-Jinx (2012) have received IMDb credit!  This is not an automatic credit as 48 hour films are considered part of a contest and therefore not eligible for IMDb.

In order to receive IMDb credit, it is necessary to be considered for – or accepted into – a film festival.


This year we have the largest team so far – nearly 30 team members – split pretty evenly between cast and crew!  Having worked the previous two years with a skeleton crew, I’m excited to see what results having a larger crew will deliver!  We are busy with meetings and scouting locations, leading up to the big weekend July 12 – 14.  We receive our genre (from 14 possible) around 7:30 on Friday night, giving us 48 hours to write, film, edit, score and add credits to our 4- 7 minute film.  It’s a crazy weekend with no sleep but plenty of energy and creativity – and miraculously, at the end, a finished movie!!