Monday, May 06, 2013

Surviving a 48 Hour Film Project

I spent much of the last couple of days following around a team working on the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. I intend to write more, but here's my initial impressions:

  • Things will go better if your core team has worked together before.
  • The most pressure occurs at the beginning (coming up with an idea and a script) and at the end (getting the edit together and done by the deadline.) The in-between part - the shooting - can go pretty easily assuming you have the gear you need and the crew know's how to use it.
  • If your editors and VFX people aren't involved in the scripting and shooting they'll be in better shape for the sprint to the finish on the last day.
  • Have a call time for Saturday morning already set; otherwise it will be midnight on Friday night, the script won't be written, and the cast and crew will be calling wondering when/if they are needed in the morning.
  • Have permissions for locations locked down before Friday evening, otherwise you'll waste time wondering if you can do an idea.
  • Same with actors.
  • If you've only seen the picture of an actor you won't know what they'll be able to do when you point the camera at them.
  • Just because someone says they think you'll be able to use a location doesn't mean they'll actually let you.
  • If you have a large cast and crew, actually moving them around can become a logistics issue.
  • The first shot of the day takes twice as long as you think it will! The last shot takes only minutes.
  • Plan your meal breaks. Energy definitely declines right after each meal!
  • Having PAs who are willing to pitch in and do anything, and who you can trust with completing a task, are more important than anything.
  • Having someone to keep track of what's been shot, which take is the best one(s) and keeping track of the schedule is also really important.
  • Transferring material from cards to computer can take a surprising amount of time, especially if you're recording uncompressed or with external recorders.
  • With the permissions and other documentation, there's a surprising amount of paper work involved.
  • Factor in rendering and delivery time.

48 Hour Filmmaker: Boston 2013

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