4/28/07

Creative Juices in a High-Pressure Spigot

(Don't worry - I was just as surprised as you were to learn that there's a G in "spicket.")

A 48-Hour Film Festival is a movie-making project in which you have just two days to write, direct, act-out and edit a 4 to 7 minute film. Today I attended a pre-production meeting for a group who is competing in one such competition. A while ago I put my name into the hat at the festival's website and a while later the director of our group called me up and asked if I was interested in writing a movie for him. I'm in the middle of that now. But on top of that he also asked me to consider being in the film festival as a writer.

This is exactly the sort of thing I need to happen. Really, it is. The grand prize includes distribution to film festivals, production companies and TV studios all over. While this might not seem like much at first blush, it's like a gold mine for filmmakers. Making a film is all about being seen - not just by an audience, but by people who may like you enough to pay you to make more. This, my friends, is where it all begins. With exposure. Well, exposure and networking. While exposure is all well and good, it doesn't mean a lot unless you know the right people. Through this experience I will have met some of the top film and video talent in the Tampa area - people who will do anything to succeed in the industry. Including hiring people they know or accepting a hired position from someone they know. In other words, if I make it to the top before them I can call on them and if they make it before me, they can call me.

The film industry is really all about community and I've learned that lesson well over the years. I thought I might be able to make it on my own as I went through Full Sail, so I kind of shied away from building any real, lasting friendships with my classmates. This was a huge mistake. Who knows what kind of awesome things they're doing now without so much as a single thought coming back to me? Through this festival I may just be able to get a second chance. I never did real well socially in a "school" environment. Not that Full Sail was a conventional school environment by any means, but in the back of my mind there was always more learning to be done than there was socializing. This 48 Hour Project might just be the chance I need to make some real contacts and some real friendships with some real writers and real directors.

It'll also be a chance to test the limits of my creativity! In 48 hours we're expected to make an entire movie, but I and a team of writers along with the director are expected to conceive the movie and write the script in under 24 hours (given at the last minute several guidelines such as the genre and things to include)! This might be easy if it was just me and the director, but, while adding several other people to the creative mix is good for the depth and creativity of the movie as a whole, when has anyone ever been able to get a team of anyone to do anything with solidarity when they'd only just met each other? It will definitely be a challenge, but I know I'm up to it.

Evidently Becky's up to it, too! When she found out that part of the rules of the project are that you are encouraged to work with local composers, she jumped at the chance of being a real movie composer. She tagged along with me today at the first pre-production meeting as the one and only composer out of the group of about 20. She's just as excited as I am. Maybe I can get her to write a blog post about it, too.

I'm going to follow all the events of this project and create a new blog tag especially for it called "48hours." This is going to be great. Just you watch.