By Joe Quirk
To create a film in 48hours takes a team of dedicated individuals with unique talents suited for their assigned roles, but to create a film during the time of COVID-19 is a herculean task that few would wish to contemplate. The most paramount concern for all members of any team willing to take on the challenge is to ensure the project can be done safely. This does not mean “as safe as possible” it means “safely-full stop”. If the possibility existed that any one member of the team could contract the virus, the endeavor would not be worth it. Thankfully, our team like many others saw a way through, and attempted the feat.
The 48hour film project is a wonderful concept that spurs creativity and camaraderie among teams who all share the dedicated purpose of creating a film within the constraints of the challenge. Teams agree that no part of the film will be created ahead of time (no having scripts to pull out of the saved word document folder or sets pieces created months in advance). The committee draws two genres out of a hat and the team must choose one. The committee assigns a random name for a character, a prop and a phrase and these elements must be in the film and ae used as proof that the final product was uniquely created within the 48hour time frame.
I joined the Solara Lumina group which was created by Tiffany Smead and Sammie Ann Fontaine and due to my prolific and expeditious written output (I write a script each week for my Nutmeg Junction/Barnaby Druthers) radio show) I was assigned the task of writing the script once the elements and genres came in. At 7pm we were given those pieces of the puzzle and it was “go time”.
Our genre was “film de femme” that celebrated women in cinema and the best part of being part of the project was that it gave me the opportunity to work with extraordinary women dedicated to the making a film in this unusual year, especially Tiffany and Sammie Ann.
Tiffany and Sammie have worked on films for years, especially on 48hr films, and last year they ventured forth to create their Solara Lumina group of which I became a part. The first film created by the team last wear was called “The Company You Keep” and it was well received.
THIS year, Tiffany and Sammie learned from the prior year’s experience and built upon the opportunities and successes. They scheduled meetings early and communicated with the cast and crew well. The team had our release forms in on time. We had many actors lined up depending on whatever the script might equire. We discussed the limitations of filming in a COVID19 world and debated whether filming could be done safely. As we were in Tiffany and Sammie’s capable hands, the cast and crew resolved to make a wonderful film this year within the constraints of this new environment and the result was “The One You’re Waiting For” and we are very proud of the result.
We were so lucky to receive “Film De Femme” as our category, especially because the team Tiffany and Sammie had assembled for the brainstorming session schedule for that Friday included AJ Lin, Amanda Yount, Sammie and Tiffany all of whom are strong women with voices that contributed to the final result. Their ideas were so clear and communicated so thoroughly that the first draft of the script I wrote was complete by 10 O Clock. Tiffany and Sammie then took extra time to fine tune the ending of the script with Amanda as the main talent on film and together we all accomplished crafting a fun and wonderful story to be filmed that Saturday.
Tiffany and Sammie used Saturday wisely to film segments safely and then they had time for a reshoot for one of the actors which resulted in some of the best visual work of the film. Tiffany had one actress (Jandi Hanna) record sound remotely and then Sammie edited the audio in for a crucial and funny segment involving the actor on screen (Jeff Savage).
Tiffany and Sammie managed their time wisely and edited the film, rendering it and submitting the work on time.
Our film was nominated for at least one award but as of this writing the awards have not been handed out. Whether we win an award or not, I am proud to have worked on the project. The idea of the 48hour film project has enormous potential and next year, hopefully fi COVID19 has been mitigated or resolved, it is something that any writer would benefit from the experience of being part of a team, and if they’re lucky, they’ll work with exceptional team members to create an unforgettable experience and a film that stands the test of time.