Short Film in 48 hours
Posted 07 June 2006 - 08:47 PM
Seems to have some sound issues when streamed but ok if downloaded???
Posted 20 June 2006 - 05:22 PM
Dead Quiet: Dead Quick
By Bridget Mills
The annual 48hour film competition is almost over for its 5 th year. It has become more and more popular each time and is now the largest film competition in New Zealand. This year, 110 teams competed in Wellington alone. The premise of the competition? To ?write, shoot, cut, survive' and essentially produce a short 7-minute film over the course of one weekend.
This year, while other teams were frantically filming, scarcely eating and barely sleeping for the full 48hours, one team had the whole film completed in the first 8 hours. Having participated in the event myself, in a team with 20-odd people, all the equipment we required, time, space and expertise, I was astonished to find this filmmaker, who, with all the odds stacked against him, managed to produce a short, very clever, dark and strangely witty film in 1/6 of the time.
Filmmaker, Stephen Press and his team ?Trick with a knife' attempted what must be one of the most logistically difficult shoots I have come across. It was shot in 8 hours, in the dark, by just two people, and in one long continuous take.
?I always believe in making your weaknesses your strengths', says Press. ?We had a steady cam and about 8 hours and I figured if we didn't have to edit, if we shot it all in one take, one continuous roll, we wouldn't need as much time'.
Filming took place in the last weekend of May; teams had from 7.10pm Friday to 7.10pm Sunday to make their film. Representatives from each team sat anxiously at the Embassy Theatre on Friday night, fingers poised on their mobiles as they eagerly waited to find out what key creative ingredients would be drawn to shape their film (and ultimately prevent anyone from cheating by starting earlier); these are, the genre, the character, a prop and a line of dialogue.
Press, a freelance cameraman, knew he would be busy with work for the rest of the weekend so only wanted a small team for fear of disappointing people. ?When we kicked off on Friday, my team consisted of me and Chris Ryan; I was the crew and he was the cast'.
After drawing crime as a genre they thought, ?we can do this by ourselves', and they spent the drive out to Eastbourne planning the film. ?We talked about it in the car on the way home and worked out a script'.
Their film, ?Dead Quiet', which was shot out by the bus garages in Eastbourne, follows Ryan as he drives out to dump the body of his murdered friend on the beach.
With lighting that consisted of a head lamp and dimmable top-light on his camera, Press kept the atmosphere low-key. Starting with a wide shot, he overcame the compulsory countdown by panning down some ?cool, wild' steps that he'd put gaffer-taped numbers on before panning to the opening credits; two typed pages taped to the wall.
Then, after filming Ryan's car approaching, Press attached himself to the car and filmed Ryan's monologue as he drove on towards the beach. ?My car has a running board on the side of it and I'd always jokingly said I could stand off the side, hanging out [of the car] filming. But that's not very safe. I had a helicopter harness in my car?we rigged it up so that I could hook on and off [safely] and use the steady cam'.
Ryan proceeded to drive down the street doing 20km, ?that was very cool!' says Press. But admits it was a challenge to get out at the other side to film Ryan on the beach.
Filming such a long take is difficult in itself; one mistake and you have to start over. Filming such a long take when you only have 3 chances to do it takes the pressure to an even greater level. Press only had 3 tapes, so they shot 3 takes and took the best out of all three.
The first take posed a few issues; Press had trouble getting on and off the harness with out clinking noises and Ryan, suffering from the flu, wasn't happy with his performance.
Take two, and with the clinking solved by a liberal application of gaffer tape around the metal harness, things appeared to run smoothly. ?The second take was brilliant' said Press, ?everything went perfectly; fantastic acting, really good shooting ? I nailed everything'. Unfortunately, upon playing the tape back the pair discovered that the sound had cut out half way through.
So it all came down to the third take.
The pressure was on, the monitor had died (meaning Press couldn't see what he was shooting) and Ryan's flu was steadily growing worse as the night grew cooler. However, despite the enormity of the task, Press managed to shoot a remarkably fluid film that is practically flawless.
The whole shoot was over and there was still time to sleep before work on Saturday. ?From start to finish it took us 8 hours ? so who needs the other 40?' jokes Press.
Ironic then that the film almost didn't make the 7.10pm deadline on Sunday. Press' job that was supposed to finish by 5pm was still going at 6.10pm. He was on the other side of town and feared he wouldn't make the registration, ?I was absolutely freaking out!' He said.
But fortunately, this story has a happy ending. Press made it to the Embassy with time to spare, enjoying one of the many free Stellas on offer to calm down. ?That would have been ironic' he told me (as I too consumed the free beer), ?finish it in the first 8 hours and then not be able to get it in!'
?Dead Quiet' played in heat 11 on Saturday night. The top twelve Wellington films will be shown at the Embassy theatre on June 8 th . The live national final is on C4 on June 23 rd .
Posted 06 July 2006 - 01:17 AM
Posted 06 July 2006 - 02:11 AM
Hey Stephen... what happened to Cameragod? ... kinda miss him...
He had to change it due to the "Real Names" rule
Posted 07 July 2006 - 04:41 AM