48 Hour Film Project – Part 3 (Sunday & Screening)

Well, mercifully, this post shouldn’t be as long as the last couple. Sorry ’bout that. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot that goes into these goofy little films we make. What I posted yesterday? That was about a fraction of the hijinx that happened on the set of good ol’ FutureSand.


When we last left our heroes…

I got up bright and early after a couple hours of sleep. (Total sleep for the weekend? 5 HOURS) I headed back to Jason’s work to be with the core group, which includes Dirty, Brian, Jason and me. We needed to get the edit tip-top and have it all ready for Jason who was in charge of putting all the sound effects and what-not together.

The other cool thing? Michael Heagle, who did our visual effects stuff, was going to bring us the green screen stuff and also do some cool stuff with the 2 pound sandwich (forgot about that, didn’t ya?). Also, my favorite thing…he was going to add some little muzzle flashes to the guns our heroes use. Dang. If I could figure out how to do that, I’d be making movies every weekend.

But, alas. I’m only useful for stories and for getting actors to do cool stuff on film.

So, by now we’re all beat, slow-moving and Jason looks like he’s fallen off a truck. He hasn’t showered, slept much, and we’re really starting to feel the crunch. He played some of the music Sherbetty (the band) recorded for us and I’m FLOORED.

I’ll admit to not being too blown away when I left the night before. Again, I was cranky and I sort of thought the music was a little too sci-fi. But, I’ll eat my words. These dudes made High School Drifter sing and they delivered the goods for FutureSand. The boys recorded a THEME SONG for the movie, complete with lyrics. We heard it and all of were instantly like:

“Man, I want this for my ring-tone.”
“I need this on my iPod!”

I couldn’t wait to see where it fit in. I already knew that we needed a piece of it for our opening sequence, which (if I may say so) worked PERFECTLY. The end credits begged to fit all the corny lyrics in as the insanely cool ‘sandy’ effects rolled by.

Dirty whipped up a quality edit and I was able to sit in with a list of things I hoped to tweak before we turned it in at 7:30pm. The clock was ticking. At 7:30, we all turned into pumpkins, our film isn’t eligible to compete and it’s sort of a bummer. Alas, it’s never happened to us, but many a team has fallen in the last hour or two. Computers crash, footage is lost, you name it.

I found a couple continuity errors and some things that didn’t work. Dirty did an insane job with the fight scene and we were pretty dang close to ‘picture lock.’ That means, we’re not going to mess with it anymore and we give it to Jason, who will do his sound stuff to it. Add music, sound effects, clean up stuff like (ahem) the director yelling: “Oh, that’s BAD-ASS!” over a take. You know. He was stressed, as some of his time was eaten away. The rest of us got to sit and wait.

Now you may be wondering: Thomas, what the heck are you doing there? Your part is over, right? You directed it and wrote the dumb thing. Now it’s up to post-production to deliver the goods.

Nah. I like to be there for as much of it as I can. I need to still sort of direct, even if I’m not directly in charge of the different aspects of post-production. I gotta be the 2nd set of eyes and ears on something. We’re all sort of part of this big ol’ mess and it’s up to all of us to make sure the thing makes sense, and most importantly, comes in at 7 minutes or less. Anything over that, and we’re disqualified.

Well, to cut to the chase, Jason had us come in and watch the film with the music, sound effects and everything else added. To say I nearly watered the front of my pants is an understatement. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to be hoarse. Now, I must warn you, I find it incredibly funny to see something as dumb as the script I wrote go through all these hoops and end up being a servicable movie. I’m laughing more at how well it all came together and how great some of the shots turned out. Plus, the fight scene? I just love that crap. It’s campy, over-the-top and our actors were BRILLIANT. Also, hats off to Michael Anderson for putting together a rockin’ fight with little time to prepare.

So…I know I’m setting myself up for people to go ‘Eh…’ but I was REALLY pleased with how it turned out. I think we all sort of thought we’d outdone ourselves from last year’s High School Drifter. And remember kids, HSD won the audience favorite for our night. Essentially landing us in the top 13 of almost 90 films. Not bad for a group that doesn’t do this ALL the time.

With my work done and a family who missed having me around, I left around 6:00pm. entrusting the delivery of the movie to Jason, Brian and Dirty. We high-fived, (not really) and talked about doing something again soon and I was off.

Cut to 7:32pm…

I get a phone call from Jason. He says we might be screwed. Apparently as they were burning the DVD, the picture got all screwy. We shot it in letterbox (because that’s awesome) and it made our picture look squished and unwatchable. He said they were at the drop off point and made it there with 2 minutes to spare(!!!). On the way, Dirty had to burn a new DVD with some different settings and were playing it on the laptop while they were in line to turn it in.

I was literally ready to weep openly like a little baby. Jason gave me the play-by-play.

“Okay, it’s loading up…okay, it’s…it’s…”

I closed my eyes tight like this was a bad dream.

“It’s all good. It’s working.”

With that, they turned it in and we were set. We made the deadline and FutureSand was in the competition!!!


FutureSand was set to screen on the first night of the festival @ 7:00pm along with 12 other films. We all met up at the theater and I can’t say I wasn’t just a little nervous. Heck, my parents were actually coming out to see this thing. I looked at the voting sheet and was pleased to see we were the last film of the group. Not a bad place to be. You definitely don’t want to be first, and last sort of lingers with people longer.

The movies began after a lot of er, crap, at the beginning. The guy who runs it sort of doesn’t know when to just get on with it. He explained how all the movies had to have the same prop (sandwich), character (Kathleen or Kevin Schnaebel: Expert) and the same line of dialogue (“I hope they decide soon.”) I looked around and was pretty well blown away by how many people were there. Probably 250, maybe 300 peeps.

There were some decent ones at the start, along with some that were, um, not so good. I know our early stuff wasn’t spectacular and it’s just great to see people getting out there and getting behind the camera. Still, I can’t help but wonder what stories they would tell about what happened. I saw one film that had almost 8 people as the writer of the script. I’m not sure how that works. I think that’s 7 people too many. I’ve never been good at writing with someone sitting in the shotgun seat, so hats off to people who can do it.

Anyway, we were all feeling pretty good about our chances when the movie right before ours, called ‘Fragile’ played. It was a Ghost Story and it had two little kids as the stars. And you know what? The kids were REALLY good. The story was dark and really pretty sad. It was about a little girl who finds a gun and she and her brother are grab-assing with it and the guns goes off. It’s tricky because you think someone got killed, but both kids are still there.

SPOILER ALERT: The little girl got killed and we see her ghost.

Needless to say, we weren’t thrilled having to follow that movie. Our is/was a buddy movie and sort of funny and a little over-the-top. It played and got a pretty favorable reaction, but there were parts (especially toward the end) where people didn’t laugh. I don’t want to blame the movie before ours, but it’s pretty hard to laugh when you just watched a little girl eat a bullet.

We all voted, put in our ballots and hoped for the best.

Afterwards, in front of the theater and stood in the rain and talked about how the screening went. My parents got to meet most of the actors and they took some pictures (which I’m too lazy to post tonight). A big ol’ group of us went to a bar called ‘Busters’ and tipped a few back. It was great. Everyone told us how much fun they had working on it, especially the actors. They all said they’d love to work on something with us again in the near future.

I gotta say, that’s a huge deal to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I want to make sure everyone is having fun when we’re working on this kind of stuff. Seriously. No one is getting paid, the day is long, and we put them through some crazy antics. Heck, Kathy had to lay on the floor for like 3 hours. Still, she was a trooper, as were the rest of the gang and they all told me what a great experience it was. Not to say High School Drifter wasn’t fun, but this group really gelled. Everyone got along and there were no attitudes or anything to deal with. The whole thing rocked. I decided then and there that I didn’t care if we won or lost. The important thing was this: We made a pretty cool little film and that’s all that mattered.

We’d find out our fate the next day.

Sadly…we were beaten by ‘Fragile’ for Audience Favorite by 19 votes. So, they’re going on to the ‘Best of’ show and we have to wait until tomorrow to see if the judges (who pick seperately) liked ours enough to have us in the running.

Soo…it’s not over until the morbidly obese female busts out a showtune.


The conclusion??? I’ll have FutureSand available for you to see both here at Tappity Tappity and on my dumb ol’ Facebook page on Tuesday, one week after it screened at the Riverview Theater.

Thanks for reading and cross your fingers for us!!!