Over the second weekend of this month, several filmmakers took to the streets of Richmond, rushing to create a 4-minute film in only 48 hours. The 48 Hour Film Project started back in 2001, when Mark Ruppert encouraged his fellow filmmakers in DC to try and make a film in only 48 hours.
Over the second weekend of this month, several filmmakers took to the streets of Richmond, rushing to create a 4-minute film in only 48 hours. The 48 Hour Film Project started back in 2001, when Mark Ruppert encouraged his fellow filmmakers in DC to try and make a film in only 48 hours. After much success, the competition spread across the United States and major international cities with over 250,000 participants. Filmmakers in Richmond got the opportunity to participate in the competition for the sixth year this month. On Friday, July 12, teams were given a character, prop, line and genre to include in their films. The character was house guest Max (or Maxine) Lydard, the prop a flag, and the line was “There’s no time to lose.”
A variety of people joined in the competition, from a young teen making his first film to a professional team of 20. The teams would compete for a variety of judged awards, including “Best Use of Prop,” “Best Writing,” and “Best Musical Score,” as well as audience choice awards. I caught up with Adam Stackhouse of AVAdventure Productions and photographer Matthew Cowan to see how they were able to best make use of their two day time frame. Stackhouse has participated in the competition since it arrived in Virginia in 2007. After last year’s 48 Hour Film Project, Stackhouse’s film “Knock Knock” was awarded best film and best editing. Watch that film here:
This year, I walked to Stackhouse’s shooting location, the back porch of a quaint home in the fan, on the second day of the competition. Stackhouse told me that while some groups like to rent out locations around Richmond, his team usually use their own homes. He also said that he mainly chooses the actors or actresses from a group of close friends. The team had already chosen some of the details of their production, coming up with a plot and searching for a flag at Walmart the previous night. They had only found an American flag and a Tennessee state flag. The team decided to make the house guest Max, and had to work with “Drama” as their genre. Stackhouse’s plot included a love-triangle that brought forth a violent argument and ended with a body being dragged while wrapped in the American flag. Stackhouse explained that the dramatic theme was a little out of his element, for his team usually likes to include witty humor. Staying true to the genre was just another challenge of the 48 Hour Film Project.
Stackhouse mentioned that his team had originally had a very complicated plan, but they decided to scrap everything and keep the film simple. Before filming, Cowan and Stackhouse did a few sound-checks, then arranged various lights around the kitchen where the argument would take place. After a quick practice of the lines, Stackhouse started recording the first take of the film on his Canon. The characters involved in the love-triangle confronted each other, just as dark clouds rolled in. It began to drizzle as the fight scene began, and as the body was being dragged outside, the sky opened up to a full downpour. Both Stackhouse and Cowan agreed that it could not have started raining at a more perfect moment. With the majority of the filming completed, I left Stackhouse as he began the long editing process. Stackhouse told me that even though there was a competitive aspect, his team mostly participates for the fun and excitement of making a film in only 48 hours.
Full screenings of all entries took place this past weekend at the Byrd Theatre. Audience winners have been announced on the 48 Hour Film Project website, and can be viewed here: http://48hourfilm.com/en/richmond Check back in the next few days for judge’s awards. A screening of this year’s best entries will take place on Saturday, August 3 at the Byrd Theatre (located at 2908 W. Cary St), beginning at 1:30pm. Admission for the screening is $10. More information can be found on 48hourfilm.com and on Facebook.