So while I was writing that last post about being a freelancer, I was preparing for the weekend to be spent running and gunning as part of a team for the 48 hour film competition here in Indianapolis. Well. Nation wide actually. But I was part of a team in the Indianapolis Segment. I first participated 4 years ago as part of a team put together by my friend Robert Scheer, shooter for the Indianapolis Star. Bob was the director of photography for the project and he wanted to shoot it all using Canon HDSLR’s. Back in 2010 though to do this you needed a digital archivist to log the footage, and start converting it all over to ProRes422 so that the computer could even edit it in a reasonable amount of time. You also had to convert the footage BACK to H.264 for your final project when you were finished. When it was all said and done, I ended up being in charge of editing for that project; frankly because I knew where all the footage was sleeping. That either meant I was a terrible archivist not labeling things very well, or that there was so much footage and everybody else was so exhausted that they figured I deserved a shot at it. Who knows. Either way, you can watch that film, titled “Cool Beans” by clicking HERE.
When Bob decided he wanted to take a stab at directing a whole crew, he contacted people he knew in the industry and/or worked with either present or past. I was included. Director of photography this time, since Bob was directing the movie, was the venerable Matt Detrich. Matt is an Indianapolis star Staff Photographer and has pretty much won every regional photography award that ever existed. Not even joking, he’s a wiz. Not THE Wiz, but you know. A visual imaging Wiz. Matt is a helluva shooter and so having him on the team was a big BIG boost to the visuals. Bob called me later and asked me to pick up my role from 2010’s film as digital archivist and editor. I had originally created the opening animation for Cool Beans as well in Adobe After Effects, but unfortunately wasn’t able to complete the animation I had started in this years 48 hour period.
Each of us had their own copy of the Script as well, with our role on top. Each script had a specific misspelling in it, so that if we leaked it Bob would know whose script it was. Ok so that’s not true, but I hear big productions do that. Anyway, If anybody reading hasn’t participated in or know the 48 hour film challenge it really is quite a challenge. Last count that I had including actors we had a team of 27, all with very specific and defined roles in order to create a well oiled machine. A significant portion of the team was made up of past and present Indianapolis Star employees. People who thrive on deadlines. Quite a thing when a group like that comes together. We had people for visuals, we had people for sound, editing, props, art and design, even food. Our film for this year, titled “433 1/2” and the genre we drew at the initial meeting was “Film Noir”. The film is completely original and having been created starting at 7pm on August 1st while turned in on August 3rd. That’s right, from the titles, to the idea to the script and the music. It’s all original, even with some musical help from Indy’s own Jennie DeVoe.
The whole short film was shot on Canon 1DX cameras, with Canon L Glass. ISO’s all over the board. It was awesome seeing what a team of very deadline driven folks could come up with and while I wasn’t present for a good chunk of the actual filming I wasn’t far away watching the film come together on a minute by minute basis. Unlike in 2010, using Adobe Premier Pro I could take the footage right out of the Canon 1DX cameras and edit it on the fly. By the time we left each location, a rough cut of the scene was complete so Bob and Matt could see if there was anything else they might need.
The whole project went very smoothly if you ask me. There were a few issues with the sounds recorded on set though. Partially due to the fact that the Mass Ave Criterium was happening 10′ away out the windows of the apartment we were in. We decided to shoot this film right above the announcers and winners podium of course, so we had plenty of challenges. (By decided I mean that fate was for them to set up the announcers stand and winners podium right under where we were filming after we had gotten there and been filming for two hours). We also had numerous problems with the Zoom Recorders that were being used with the Boom and Lav mics, but that’s a whole other story for another day. The Crit was so close and so loud, we actually had someone down on the street working with the announcers giving hand signals up to the windows to let us know when there would be periods of silence during the race. All said and done, I know the entire team is proud of what was accomplished. Unfortunately a work event for Shannon prevented us from going to the premier, but I hear the film was well received by the audience. If you are still curious about the 48 hour Film project, you can also read about Bob Scheer’s experience as the director in a piece he wrote for the Star. Otherwise, I know I speak for the whole cast and crew when I say we hope you enjoy our film! More Soon.