Filmmaking As Parents

24hour-filmfest-logo-GRAY-185x300After much debate, brainstorming, preparation, and screen testing…my wife Kate and I are throwing caution to the wind and entering the 2nd annual “Down To The Wire” 24 Hour Film Race, hosted by Tallgrass Film Association and Creative Rush.  Though I’ve spent the past three years as a desk-jockey in marketing, prior to this massive change in our lives that has led to the “So Long Freedom” project I was a full-time director and producer for television and the big screen.  I was happy to make the move to the day job when I did as I wanted to start a family, which I have.  I got to produce some small video pieces here and there as well.  Then…this year…I produced a regional commercial for a restaurant here in Wichita and my filmmaker-feet got itchy.

I wanted back in the saddle!

RyanTallgrassThe house is a mess.  We are moving Max (2-years-old) into a new bedroom and Dodge (5-months-old) into the nursery.  We got zero sleep last night from Dodge waking up crying with tooth pains we presume.  We turn into pumpkins at 10:30 PM most nights.  My editing software is over 5 years old.  The odds are not in our favor for a 24 film race that starts tonight at 6 PM and ends tomorrow (Saturday) at 7 PM.  I’m too old and too tired to stay up all night filming to hit a 7 PM deadline the next day…so I’m instead relying on my old bag of tricks and experience as a line producer to take a risk.  I’ve plotted out 3 of the 4 criteria solutions into a simple film that will need to be shot backwards if…IF…things align with the 4th and most lethal criteria:  Theme.  At 7 PM tonight I’ll make a crucial decision:  Are we going to make a film or are we going to eat the $70 entry fee and get some well deserved rest?  It’s likely we may eat it.  Who knows!

The scene is set…literally.  I have my scenes ready to roll, I just have to hope they will fit into the theme.  I have the equipment ready to roll.  All ideas are based around some simple criteria of my own to ensure if we move forward we make a film that is something we can easily execute as a two person team and have fun doing it.  All that is left is to attend the 6 PM producers meeting and find out the 4 criteria:

  1. Theme
  2. Prop
  3. Location
  4. Line of Dialogue

So, this time Sunday we’ll either be screening a film…or we’ll be drinking beer and celebrating our donation to Tallgrass and Creative Rush.  Either way…its a win-win.  The hardest part is that the bulk of time available to shoot is at night and at midnight we are going to bed.  Period.  Writing, audio, prepping, rights, storyboarding, and night shots must all be completed by that time.  In the morning there will be precious little time to get the bulk of shooting dine AND feed/entertain the kids.  Filming needs to be wrapped by 2 PM (no later than 3 PM) to allow time for editing, color correction, audio sweetening, and converting to DVD.  I have no idea if we can do it or not and I’m certainly rusty after three years on the sideline…but, I’d rather try and fail then not try at all this year.  Who knows…maybe the kids will just become the film…or us trying to make the film while having kids will be the film.  Find out Sunday.

For more details follow along on Twitter at @CreativeRHINO and under the hashtags #crunchtime and #DTTW.

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