For our 6th short film, we decided to challenge ourselves and enter into a 60 Hour Film Festival through Colchester Film Fest. The rules were simple. During the first hour of the festival, we would receive a title, line of dialogue, and an action line. Based on that information, we had to make a film around the requirements. Here’s what we got.
Title: Under the Bed
Action Line: Tearing a page out of a newspaper.
Line of Dialogue: I’ve got to used to a certain type of lifestyle.
Since this is a very non-traditional way of filmmaking for us, we weren’t able to prepare like usual. We couldn’t even have a script ready beforehand since we didn’t have our information yet. The best we could do was sit around and wait for the email that would kick-start our journey. Once we got that information, we each went to work.
For the script, we wanted to grab the attention of the judges but also make it easier on ourselves. We had already locked a child actor named Jayda Fink (Jayda can been seen in the upcoming movie The Bad Batch starring Jim Carrey, Jason Momoa, and Keanu Reeves) and we wanted to write a compelling part for her. However, since she was only 7 years old during the time of filming, we needed to write something she could easily adapt to in such a short amount of time.
Typically, our scripts are not written as a group effort. However, since we only had 60 hours to write, shoot, and edit the film, we worked on the concept together. Once we came up with a compelling story that was easy enough to shoot and edit in 2 days, the script was born.
At the last-minute, we lost our original location. We ended up spending hours looking for a new place to film. While we found many great locations we had to consider technical details. Could we set up a DIT station for the RED? Did we need a permit to film? Was there a nearby road that would hinder the sound? Was there power sources? It was very difficult to find the perfect location just hours before filming. In the end, we had to settle on the only place that could accommodate all our needs. Even though it wasn’t our first pick, it ended up looking great.
Since we didn’t get our prompt until noon on Friday, and the script/location scouting wasn’t done until night, we weren’t able to film until day 2. Luckily, we gathered a crew in advance, so they were just on deck waiting for the call sheet. For this short film, we added a few new positions to the usual line up of crew members. Here’s the positions we had in our crew:
- Boom Operator
- Studio Teacher
- Sound Composer
We had an amazing crew that was able to stay focused and not stressed, even with a 7 year old on set.
Overall, day 1 was a successful day of preparation of what was soon to come.
*Photos by Erik Harty