Infused Films

Infused Films | Emergence Episodes

Infused Films

48 Hour Film Guerrilla Film Competition + First Production Still!

By Brett on 05-15-11 - Featured,Making Of

Wow. What a weekend it’s been.

A few weeks ago Austin came to me with an idea to join this 48 hour film competition. It is a global competition this year and will have 17 participating countries. The task? Write, shoot, edit and export a 5-7 minute short film in 48 hours. The only thing you’re allowed to do before the time begins is secure locations, secure cast members and get props. There is a catch however. You do not know what you are writing about until you click the start button, which begins your 48 hours. Therefore no planning for the film can be made in advance.  Here is a little bit of a rundown of the weekend we just endured.

On friday at approximately 3:17 PM we hit the start button. Our genre given was “disaster” and our line of dialog we had to use in the film was “Earth, United States, San Francisco, California.” You can’t break that up. Seriously. It must be read exactly as it’s shown. So we (well the rest of the crew, I wasn’t off work until 5pm) got started on brainstorming ideas. Around 7pm during a dinner meeting we realized that shooting a movie about a major disaster would be near impossible to make look good so we hit the danger bucket.

What is the danger bucket you may ask? It is a bucket that gives you a new genre! However the new genre is supposed to be more specific…a bit more out of the box and it certainly was but for us it was perfect.

Video game movie.

So off we went, excited about our new genre and ready to make a great story. 11 hours later from hitting the start button we had a finished script, locations secured and actors ready to go.

Saturday got started early. The crew began filming around 9am while I worked on graphics for the whole movie. Since it is centered around video games, we had to put together a lot of custom graphics to sell the idea. I stayed up until 4am working on graphics while the crew got up early to film. We had a great videographer, Ted Barnett of LoneWolf Interactive, on our set to help out. He brought his Panasonic Varicam.

One of the most unbelievable cameras i’ve ever seen. The day was long but we got everything done right when the sun was setting at Cowboys Stadium. The epic battle scene was complete and our movie was rapped for production.

A production still of our short “Press Start.”

Editing was a completely different beast. While filming the final scene we had Austin back at the house editing what we had thus far. When we got back we added the new footage and started trimming and cutting down. Editing is one of the longest processes, it ended up taking us roughly 18 hours. After cutting we worked on adding in the graphics I had created so I was working on exporting the images while Austin was placing them and setting them up to sync with the video. Meanwhile we had crew recording voiceovers and also looking up a collection of sound effects.

Speaking of audio, during this whole process of us filming and editing we had our composer hard at work creating three tracks for us to put into the movie. So we had a massive crew of people working around the clock to get this thing done.

Around 12:30am we finally had the movie cut and the graphics added in. It was time for me to head home to my computer to start working up some motion graphics for the Mortal Kombat-esque fight scene, the loading screens and a few others. I had to learn some new tricks in After Effects which again took until like 4am. That was nothing compared to the editing crew though, we were all on call and they worked the whole night getting this project done. The dialog was finished around 4 in the morning as well as all the visuals so all we had left was music and sound effects.

Unfortunately the music and sound effects took us until right around 12:35pm which left us with about 3.5 hours to export the footage and upload it to the web. It was crunch time. We made a few tweaks and checked the length to make sure we obeyed all the rules and hit the export button. 20 minutes remaining. Thank goodness.

35 minutes remaining.

40 minutes remaining.

An hour and a half later the move finally finished. We watched it to make sure it exported okay (luckily it did) and I had to run it to Austin’s house in order to upload it faster (he had the fastest internet connection). I rushed down the street and threw it on his computer then the site we had to upload it to started to not work. We played with it and finally got something to upload but it was taking forever so I then rushed back to my house and started uploading it there. It was going to take 2.5 hours. Not doable.

Fortunately, the instructions say as long as you press the upload button within the 48 hour mark you’re fine…mission accomplished.

At the end of the day we had 5 people completely exhausted but we had one killer movie completed. Now it’s time for rest. Thanks for reading.

Learn more about this project at the 48 Hr. Guerrilla Film Competition website.

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  1. Edula
    Posted May 15, 2011

    You made it to the end – fantastic news! My team, ‘Path of Pan Films’, shot some great stuff, but unfortunately there were massive fails in the editing room :-( . Note to self: next year build a hugely powerful hackintosh that runs quicker that sh*t through a goose, and get Final Cut X to avoid rendering Hell. Still had great fun, and it sounds like you guys did too.
    All the best, and good luck with the judges!!!

  2. Posted May 16, 2011

    Thanks Edula! Ya I totally understand with the editing, we had several editing blunders ourselves along the way. I’m sorry to hear about your film. You should post it up to YouTube and share it with the world anyway! I’d like to see it!

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