19 August, 2008

48 Hour Film Project Update: We won!...ish.

In July, we posted, Under the Influence, Team Renegade’s submission to Baltimore’s 48-Hour Film Project. As we noted then, we won the Audience Favorite Award for our group. The rest of the votes are in and we won…Best Graphics and Best Writing (tie). The winner for Best Film was Of Mares and Men, a musical/western made by Eastern Tech High School. It also won Best Directing, Best Costumes and Best Choreography. Last year’s winner was a film titled Blood Money by Family Cave, another local company. It also won Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Design and the Audience Award for its group. Oh, and here’s the link to our film from last year, The Davidson Account…again.

Of Mares and Men was in our screening group, and a lot of people from our team selected it as one of their three favorites (all of the attendees to the screening get to vote for three films). Eastern Tech had a lot of fans there, but the audience still selected our film as the favorite for the group (which to us was like beating the eventual league champ in the regular season). In 2007, I saw Blood Money’s screening as well. Although I thought it was the best film in its group, I’m not sure it was even in my top five of the forty shorts I saw over the two days, and the comments on youtube (which have since been deleted) definitely showed mixed reactions to the film.

I Will Not, a film by Butler Films won Best Film in the 2006 Baltimore 48-Hour Film Project. It won an Audience Award, Best Directing, Best Writing, Best Acting and Best Sound Design. It looks and sounds great (definitely more professional than the films that won in 2007 and 2008, and most of the 48-Hour films in general), but in my opinion the story was just okay. (I should note, though, to write a good story that makes sense and tell it in under seven minutes is actually incredibly difficult.)

Again, as I noted in earlier posts, the writing was a much more difficult process for our film this year, and it won Best Writing. Last year the writing went more smoothly (not smoothly at all, but more smoothly) and we didn’t win anything, but last year our film was more of a series of gags than a coherent story. I didn’t feel the film we tied with this year, Love Virtually, was the best written film of this year’s festival either, but people from our team liked that film as well.

After thinking about it, we did find it weird that an audience watching it live chose our film over the eventual winner, while a separate judging panel didn’t. I would agree that the scope of Of Mares and Men and the location shooting was far grander than our film, but it really felt like two separate movies that didn’t make sense together (for me anyway). Still I give them enormous credit for outdoor shooting, singing and dancing when it was nearly 100° that day and filming with a thunderstorm approaching (look at the lightning in the background). And they had to choreograph dance numbers and write songs in one night so it could be shot the next day (again, a very grand scale).

It just goes to show you that when it comes to “creative,” you never quite know what your audience will be looking for: different, edgy, quirky, smart, silly, brilliant, avant-garde or just clean and professional. In the end, all you can do is make a film you won’t feel embarrassed to show your friends. Then regardless of what “awards” you win, you at least have something you’re proud of.

With that in mind, next year we plan on making a movie about bloody, singing police horses that arrest their dates in virtual reality, starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. That's all my time for today, I think I hear Hollywood calling...

No, it was my bank. I bounced another check. Captain Awesome has come to be known as Captain For the Love of God Don't Accept This Guy's Credit.

--Captain Hollywood, Copywriter

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