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February 22, 2012 / AM Collins

Iron Man.

It’s been a while folks.  But just because I haven’t posted in a while, doesn’t mean that I haven’t been shooting.  I recently entered the California Independent FIlm Festival’s Iron Filmmaker Contest.  You have 24 hours to conceive, shoot, edit, and burn a 3 minute film, while holding to rules that are unveiled on the day of the shoot.  I asked some friends to participate in the contest in hopes that we could win the $500 prize.  My buddy Nico van den Berg, and amazing Director of Photography, was the first to get on board.  Needing an actress, I asked Teralyn Shields, star of Catch the Clock, and the upcoming feature film Cheated.  Last, I recruited Jordain Wallace, the excellent composer of practically every senior thesis film to come out of our school.

Nico and I had been discussing how we would want to tackle the time constraints, especially with the subject of art direction.  How would we be able to design an appealing set fast enough?  Well, I decided that shooting at a hotel like we had done in the past would be the best solution.  We searched around the neighborhood before for good looking places, and found the Tamalpais Motel.  Pefect.  With the dream team assembled, we drove to Moraga’s New Rheem Theatre for the kick-off event.  But, to make things interesting, I’m going to do the rest of this diary-style.  Since we had exactly 24-Hours, I figure it would be a good way of seeing how we spent our time.  Because, in all honesty, we wasted a lot of it.

February 12, 2012

11:05 am — Nico, Teralyn, and I arrive late to the kick off event, we got lost trying to find the theatre.  Everyone turned and looked at us, they all seem grumpy.  I’ts way too early.  The group is ranged from teens to adults.  Not sure how skilled these guys are, but glad to take them on.  In order to prove that the film has been shot in 24 hours, we are told that our film must contain pins worn by the characters. Pretty clever way to validate shots.

11:15 am — Speech finished, the theme for the shoot is: “There’s no place like home.”  Some kid keeps asking about adding explosions to his films.  I can’t wait to see his film, it sounds amazing.  (That is sarcasm.)

11:30 am — Everyone is free to go shoot, everyone runs out of the building like maniacs.  Our group wants to go eat pancakes.

12:00 pm — Still looking for place to get pancakes, leaving Moraga hungry and carsick.

01:00 pm — Still havent eaten, searching in Emmeryville without luck.  Reluctantly stumbled into Elephant Bar.  They don’t have breakfast.  During our meal we discuss possible story ideas.  We pull out the pins and pass them around the table.

02:00 pm — Pull into the Tamalpais Hotel and check out a room.  I tell the woman behind the counter that we have three guests.  She says we have to take a double.  I tell her we only need one bed.  I realize that it sounds like we are about to have a threesome.  Feeling stupid I take my key and go into the room.

02:05 pm — We start loading camera gear into room, now it looks like we are shooting a porno.  Nico and I both have beards.  This is kind of embarassing.

02:30 pm — The group walks to 7/11 to get snacks and energy drinks.

03:45 pm — In-n-Out run, we’ve been talking ideas over and now have a solid story.  I’m writting it on my phone.

06:45 pm — Ready to start shooting, I look for the pins and realize that I left the pins at Elephant Bar, FML.  We decide instead to shoot the film with a playing card given to us during the kick-off event, we scribble the theme on the card and plan to hid it in our shots.  Lock in camera and take first shot.

11:00 pm — Finish shooting.  Pack up gear and drive back to San Francisco.  Pretty stoked on footage.

11:45 pm — Start transcoding media, back everything up on drives.  Take short nap while waiting.  Nico is asleep next door.

February 13, 2012

01:15 am — Footage is ready to cut, start ripping and tearing through the edit.  I’m the only one awake.  Edit takes about 2 hours to complete.  Send picture locked copy to Jordain through Vimeo, password protected.  Then I take a nap while Nico does the sound editing.

04:00 am — Put finishing touches on sound editing, Nico goes back to sleep.  I finilize the edit and receive music stem from Jordain.  Dropping the .wav file into the timeline, I watch it with the film.

04:03 am — I tell Jordain he is the man and that his music rocks.  Start making the DVD.

05:00 am — I get the final mix of the score.  Plop it into the timeline and start exporting all the video files I need.

06:00 am — First DVD burned, test it on PS3.  Doesn’t load.  Take it out and try it again.  This time it works.

07:00 am — I burn a second DVD, this one has a fancy DVD menu.  I proudly test this one and it works on the first try.  Now finished, I crawl into bed and tell Nico to wake me up when it’s time to go.

10:30 am — We arrive, once again, at the New Rheem Theatre.  This time, with a completed 3 minute film.  It’s titled Guilt.

The festival wouldn’t be announced for two weeks, while the judges watched over the 25 entries.  So, we waitied… However, you don’t have to wait.  Because the video is in the post and you can see for yourself what happened if you go to the actual posting on vimeo.




Leave a Comment
  1. Adam / Mar 18 2012 2:16 pm

    So THEN what happened? Don’t keep us in suspense!

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