Is there an award for most cinematic experience for a 48 Hour Film Festival?
It started off with the sound of gunshots and ended with an almost disqualification. Now if that doesn’t sound like the beginning of a synopsis to some crazy adventure, then I don’t know what to tell you. Like many teams, we had many fun times as well as scary, dramatic times. For many on our team, it was their very first 48 Hour Film Festival experience. And for the first time, our cast was easily double our crew, which presents a situation in which the numbers game could be a strength or a weakness. Regardless, it was a truly Swampy set. We ran a total shooting time of 13 hours and 31 minutes, and after several computer crashes, we turned in our completed project with 15 seconds to spare.
First-timers led the way for this set.
All three of our leads (Christophe Murdock, Sara Moore, and Kelsey Hood) were excited for their first time being on a 48 Hour set, and it was even Kelsey Hood’s first time acting on film and Christophe Murdocks’s first time with a speaking role. You may remember that Christophe Murdock is the star in “Son of the Saw” — and though he displayed an impressive collection of grunts, moans, and screams, this 48 Hour film would technically be his first speaking role. Other than these three Swampy stars, the majority of the cast were also on their very first 48 Hour experience as actors: Brittony Tiger, Thomas Royall, James Moore, Michelle Pham, Tiffany Swallow, Tina Tran, Mike Ransburg, Conor Jenkins, and Nathan Huddleston. Additionally, new crew members to the Swamp as well as to the 48 Hour Film Festival were Stephanie James, Alda Johnston, Tiffany Swallow, Michelle Pham, Tina Tran, Kyle Jacob Henry (Behind-the-Scenes Photography), and Jennifer Flores (Hair & Makeup Artist). (AND! It was my first time crossing the line in a 48 Hour set, as this was my first time was a producer, writer, and editor!) Even though so many of our cast and crew were first-timers, the veterans of the Swamp and 48 Hour Film Festival (Cast: DaVena Sulevan, Charles Walker; Crew: Mike Ransburg, Teresa Swallow, Conor Jenkins, and Nathan Huddleston) were ready to rock and roll with this enthusiastic cast and crew.
And rock ‘n’ roll we did.
The writing room was pretty exciting. The writers and producers collectively decided that since we were so actor-heavy on this set that we would allow for some parts of the script to be improved. Unscripted ad lib is unusual for our sets (ESPECIALLY in a 48 Hour Film Festival), but we had a lot of faith in our actors to rise up to the challenge as well as have fun.
The improved sections of acting kept the high energy on set, but the morale would be nothing without our fantastic caterer AJ (Alda Johnston). It only took one meeting with AJ to assess her plan with our budget for meals, and we knew that she would be perfect for the job. After picking up groceries, she cooked home-made meals, which were all completely wrapped and individually packaged as well as completely ergonomic, nutritional, and strategically planned. When it comes to the constant work flow of set, having nutritional meals is vital for the safety of the set. The taste of home-made goodness only boosted our moods to keep shooting positively and safely. We were really impressed that she was quick to honor our requests to accommodate to allergies, dietary restrictions, and any specific lifestyle requests. The cast and crew were blown away with how full they were, and we were constantly battling with the decision to get another breakfast burrito, another Po’ Boi sandwich, or another serving of Chicken Alfredo. Seriously, it was THE hardest decision to make on this set.
A decision that wasn’t hard to make was choosing to use this opportunity as a trailer for the full film. You can find more information about “Christophe: Ballad for the Lost” on the official production Facebook page linked here. We’re excited to submit this film to more festivals in Oklahoma to give our cast and crew more opportunities to see this film publicly on the big screen.
Get out and shoot!
Despite the gunshots, the computer crashes, and the dangerously close submission, Star Swamp was proud of this set and found it to have been a positive experience. In general, the 48 Hour Film Festival is a great experience for all filmmakers, and it tests you personally and professionally as an artist and a filmmaker. Thank you to Ben Hlavaty and the OKC 48 Hour Film Festival for the opportunity. See you at the premiere.
Look out for more Teresa Talks on the official Star Swamp website: StarSwamp.com
Stay up-to-date on all Swampy news by liking us on Facebook: facebook.com/StarSwamp
The 48 Hour Film Festival: 48hourfilm.com
The OKC 48 Hour Film Festival: facebook.com/Oklahoma-City-48-Hour-Film-Project-127571414000319/
Christophe: Ballad for the Lost: facebook.com/ChristopheBalladfortheLostFilm
Son of the Saw: facebook.com/sotsfilm
Jennifer Flores Hair & Makeup Artistry: facebook.com/JenniferFloresMakeupArtistry/
Unique Visions Multimedia by Kyle Jacob Henry: instagram.com/Unique_Visions_Multimedia/