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The 48 Hour Film Project

By , 16 June, 2009, No Comment

Last day - 3 hats, 2 canes, 4 jackets.
Last day – 3 hats, 2 canes, 4 jackets.

When I first heard about these flashfire filmmaking projects where small groups of knuckleheads get together and avalanche a short film in just two days I thought:  no no no.   I pushed back in my crickitty old rocking chair and let the cobwebs settle back down on me.  I puffed my pipe and wondered why the fussy rush oh youngsters?

But then I started to notice the dipsy doo of my own time and saw how this was a way to do a little  “dream squeezing”.  And then Bill Rogers of Coruway Films asked me to collaborate and who can say no to Bill Rogers?  I say no one.  I say no one.  I say it 3 times out loud into my hands.

[audio:http://www.atomsmotion.com/uploads/waitertheme.mp3]

So on Friday, June 12, Bill and I sat with a leaden chocolate glazed donut at Double D Comics in Manchester and we jumped through the burning ring of fire.  To prevent any pre-making, the 48HFP provides some cinematic whiplashers.  Each team first went up to pick their “genre” from a hat.  These included drama, comedy, mockumentary, musical, fantasy…and for us:  Buddy Film.

Last Scene of the Flick
Last Scene of the Flick

Rick Ganley makes a stunning point.
Rick Ganley makes his plate disappear.

The other limits:  a line of dialogue (Don’t just stand there, move it!), a prop (sunglasses) and a New Hampshire Landmark (we shot in Portsmouth and our film is bedribbled with landmarks).

And then it all spun out like some combination of crazy glue and silly string.  Like jumpstarting some old jeep in the desert using a flint and magnifying glass…like sinking the ship and swimming for a distant island carrying a box of bells…like putting on your freshest pair of jelly jeans.

We didn’t know what we were doing and that was the plan and it never really stopped being the plan.  [audio:http://www.atomsmotion.com/uploads/waitertheme2.mp3]

We improvised everything and could only see as far our next scene and even then we didn’t know where we were or what we had.  We only sort of knew that it “seemed” like we were heading somewhere and “seemed” like we’d established something.

Rick and Doria find out there's no pay for this one.
Rick and Doria find out there’s no pay for this one.

We began with the idea of Sherwin being an old guy walking around telling stories into an old fashioned cassette recorder.  And it went on from there to become….”The Waiter” starring  Rick Ganley (his first acting gig – and what a natural old natural he is!) and the beautiful and talented Doria Bramante.

We were assisted and charmed by the warm and winning ways of Jay Childs.

The Drama of the gifted Jay Childs
The Drama of the gifted Jay Childs

Bill sets fire to a distant building using a blank postcard.
Bill sets fire to a distant building using a blank postcard.

It was an amazing and hard experience.  Like hiking an enormously steep, but somehow flat mountain.  I loved it.  I loved how well we all worked together.  It was a perfect collaboration.  Ideas getting thrown out, played with.  Freedom.  Really nice.  Bill directed, edited, harnessed. I did a couple songs.

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