Two Proof Films (a collective of a dozen or so creative friends living in and around Sterling, VA) will be entering the Washington DC 48 Hour Film Project. It's an annual contest that challenges area filmmakers to craft a short film 4-7 minutes long from scratch in the span of 48 hours. To keep everyone honest, each team is assigned a genre and required elements (character, prop and line of dialogue) at the kickoff meeting Friday night. This results in an intense, creative weekend that always manages to be as rewarding as it is draining.
2015 will mark our fifth entry into the competition. Our 2011 film was chosen by the judges to be one of 26 films (out of the 106 entries that year) shown a second time as part of their "Best of DC" screening. In 2013, our film was awarded Best Music thanks to our talented musical crew who actually scored music to a rough edit.
- We'll be better suited for shooting in tight quarters (like in a car), now that we own a fast wide-angle lens with high-quality optics.
- We now own a solid hand-held rig for shots that can't be "static" and need to go beyond "Steadicam" (but not quite all the way to "shaky").
- We now have a proper surround monitoring system in place in order to get the right sonic balance.
- We'll be recording higher-bitrate, lower-compression footage (that we wont have to transcode) to an outboard recorder.
- We will be using a new color grading tool that will allow us to multi-task.
- We have added some fabulous local acting talent to our team.
- We have more than a dozen highly-qualified 48HFP writers from across the US who want to help us brainstorm via email.
- The folks at the Virginia Film Office have helped us identify potential locations in our area.
- We will designate members of the team to post Kickstarter updates during the weekend.
Our goal for this Kickstarter campaign is mostly to get our family, friends and maybe even some charitable strangers involved in this gloriously manic process. We've tried to devise rewards to make our contributors feel connected as they become a part of our team. From mentions in the credits to signed copies of the screenplay, free tickets to sit with us at our screening or even a VIP executive producer package with a bundle of associated perks. Kickstarter also allows us a secure method to keep our contributors in the know about how things are going with the contest. We fully plan on posting regular updates with pictures and videos to keep our backers connected with the process.
If we are fortunate enough to reach our funding goal, these are the bits we'd be required to pay:
- 5% goes to Kickstarter (for connecting us to you);
- 3% goes to Amazon (for securely handling the payments);
- 30% (plus or minus a percentage point or two, depending on which rewards are chosen) will pay for the creation of perks; and
- $157.30 pays our fixed admin costs (our "early bird" entry fee and the high-speed, high-capacity flash drive that we'll use to submit our film).
Whatever's left (also known as "our actual film budget") will be divided up between props, costume elements, and, perhaps most importantly, CRAFT SERVICES ... that is, "food". While the contest rules prohibit us from paying cast- and crew-members, we are allowed to feed them.
The contest will begin at 7pm on May 1st - exactly 48 hours after this Kickstarter campaign ends. Come join us for an unforgettable, wild ride!
Risks and challenges
The fact that the weekend for making this movie has been predetermined (May 1-3) means that if a member of our cast or crew is suddenly and unexpectedly unavailable, the rest of the team has to soldier on - we can't just reschedule. Thankfully, the skills of our team members overlap sufficiently that someone can and will step up to fill any void.
Filmmaking gear can fail. We've tried to mitigate this risk by having dedicated backup devices on hand at all times - an extra A-level camera, a backup field audio recorder, spare bulbs, extra mics, redundant storage media and so on. We'll be recording each scene simultaneously to two types of media (in case we encounter a malfunction with one of them). We even have two FCPX editing suites that are 10 minutes apart, in case the power goes out. Here's one where our experience serves us well.
Of course, there is always the unexpected. As we move from one location to another during production, our lead actor's car might break down. Given the experience I've had with this team in this contest, I am convinced that we are a resourceful bunch that we would be able to rewrite our way around whatever may arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)