The Asheville 48 Hour Film Project
What Happened During Your Weekend?
The Asheville filmmakers share stories from their wild weekend of filmmaking. (Blogging ended shortly after the filmmaking weekend.)
NOW OR NEVER
Another year, another opportunity to contribute to the Asheville 48 Hr. Film Project.
It is, to say the least, an extremely ambitious experience, where people gather to combine personal vision with collaborative effort, and prove that there are no limits except those we each choose for ourselves... even when there is a certain time limit imposed on a cast and crew to take a prop, character role, line of dialogue and genre, and figure out how to make it all work within exactly two days. Granted, there have been more daring exercises that I had undertaken - helping some kids in a filmmaking program to write, shoot and edit a superhero short on the UNC-Asheville campus in FIVE hours once, for example - but this is still a great challenge, especially when you involve both full-grown amateurs and professionals alike, and everyone has their own ideas and methods to make it work. And my God, 2014 was the best one I have done so far - not to mention the most intense shoot I ever participated in!
2014 happened to mark both my 4th year in the competition (the first three times were 2008, 2009 and 2012) and 2nd short that I played the main character, co-wrote, co-shot and co-directed. The first short was SYKO-MONTI, under the production team name JaMaraFrey, which I helped form with some friends, and which was shot largely outside North Carolina in East Fork, Tennessee. Afterwards, I was a supporting player in 2009 for DINNER WITH LEFTY, and was a cameraman in 2012 for THE END OF (ALMOST) EVERYTHING.
Then it finally arrived - Friday, June 20th. After receiving our elements (including a change in genre by Wild Card pick - Escape/Chase, instead of Western/Musical, which would have been more strenuous) and the marker started at 7:30 PM, we went straight to work. I skyrocketed back home and in two hours churned out a script called NOW OR NEVER, which took another two hours to trim down in terms of characters and content before I emailed it to Herschel, who was gathering our team members and equipment and helped me cut it down further with co-star Graham Lindsay. Among the other members were Roger D. Henson, who gave us permission to film down in basement sections of 29 N. Market St., which was undergoing renovation for his new bar (and who also was credited with Production Design and Costumes); and Chris Wilson, an Iraq vet who even got to show off his real assault weapon! (No live rounds, but it did come with a magazine and two forward prop-up legs.)
There were some snags - the sound effects dubbing, the chase set-up (done by RC aerial camera drone on a windy day), but enacting the kidnap scenario was a real hoot for me and I'm pleased with the final seven-min. cut we submitted. I can't wait to do it again next year. Roll it!
- Jeffrey DeCristofaro, DeeMelvillelious