Falling in Love in 48-Hours

02.13.2011

Today may be ValentineÂ’s Day, but instead of writing about love in the way people might expect today, IÂ’m going to bring you up to speed on the love I experienced in the last two days. I donÂ’t think love is the right word, though. Passion is more accurate, in the sense that what happened this weekend involved a huge commitment, perseverance, teamwork, and a lot of hard work. Can you guess what IÂ’m alluding to?

Probably not. So, I’ll just explain. Warning: This is a long blog. Not for the feint of heart, but for those truly interested. It will be worth your while, I promise. This past weekend I attended a 48-hour film boot-camp at UD, hosted by Film Dayton and ArtStreet. And when they say “boot-camp” they aren’t exaggerating. Think military training, but instead of months of preparation, you get a few hour briefing of what exactly you need to do and a quick overview of how to work the weapon. Then, off you go to battle! Terrifying, huh? Okay, well, it was kind of like that without the threat of death. Although, sometimes time constraints and deadlines can feel like impending doom.

We all arrived at the College Park Center across from campus at 9 a.m. on Saturday and were immediate divided into groups and thrown into a crash course 101 in Film. I knew a few people there, but not extremely well, so it was a good way to meet new people who are interested in the same things as I am who I may not have worked with otherwise. We got the basic components of a film, an overview of how to use the camera, directing tips, and a mini-course in editing on Final Cut Pro. I was super stoked to use Final Cut since IÂ’ve been trying to teach myself for the past month. They also gave us our prompt for our short film, to be 5-minutes or shorter. Here were the parameters:

-Must involve the theme “inspiration” or “change”

-Must use the prop provided (ours was a quarter)

-Must show or reference the character Jack Harvey

-Must use a color to denote something

After lunch, my group met with Marisha (our lead instructor who has worked on tons of cool projects, including the television show Dexter! How cool is that?), and we wrote our basic plot outline. It was cool to see how everyone is my group had different ideas about how to approach this challenge, but in the end we used a little bit of everyoneÂ’s idea.

Once the script was written, we took an hour break to shower, etc. and headed out to start shooting. Just as a reference point, we broke at 5 p.m. and reconvened at 6 p.m. Then we filmed at different locations on campus until 11 p.m. Yes, 5 hours of filming, which actually amounted to about 20 minutes of footage because we had to start and stop, wait for extras to get to our “set,” and shoot multiple takes. Finally, we decided to call it an evening.

We met up again yesterday morning at 9 a.m. to check in with our leaders and get to work. Nick, Jim, and I headed out to film our last scene while Amanda and Aidan started editing our footage from the night before. It took us about an hour to get the last scene shot to our liking, and then from there it was all about Final Cut. We literally edited from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., which was our cut-off time. We could have spent hour more working on it if our leaders hadnÂ’t stopped us.

Last night at 8 p.m. we screened our films at ArtStreet. It was an amazing feeling to see something I (and everyone else) worked so hard come together. From conceptualization to capturing to finished product it was an intense lesson in teamwork and film-making and I was excited to share that experience with everyone who was there. Also, our short films will be shown at the Film Dayton Festival near the end of May, which is awesome.

Okay. Congrats if you made it this far. YouÂ’re a trooper and deserve a cookie. I just want to take a few lines to say thanks to all of our instructors, the people who were our leaders and safety nets this weekend: Marisha, Rocky, Cole, Ricky, Andrew, Eva, you guys are amazing and I want to thank you for this opportunity, for your support, and for challenging me in every way possible. Also, to my group: Aidan, Amanda, Jim, and Nick, you all are awesome and made this challenge completely worth it. This was definitely an experience I will remember, and in my mind, a revelation that I truly do love film-making. If I ever was confused about what IÂ’m supposed to be doing in my life, the doubt has fled and the passion remains.

If you're interested in learning more about Film Dayton and what they do, check out their website http://www.filmdayton.com/