A Film In 48 Hours

In early August I joined a crew of 10 GFU film alumni and current students to conquer a unique challenge: write, shoot and edit a short film in under 48 hours. As part of the Portland 48 Hour Film Project our crew was assigned a genre, prop, character, and specific line of dialogue that must be included in the final film. For us, these elements were:

Genre: Dark Comedy
Character: Mac or Meg McGill, Explorer
Prop: a wig
Line of Dialogue: “Looks like you’re in over your head.”

After drawing our genre out of a hat in downtown Portland on Friday evening, our crew of writers spent the rest of the night hashing out the script. In the morning props were located, costumes were procured, and dumpsters were arranged. Set dressing and makeup took up most of the morning, but we were finally able to start shooting at around noon. Our lead actor, GFU Adjunct Professor of Theatre Andy Copeland, did an amazing job and the shoot was a breeze. Since we were all former or current George Fox CMCO majors, it was almost like a family reunion being able to work together on a project again. The shoot lasted til about 6pm. The footage was offloaded and the sound was synced. Then around 10pm our editors got to work! By 7am, the film was in picture lock and work on sound and color correction could begin. We worked very efficiently and had the film ready to submit on a DVD around 1pm, a full six hours early! We held a private screening for the cast and crew that evening on campus. We all felt really good about the final product and about the filmmaking experience as a whole.

Next was a waiting game while the films were being judged for the awards. There were 53 accepted films and they were divided up and screened in four groups within a week of the film submission deadline. Each group had an audience choice award. For our screening group, the audience chose us! Finally the list of submitted films was widdled down to the best 14 for the awards night screening. We were elated when we were notified that we made the cut! So on August 22nd the cast and crew headed to the Hollywood Theater in Portland for the “Best Of” screening. There were some REALLY entertaining films from some of the greatest filmmakers in Portland. Finally, the awards were announced. Andy Copeland won “Best Actor”, our film won “Best Writing”, and then in a very suspenseful moment they announced our film as the “Best Film” of the entire festival! We couldn’t believe it. We were able to mingle with the other filmmakers immediately after the screening and made some valuable connections. Then the crew met up for burgers and tots as we (excuse the pun) digested the realization that we had just made the best 48 hour film in the city of Portland. Wow.

Portland 48 Hour Film Festival 2011 – Images by George Fox University


Video Producer for George Fox University