I recently went up to Baltimore help my friends and colleagues Rob Benica and Brad Lambert in the Baltimore 48 Hour Film Festival. If you’re new to this – it’s a contest where you are given a genre and some mandatory elements (props, character names) to work with. 48 hours from that moment, you must write, shoot, and edit a short film and hand them a tape of it. It’s a fun and potentially grueling endeavor.
For us, the genre was Fable, the character was Scarlett Johnston, and the prop was Earrings. Rob is a great director, Brad is an amazing editor, and both helped immensely with actually putting the story down on paper.
Check it out here:
For an account of how the screening went, please read an email sent by our team’s lead, Rob:
The screening went great!!
The laughter started as soon as they saw Matt prancing through the field and didn’t let up until the credits were over. It was cool watching the laughter build to an overwhelming crescendo. Chuckles towards Matt carried into snickers at Marielle, to guffaws at the leering Rob. Big laugh at breaking the recorder back to snickers at Rosanna and Eleanor (kudos to the crunching as well). Huge – doubled over laughing at the eating of the ant. Back to chuckles during the race and ending with the biggest laugh of all – the reveal. In fact it was so overwhelming that you couldn’t hear anything Matt said while walking away. So for at least that night with that audience the ‘ending’ couldn’t have worked any better. It generated at least 30 seconds of uproarious glee finally settling down when the screen went black. I’m glad Brad inserted the graphic and audio breaks for as long as he did, because it allowed the laughter to die down so that the stories could be heard. We just never thought it would be needed for the ending. After the laughter finally died at the end we got heartfelt applause, cheering and whistles.
[W]e engaged the audience like no other film. We also had the best sound, writing and most importantly acting!
Perhaps the coolest and most edifying thing was how many compliments we got while walking out the theatre. At least two other team leaders told me how good they thought our film was, the lead actor from another team also sought me out. But the truly cool ones where the people from the audience. I ran to my car to get the DVD to hand out and I was stopped by four different couples telling me how much they liked it. Our film definitely created a buzz not only in the theater but also in the lobby after. If the audience votes their hearts we have another winner. No other film came close to involving or moving the audience like ours did. So everyone should be very proud of themselves. Thank you again for all your hard work. See ya’ll for DC in May.