For Cinema 2880 this year, we were still in the Amateur category since we’re neither professional nor students. Participation breaks down like this:
Overall, just under half of the teams competing turned in a film on time that included all required elements. That’s a strong contrast to 48HFP, in which something like 46 teams turned in on time out of 51.
Like last year, we went with a two-person team comprised of Brett and Jess. The original “Team BJ.” The specifics we had to incorporate into our film were:
- Genre: Art House Film
- Character: someone with a bizarre sense of humor
- Item: Barbell
- Location: Restaurant / Bar
- Dialogue: “He’d like a lover’s wings to fly on.”
- Theme: The 11th Hour: Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
The line of dialogue is from a Rush song, Digital Man. In fact, each team this year got a line from a Rush song to incorporate into their film.
This entry is definitely different from(1) our usual work, so keep that in mind while you watch. The story continues after the video:
The first thing that got us was: “What the heck is an Art House film?” Google says, “An art film is ‘intended to be a serious artistic work, often experimental and not designed for mass appeal.”
The second thing that got us was: “Bizarre sense of humor.” Actually the original assignment said, “Bazaar sense of humor,” which we totally didn’t get. But even with bizarre – this is a sense of humor that most folks don’t really get.
Great, so by definition, most people aren’t supposed to like the film because it’s Art House, and most people aren’t supposed to get the humor in it because it’s bizarre. We’re off to a rockin’ start!
Brett came up with one idea about a genie. Jess came up with eight different ideas, some easier to do than others. We wrangled with possible locations to film for a while before ultimately going with … something different.
This is the second time that we went script-less for Cinema 2880. We had a general idea of what we were going to capture, but no strong idea of the story that went with it.
We came up with a list of locations, refined it, mapped it out, and started shooting on Friday night. We fit two locations in Friday: just outside the apartment, and shots from the pedestrian bridge over Wadsworth.
Most of the time the prop for these film races is easy to find. Last year we needed a rake, which we had on hand. This year, it was a barbell. Sounds easy, right? On Saturday we went to Target and to the thrift store to find a barbell, but there was none to be found. Dumbbells galore, but not a single barbell. Not to be foiled by the prop, we instead creatively interpreted the prop and grabbed a small metal bell at the thrift store — the only one they had that wasn’t porcelain or glass, and fragile — and went with “bell on a bar.”
We made it to another nine locations: St. Patrick’s Brewery, downtown Littleton RTD station, three sides of the Reinke Bros building, Clement Park grassy area, Clement Park playground, the pedestrian bridge over Wadsworth again, Southwest Plaza Mall, Dorado Drive, and once more to the Reinke Bros building for a quick night shot. It’s a lot easier to use multiple locations when there’s just two people involved in the production.
We got to the rough cut pretty quickly, and then decided on the dialogue to record. For Jess’s part, she quoted lyrics throughout, except for where she laughs and says, “Barbell” on Dorado Drive:
- Green Day – Holiday – “I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies.”
- Billie Holiday – Solitude – “In my solitude, you haunt me.”
- Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here – “We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl.”
- Green Day – Boulevard of Broken Dreams – “My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me”
- Carlos Santana – Hold On – “All along, I’ve been the pretender.”
- Depeche Mode – Precious – “Precious and fragile things need special handling.”
- Rush – Digital Man – “He’d like a lover’s wings to fly on.”
- Marvin Gaye – (I’m Afraid) The Masquerade Is Over – “I’m afraid the masquerade is over.”
- John Lennon – I Found Out – “There ain’t no guru who can see through your eyes.”
- Billy Joel – The Stranger – “We all fall in love but we disregard the danger.”
- Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive – “I hold my head up high and you see me.”
- The Beatles – Come Together – “Come together right now.”
- Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – “So, let love take us through the hours.”
- David Bowie – Heroes – “We could steal time just for one day.”
The artists and songs we selected stand as a third character in the story with its own arc, starting out lonely and lost, fighting through to see a new truth, and ending up hopeful as the two discover and run to each other in the later scenes.
Once the rough was done, we recorded our ADR in Jess’s walk-in closet. Jess went to work on the music and sound effects while Brett dropped the ADR recordings in. We watched it a couple times, and tweaked a few things, but by now time was running out. We wanted an hour for the upload since our network isn’t as fast as it used to be. By the time we slapped opening and closing credits on, we had 45 minutes, and were able to get it uploaded and shared with the judges with ten minutes to spare.
This is one of our top ten favorite shorts we’ve ever done. Then again, it’s the twelfth short we’ve created together as a team.
(1) Thanks, mom!