48 Hour Film Project HK 2009 - making of "Responsible People" - Sunday
Well, Sunday, the last day of the
48 Hour Film Project , was an entirely different experience for me. You see Sunday is the editing day, which means that there was absolutely nothing useful that I could do at all, apart from nagging the 2 editors,
Arne Venema and
Michael Chan to make sure that they would finish everything on time and meet all the milestones we'd set down along the way. Well that was something of a joke to begin with and rather a thankless task I can tell you. So let me go into more detail of how the day went...
First of all there is a strict rule which applies anytime I do any work with
Arne or Mike and that is: "if we can't sleep, then you can't sleep". Considering I contribute nothing of any use at all during large portions of the film-making process, including the editing, scoring and rendering sections among others, I find this rule rather pointless and painful! However, it gives
Arne and Mike no end of amusement, so I play along. The rule is generally enforced by the use of "Pen". This means, if I fall asleep, then like mischievous primary school students that never grow up, they proceed to try to write rude comments on my forehead with permanent marker. Luckily they have never succeeded so far. Here is me on the Sunday about 30 seconds before I was about to receive the pen treatment, woke up just in time:
The second issue of the day, was getting the editing and rendering done on time. We had received a strong piece of advice from the 48 Hour Film Project organisation team in the US that we should produce a playable copy of our short film at 3pm on the Sunday, no matter what stage of editing we'd reached by then, so that we would at least guarantee that we would have something that could be played at the event and would not miss the deadline. I thought this was an excellent idea and figured we could do one render (the procedure to produce the final video) at 3pm, one at 5pm and a final one at 6pm if we had time. Since it takes about 30 minutes to render a short film and problems are common, this seemed like the best plan. Unfortunately my two editors did not agree...
Stating that everything would be totally fine, that I was wasting their time and that I did not know anything about film editing to begin with so should not interfere... this frustrated me somewhat and I decided to try and argue my point, however this was made somewhat difficult owing to the fact that it was hard to take these two film editors seriously, as you will see from the photo below:
Apparently this is their standard "editing wear" and you can see that they come as a matching pair.
Things got progressively worse, as I continued to insist that we should do the render as advised. I then got annoyed, as I thought they had hidden or moved some important papers for a joke, though it turned out that I myself had simply placed them on my bag slightly out of site. Arne decided to take revenge and stood up to take action:
My actions had provoked an unusual type of retaliation though, as
Arne had decided to do a strange sort of "war-dance" as revenge... It was quite strange and I think you'll agree that he also looks rather odd doing it (not to mention short)
Anyway, this ended up with us all erupting in fits of laughter and Arne teaching me the dance, which I attempted to emulate:
This is probably not the way it's supposed to go on the last day of an extremely high pressure and time-restricted film competition, but somehow it seemed quite normal to us!
In the end I decided to get out of the house and go wait for the final movie at the drop-off point, since I was having no useful effect.
Once I got to the drop off point (Club 71) I proceeded to call / text the guys regularly to see how they were getting on. Needless to say my advice (and the advice of the 48 Hour Film Project) had been totally correct, as they were running really close to time by the time they started the first render (around 530pm) and it failed. I got them rendering on 2 computers at once, but it still wasn't working. 5 times they rendered and 5 times it failed. Approximately 30 minutes before the final deadline they started their 6th render. Keep in mind it takes 25+ mins to render and they have to get the file to the drop off location.
At this point, I'd given up on getting it in on time and decided to get a beer to cheer myself up. As I sat enjoying my beer and happily looking forward to still being able to screen our sure to be disqualified film, the impossible happened, 1 minute and 51 seconds before the deadline,
Michael Chan comes streaking down the alleyway to the drop off point, USB in hand! According to his stopwatch, he had left Arne's house in Sheung Wan 1 minute and 53 seconds ago and had gotten from there to the bottom of SoHo in that time! Thank God we had an editor who doubles as an a martial artist, gymnast, parkour practitioner, actor, model and assistant director, as almost all of these skills were required over the weekend, with the first three saving our entry!
As I don't have an actual photo of me celebrating, I decided to substitute this one from earlier in the day:
Mike celebrated over a cold refreshing soft-drink practising special breath catching techniques and I chatted very happily to Elden and other entrants over my beer, I began to wonder where
Arne was... 30 minutes later my question was answered as Arne strolled calmly in, without a care in the world in complete contrast to me and Mike Chan who were still recovering from our stress at almost not making the competition (Mike additionally recovering from his unbelievable physical feat). In a pre-emptive response to the question immediately forming in my mind ("where the hell have you been")
Arne says "check this out" and shows me how he has spent the last 30 minutes formatting our film so he can watch it on his I-Pod. Smiling as he watches and totally lost in his own little world as always he says accusingly to me "See! I told you it would be fine!"
Hahaha, the joys of a time limited film competition!
If somehow you've missed all my past blogs, check out the final entry here:
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