Final thoughts on the “48”

Now that the Orlando edition of the 48 Hour Film Project is over, it’s time to reflect. First, I need to thank Erin Sullivan, my editor at The Orlando Weekly, for giving me a chance to cover this. (See my story at www.orlandoweekly.com.) I also should thank Rob Ward, who had the difficult and often thankless job of running the thing, with kudos to Christopher LeCours as well. Perhaps most of all I should thank TL Westgate and his entire team for allowing me to shadow them while they produced the buddy comedy TechSquad.

Although I may be a tad biased because I was embedded with them, I do think TL’s group produced one of the two best films of the Project this year, the other being Another Day. My third choice would be the tight and well-acted Private Eyes, with BFFB (about the robot love companion) coming in at number four. Psychosis, Blood River and Heart Strings had interesting potential, while Dale Metz’s The Grand was probably the strongest from group B (though To Protect and Serve was funny and won over the audience for that group).

The strongest group was C, so strong in fact that it made me question the programming structure. Several decent films were crammed at the end of that program, leaving group A a bit weaker and group B piled high with the type of films one wishes to see only in hell. If that sounds harsh, forgive me, as I truly know how difficult it is to produce anything of real quality in just 48 hours (and also how difficult it must have been for Rob to program it). But I do believe some of the participants this year should take a hard look at what they created and ask themselves why they took part. I’m all for boosting your self worth and having fun. However, I would like to be a famous basketball player, but at 5’9 1/2”, 160 pounds and 40 years old, it’s just not going to happen for me. And, friends, some of you who entered this year’s competition – well, let’s just say that, even though I’m sure you’re wonderful, caring and talented people in other respects, filmmaking is not in your future. (I’m talking to you, makers of Special Delivery and Misfits. Oh, and makers of Out of Detention, don’t you think it’s a bit soon to make fun of Trayvon Martin? And the creators of Plans, spare me the religious message. Thanks so much.) It also didn’t help that, despite the promise of true HD projection, that didn’t quite materialize this year, leaving the professional productions looking less than professional and the bad films looking like they had been dragged through the mud.

I still think the Project concept is a worthy one and allows real filmmakers to learn something about themselves. I certainly enjoyed my experience, and I hope the participants did too, despite the wild fluctuations in quality of the entries.

DSC01330Rob Ward addressing the participants of this year’s Project

 

Comments
3 Responses to “Final thoughts on the “48””
  1. Dmtz says:

    I think TL had a solid production, but top pick? It was a setup for 6 mins of butt and a few dick jokes. If you like Adam Sandler sure it was fantastic.
    I think your other picks were much more creatively written, production values aside. Sometimes I think these short competitions thrive too much on trying to be the most funny, because it is easy to leave a burning reminder in the audience’s eyes if you make them laugh, and what is funnier than something up a characters butt?

  2. Dmantzini says:

    I tried to comment earlier,
    It’s great to have someone covering the 48. You were a bit harsh on some groups but that is the job of a critic I suppose.

    You said you were biased towards “TechSquad” As a top pick? It was a setup to have 5 minutes of butthole jokes with a dash of dick humor. Cheap if you ask me. Good for the general public, very Adam Sandler esque. The production was solid no doubt but story lacking except as a SNL style skit. I would have picked Pyschosis over that one

    That’s the problem with these types of festivals where it turns into a competition to get general audience votes. The lowest denominator with the most laughs wins, along with the guys who can bring the most friends to vote

    • cameron says:

      Thanks for the comments, and sorry it took me a while to approve them. Alas, these chat boards are overrun by spam sometimes, and your posts were inadvertently labeled spam. Sorry about that. Anyway, I do agree with you somewhat. I think that most of these films go for a quick laugh, or a quick impression. Again, I’m a bit biased toward “TechSquad,” but I do think it was one of the two best films technically, and that made an enormous difference. “Psychosis” just didn’t deliver for me, despite some solid acting. It didn’t wrap up well.