Friday, June 23, 2006

48 hour Film Project in Review

Let's begin with Chris Drummond. Here he is, my pal Winnie. If he looks a bit tired here, that's because he'd been awake for 48 hours. I've known Chris for a few years now, I met him through Kate. Last year I went to see a movie he made at the 48 hour film project showcase and it seemed like so much fun. I asked him if he was doing it again next year, and then I insisted he let me work with him, in any capacity he needed. I was thrilled when he called me and asked if I'd like to work with his brother Michael on the costumes for his film this year.
So here's the lowdown: In most major cities across the world, teams of filmmakers get together and try to make a short film in just 48 hours. Each teams draws a genre, such as foreign, horror, musical, road movie, mockumentry, you get the idea. Every team has to use three constants: a prop, a character, a line of dialogue. Everything has to be completed (writing, casting, art direction, shooting, editing, scoring, making the titles) within 48 hours. It is an awesome challenge and a lot of fun.
I worked with the People's International Film Consortium and we got Martial Arts movie. I was hoping for horror (I've always wanted to make a zombie movie) but I was still very excited. I'm not a big fan of Martial Arts films, but the director and the writers wanted a post-apocalyptic look, and Michael and I knew we could pull that off.
I got to Studio 7 around eight on Friday the 9th. I sat around with the writers and helped them type the script while the wrote it. They finished about 3:45 am. Around four I called Michael and we put our heads together, then split up to go gather stuff. I had a list of props and costume things we might need. I drove around the south side, Webster and the CWE; gathering clothes for thugs, henchwomen, a cult of hippies, and some prostitutes. Michael did the same and we got back to the studio around five-thirty. We spent the next two hours combining awesome machine-knitted deconstructed sweaters with randomly ripped and half destroyed lingerie. I have never had so much fun. After a six am casting call, we got everyone dressed and sorted out.
Have a look at some quick pictures I took.Lindsay as a henchwoman. This is one of my favorite costumes. The underdress is burned and torn, the over dress is actually two pieces, a combination Michael and I came up with. These are the lovely "ladies of the night," Patty, Ashliegh, and Amanda. They were actually ladies of the afternoon, and it was about six thousand degrees outside, so I'm shocked their makeup didn't slide all over the place.
Here we have the lovely "peaceful hippie-type cultists." I'm about to get all arty now, so bear with me. Most of the "art" I do, if you can even call it "art," focuses on color. I like doing experiments with layering different shades, and making tiny transitions within a small section of the spectrum. So I wanted to use color as a continuous theme throughout the costume part of the film. It kind of worked.
Yes, that is my wedding dress. See, Courtney here played the "avenging spirit" who was summoned by the magic flute to incite revenge for the "peaceful hippie-type cultists." I wanted there to be some thread of continuity that showed how the "avenging spirit" was connected to the "cultists," and color seemed to be the best way to do that. Also, we had access to a bunch of purple robes.
I spent all of Friday night there, and most of Saturday day. I went home Saturday evening after we finished the last shots. The final scenes we shot were the opening scenes in the film. They were shot on Saturday, at sunset, just as an enormous thunderstorm was rolling in. We were on the riverfront, just north of downtown. Chris got the shots he needed, and then we almost all got blown away as this torrential downpour swept across the city. In one of the shots in particular you can actually see the clouds coming in. I don't think we could have asked for more dramatic weather. It turned out really cool.

Here we have Carson and Molly, the Director and the Gaffer, on Thursday after the showcase. I'm really glad we had a chance to work together. I met so many awesome women working on this project.
Last but not least, here I am, on Delmar in front to the Tivoli theatre holding the award and my copy of the DVD. "Award? What award?" you may be asking yourself. Why, the award for best costumes! I was shocked. I've never done costume design before, niether had Michael. We were so excited! My mom and Matt accompanied me to the Showcase, and we had a couple drinks at the Red Sea and BbH afterwards to celebrate. Michael couldn't come to the Showcase, but I am going to take him out to celebrate sometime this week.
Anyone who wants to see the film, let me know. I usually have it with me, and it plays well on my laptop.


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