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Friday, 10 August 2007
48 Hours: Hours 1 to 4
Topic: Makin' Movies


God's Country

A billboard on the roadside of I5 somewhere out of Grants Pass, OR features a man at one end, and then morphs him over several frames into a chimpanzee on the opposite side. The billboard reads, "Are they trying to make a monkey out of you?" as lists a website of

If that wasn't enough, surfing the radio gets me a whole lot of religious music stations...more than any other kind.

Clearly, Toto and I aren't in Kansas any more...or maybe we are and that's the problem.

But Back to where it started...

The 48 hours of the title of this and the following posts starts officially at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

The day starts early as I leave my motel in Grants Pass and drive the final four hours or so to Portland. There I meet Scott Cummins at his apartment. We quickly hurry out to get lunch at the Widmer Gasthaus pub (home of Widmer Hefeweizen) and starts discussing strategies for the 48 Hour Film Project.

7:00 p.m.: Scott and I meet up with Bert, our Director of Photography (D.P.) and arrive for the kickoff of the 48 Hour Film Project. There are something like 53 teams signed up. I quickly see how this works. Teams are divided into groups, and then reps for each group are called forward to draw a genre out of a hat. There is only one instance of each of the 14 genres in the hat, so for each group only one team will end up with a given genre. I have a great idea for Buddy Picture, so I sort of want that one.  Scott, on the other hands would love to get Superhero, but has said previously that he knows he'll never get it.

Scott nearly explodes with delight when he draws our genre: Superhero!


7:30 p.m.: Next all the teams are given 3 elements they must include in their films, this to prevent people from submitting films they made previously. The elements are:

1. Character: Roy or Rachel Schwarz (no T), a Quality Control Expert

2. Prop: A Balloon

3. Line of Dialogue: "Do you smell what I smell?"

8:15 p.m.: We've relocated to the Kennedy School (an old school that is now a series of bars and restaurants to meet much of our team. Here I meet actors Kyle, Bill, Jenny, Illya and Harold, as well as our makeup tech Janet, location manager Kelly, and Script Supervisior Brendan. Scott anounces the genre and elements, and over dinner and drinks a lot of ideas are kicked around. The main idea that comes up is about a sort of DMV of superheroes, where Rachel Schwarz is rating heroes and failing them. Out of this come a couple of gags, including Bill's suggestion of the name Walter Ego.

Me with Kelly. Geek Girl Extraordinare!

Midnight: After a conference call with Dave in Minnesota—in which he suggests the villain have a line "Hello? Lawyer?" to describe how he's evil in his day job—we become concerned that the DMV of Superheroes gag is too obvious. Three different people on our team independently hit on the idea, and this worries us because of that many of our team hit on the idea, it's possible a team in one of the other groups did, too, and since we're in the last group, ours would be the last to be seen. We also kicked around ideas for a dramtic story, but nothing gelled. So, I make the case for the idea that struck me a week or so ago, in which two guys meet in a gay bar and hook up, not realizing that they are actually arch nemesis superhero and super villain in their alter egos. Scott agrees that it's unlikely anyone else will try it, so we agree to go that way.

Now, there's just the small matter of, oh, a screenplay...


Posted by molyneaux at 12:01 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 19 May 2009 10:54 PM PDT
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