When you initially look at the 48 Hour film festival format, a reasonably sane person would say…NO. Well, when I was asked to write, direct and produce a short film for the Elevate Film Festival, I said…YES. In 48 hours, I would need to write a script, film it, finish it and deliver. All within 48 hours. Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but it ended up being a lot of fun exercise of thinking on your feet, which is essentially what producing is at it’s core.
I decided I would frame the story around a song Rickie Byars Beckwith and Michael Bernard Beckwith from Agape. Knowing I wouldn’t have time to record the song, we used a version of it by Niki Harris. I sat down with a vague idea of the story I wanted to tell. When I was finished, three hours later, I had created a story about a session singer who stuck by her moral standards inside a rapidly changing music industry, where page views on Youtube carried more weight than actual talent.
To star in the film, I called on the talents of Vanessa Williams (Soul Food). Within a few hours of finishing the script, we began shooting. I called my friend Gay Hendricks, a NY Times best selling author to see if his restaurant, Urth Cafe would help with feeding the crew. He said yes. With food covered, the most important element in filmmaking, a well-fed crew, we shot the film and I raced into the edit bay and started editorial. This led us into a whirlwind 24 hour post production schedule over the remaining 30 hours. We colored the film through favors at Company 3, finished our sound at Eleven Sound and delivered the film an hour ahead of the deadline.
The next night, we assembled at the Kodak Theater for the big night. This is the same venue where the Academy Awards are hosted, so the energy in the room was off the charts. Had a drink with Jeff Goldblum at the pre-part and ended up winning Best Cinematography for our little film, Hummingbird.