72-Hour Movie-Making

This month is our city’s Artsfest.  Every year they host a 72-hour film challenge (The 4320 Film Challenge) and every year The Peeshwank and I take our talents and join a team of fellow guerrilla filmmakers to come up with something we pray entertains the masses.  (“Masses” meaning the couple hundred or so people who come out to the screening.)

This year, we partnered with three of my favorite lady friends and our offspring to make a movie.

I was elected Team Captain.  (“Elected” meaning I engaged in a coup d’ etat and completely took over.)  I went to the captain meeting Friday evening at 4:00 where I was told the specifics of the movie to be made this year.  We had to film at least one scene on our downtown square and the movie had to center around the theme word “challenge.”  I took a look at our cast – a teenage girl, 4 tweens, and a 4-year-old.  Yep.  That takes care of the “challenge” portion of the program.  Our camera guy fell through, so we ended up shooting it on my point and shoot camera.  (Yeah, we’re totally legit like that, as The Peeshwank would say).  That would be challenge #2.  Oh, and sound on our square?  Every movie we’ve made down there had the overwhelming sound of the fountain drowning out every bit of dialogue spoken.

Challenge accepted.

I wrote and storyboarded a movie that involved kids acting like turds all over downtown (this is known in the industry as “typecasting”) and getting kicked out of various establishments (up to and including our amazing new art museum, Crystal Bridges).  We filmed it as a video blog by the teen girl, so the video quality could be forgivable.  The most genius part, though?  We decided to do a silent film.  Oh, that pesky, loud fountain?  Not an issue any longer.

We spent all day Saturday filming and in another stroke of genius I had the final scene take place at our downtown splash park.  All day, when we wanted the kids to behave, we just reminded them, “Splash park later.”  (Fact: Bribery is the best way to get children to do what you want.)

We spent the next two nights in our friends’ studio, recording our lead’s voiceovers and editing the film.  We drank a lot and laughed so hard we probably should’ve deployed Depends, but at the end of the 72 hours, we had a movie and we kinda like it. It’s not professional by any stretch (other than Darryl’s awesome editing skills, yo) but we had a ton of fun doing it.

Without further ado, I give you…

“Happy Birthday or Bust!”

2 thoughts on “72-Hour Movie-Making

    • Thanks, girl! We had so much fun playing all over town. We also discovered it is practically impossible to get kicked out of anywhere in Bentonville. Every time we’d ask someone if they’d pretend to kick us out, they’d say, “Well, we really don’t do that…” We’re nice folks here, I guess. :)

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