Hey film buffs! This past weekend we completed the 72h Horror Film Race 2023 through filmracing.com. And when I say completed, I mean we got the email this morning confirming that our submission had been received, with all appropriate paperwork and other boxes checked. We got there.
Now we can’t share the film yet, and ideally, won’t be able to for a while. We have to wait and find out if we are finalists, and if we are, Film Racing will hold our film’s release until the official screening later this year. I have no idea if we’ll be finalists, but I am very confident in the quality of the film we made. We did about as well as I could envision doing. Everything was done on time, and almost no compromises were made. I think it’s one of our strongest efforts as a group, all things considered, and I hope the judges like it too.
Here are some of the highlights of the contest – Thursday Mar 9 7pm PST – Sunday Mar 12 8pm PST – including daylight savings. The required elements were (theme) loss of innocence, (action) Checking the time, and (prop) a mirror.
72hr Horror Highlights
We shot our film in a sort of stop motion that resulted in at least 8 different frame rates in the footage I used. 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 24, and 28. I feel like I might have a 16 and a 26 in there too. We experimented with some of the techniques last year, and made this video, which inspired a lot of what we did this past weekend.
We did 2 SFX sequences, one using green screen, and one that was accomplished in a paint program, paint.net.
We used several lenses, including a wide angle and a macro.
The piece of kit that makes everything possible is the remote trigger for our main camera. Completely indispensable at this point. We use this one, paired with our Canon Eos M50.
The script was inspired initially by the required action. Andrew Wade, who played the main character, and I brainstormed interpretations of the required elements, and one was timing something. Checking the elapsed time of something vs. checking what time it is. Like with a stopwatch. Andrew has a cool collection of vintage pocket watches, and we used one of those.
The script ran 7 pages, and the film ended up being just under 7 minutes including opening logo, credits and 72hr stinger sequence, provided by Film Racing.
We planned to make some ‘music’ with whatever random instruments we had on hand. While the out-of-tune guitar was promising, building 7 minutes of music needed to be someone’s whole job. Instead, I turned to freepd.com, again. This site has been a not-so-secret weapon for our productions.
We had a small production budget, which was spent on pizza for lunch on Saturday, and cranberry juice and ginger ale to pretend to be wine and beer.
Almost all of the wardrobe we used came from a set sale. I don’t know if they ever said publicly, but it was from the Batwoman TV show. If you are in the Vancouver area, there’s another on right now, and more on the way. You can sign up for notices by clicking this link here, or just go to maynardsretail.com. The beauty of clothes bought from set sales is that they are basically pre-approved for camera! Not weird effects from a busy shirt.
We recycled all sorts of things from previous shoots and from our lives for the film. We had the paintings from The Conversation Killer, the medical table and tools from Head Case, and the playing cards from Learn. We even used the box and Italian newspaper packing from the trophy we got from the Vesuvius International Film Festival for our film Noggin! We duct taped belts to a chair, used a gigantic bass amp as a table, and coaxed yet another location out of a 4’x4′ faux brick panel.
The mirror, our required prop, was a TBA until Saturday. We had some options for mirrors, but I wasn’t sure about using them in a shot. I happened on an Ikea shaving mirror I’d picked up from a local thrift store and never even opened. It had a screw mount compatible with our tripods, and we used a tiny one for it. It ended up being a big feature in the film, and created a ton of cool effects.
On Saturday night, I got a phone call from Jollibee! I do love Jollibee, though I recently had a Pancit Palabok that was not so good. I filled in their online survey earlier that day for the free pie, and mentioned the palabok, and they got right back to me! It was pretty hilarious to see ‘Jollibee’ as the caller ID display. My mind went in a bunch of different directions.
This was the smallest group we’ve had for a Film Race. 2 cast, Andrew and myself, with 2 additional crew in Gagun Chhina who was our AD for a stretch on Saturday, and Bea Jurcich, who did makeup!
While I intend to do Behind the Scenes photos and such for every one of these races, it’s tough when I’m working on the film, and my focus is on another camera. There were a couple of scenes that I wish we’d had a BTS view of, but we did get a couple. They’re just below.
That’s about it for now! We’ll either be posting the film soon, or writing about how we’re finalists. Talk about a win-win. Thanks for reading, and thanks also for watching!