Having a YouTube channel, trying to cultivate an online community, is hard. Subscribers are whatever, that’s not what makes it hard. If we get subscribers? Great. If we don’t? Cool, I still want to do us… But that’s the hard part is we don’t really know what ‘us‘ is yet. I’m going to flirt with my golden rule here, but growing up creativity wasn’t really encouraged, it was tolerated. That I took an interest in theater was a point of contention for my parents to the point where my work as an actor was regularly insulted as a means to dissuade me from pursuing it in any meaningful way. So it’s been only later on in life that I’ve really done something — anything — creative that people can see. And what’s supposed to happen is when you’re young you figure out who you are creatively and then eventually just put yourself out there… Except we’ve kind of done that backwards. We’re out there and we have no idea what we’re doing creatively. We’re a teenage boy fumbling around his first time in the backseat of a ’60 Chevy. So when the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo announced that they were doing a 48 hour film challenge…
… I of course — without consulting anyone — signed us up.
I mean I pretended like I talked to everyone, but I had already paid the entry fee. And I honestly have no idea what I would have done if everyone had said no. Not a clue. I’d have probably done a dancing montage to either Footloose or Jump (for my love). We’ll never know. But tell you what, if our YouTube channel or Facebook page breaks 75 Subscribers or Likes, I will absolutely do that.
Regardless, we were signed up and it was now a real thing, and about a week later it hit me how big this task really was. We needed help. We needed…A director! Introducing Hilary, our director in case have the name beside the photo wasn’t enough of a hint, who also plays one of our generic villains. Why did we go outside for a director? Well firstly, she’s actually done this professionally. She spent two years in Australia making films day in and day out. And second because God knows during a high stress day, everybody really wanted to listen to me tell people what to do. Honestly they can’t get enough of it. What was spectacular about all this was Hilary’s known me for maybe the space of 2 hours from over 3 years ago. She’s actually my wife’s friend. But she enthusiastically agreed and just like that, this became not a project that I just randomly crammed into everyone’s life… but a real honest to God thing we were about to do.
Hilary of course was instrumental in everything because while I thought I knew how much planning went into this, I really had no idea. See the key with 48 hour film challenges is you have literally no idea what kind of film you’re going to make, because they have to tell you what kind of film you’re going to make in the first minute the challenge starts. And you can’t really prep anything before save for equipment and locations… and the only way to effectively prep any of those, is to actually know what kind of film you’re going to make… so you have to kind of play it by ear. Which brings me to Denny’s in Lethbridge, and the Lethbridge Public Library. These were the only two locations we could secure under the circumstances. Because nothing fills a person with more enthusiasm for your project then when they ask “what is your film about?” and you answer “I have no goddamn idea.” But both of these locations agreed, and even though we only used the one I have to give a very enthusiastic thank you to both.
Local arts and culture is hugely important, and we hold both of your fine establishments in high regard.
The next thing to get ready was equipment. Our film budget was a shoe string and whatever we had lying around. The two days was already going to be expensive with eating out and whatnot so we weren’t going to purchase much. So for a boom mic… we used my selfie stick, a Zoom H1 microphone and a child’s mitten. Our camera was my cheapo video camera from Costco that only sort of let’s you set the white balance. Grip system for the camera? Nah. How about portable lighting? Nope. We were going bear hunting with a knife. So after I went through Hilary’s prep list, and we got ready what we could… we just waited for another week…
And then we made a movie.
And to annoy all of you this is turning into a part 1 of 2! I know I know, for shame. But here’s the thing; before I go into the day of shooting and all the weirdness that entailed, I want you guys to see the movie first. But you can’t, because we have to show it at the con first. So if you’re going to be at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment expo, you should buy tickets to the 48 hour film challenge showing. Come see our film… Or what until 12:01 AM MST April 28th when we release it on YouTube.
Anyways guys, I hope you’re all having a wonderful Easter Weekend, and I look forward to talking to you guys again soon.
Have a good’er.