PRODUCTION POW-WOW The Peninsula Pictures crew multitasks, en masse.
Over the weekend, you may have encountered people dying on the street, staring longingly into mirrors, being tormented by puppets, or any number of other events not normally occurring in this area, strange and creative though its denizens are. If there was a camera involved, it was probably one of 26 teams in the 48 Hour Film Festival event, in which crews have exactly that amount of time to write, film, score, and edit a short film. The Portland Phoenix followed four teams through the weekend: Silver Stiletto Productions, Tasty Dude Films, Peninsula Pictures, and Weekend Excellence Shooting Team. Action began at Bayside Bowl, Friday evening.
5:47 pm | PP | I meet the crew of Peninsula Pictures. As if to highlight the magnitude and extraordinary qualities of the weekend, I learned that Andrea Nilosek, the company's founder and only member of Peninsula whose name I knew, would be working at the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover show all weekend, and had handed the reins of the project to director Sam Rapaport and assistant Shawn Harmon. While they don't yet know their prop, genre, or character prompts, Harmon tells me that the Peninsula team includes more than 25 participants, ready to perform however needed.
5:59 pm | TDF | Tasty Dudes' game plan: keep it simple. "But it all depends on the genre," says Jonathan Blood, the head director of this particular piece.
6:24 pm | TDF | Tasty Dudes decide not to drink during the 48 hours and quickly drain their beers.
6:35 pm Portland 48-Hour festival organizer Allen Baldwin starts the drawing. "Make sure you do your paperwork," he gently reminds the 26 teams. As far as releases, "Basically if you think you need a release, you probably do." He also includes a required warning: "We encourage you not to use guns in your films." Police have been called to film locations, and have even drawn weapons on 48-Hour Filmers.
6:38 pm |WEST | The barside area at Bayside Bowl is sizzling with excitement. Thirty-year-old David Miller of the Biddeford-based WEST is the very first team representative to step on stage and pluck a genre from the navy blue baseball cap held by local actor Daniel Noel. Moments earlier, Miller had told us that he was hoping for Thriller/Suspense, Horror, or Drama — nothing too quirky or funny. Apparently the movie gods are smiling on him. He pulls Thriller/Suspense and doesn't even wait to hear what's next. While a few WESTers wait inside to find out their assigned prop, line of dialogue, and character, Miller heads to the parking lot with his writers to start hashing out the storyline.
6:39 pm | SSP | Katherine Caramihalis draws "horror" as the team's genre. She rolls her eyes as she walks off the stage, already trying to decide whether to keep this genre or trade it for a wild card option.
6:39 pm | PP | Peninsula, part of Group A, randomly draws Vacation or Holiday Film for a genre. Rapaport and the team begin brainstorming immediately, at one point invoking "a friend who's got a Santa costume" before scrapping the idea. "I like it," says Rapaport of the genre. "We can go in a good direction with this."