48 Hours

Right now it’s past 1 am and I intend on being awake for several more hours. My house is a wreck even though I took the day off work, and tomorrow it will look even worse. Loving my sleep as I do, there are few things that can keep me up this late and even fewer things that I’ll allow to turn my house into this condition.

This weekend my husband and I, along with a few talented friends, are producing an 8-minute film for the Prairie Grass Film Challenge. Genre is assigned, as well as a few other key components, and we have 48 hours to turn those components into a meaningful, cohesive, high quality film. I wrote the script, my husband and two friends shot it, and we are now putting it together in Avid Media Composer. This is the 5th 48-hour film challenge my husband and I have done together, and we love it.

I prefer novel writing to screen writing, partially because I love the world made possible through words and it gives me meticulous control over detail. However, it is immensely satisfying to see a story come together and be “published” through the screen. There are hundreds of limits imposed by the dictated components and definitely by the 48-hour limit. For example, the story has to be written in 4-6 hours, and while I certainly can’t make a story its best in that amount of time, if it weren’t a 48-hour challenge I probably would never get it done.

Events like these are one of the things that keep me going as a writer. I highly recommend them for the sheer confidence boost, which is partially due to seeing what you can really do under pressure and partially due to the polished, believable element that a good camera lends to a story.

Because of the film editing going on in my living room, my post for this week will be short. I would love to hear about your experiences with screen writing or film making. Have you ever done a film festival or film challenge? Tell me about it!

5 thoughts on “48 Hours

  1. Wow – I’m fascinated by this. My husband enjoys the screenplay format and I would love to do a screenplay based on my book, but it’s such a different structure from non-fiction books – I’m not sure I’m up to the task. However, I stand in admiration of people who are actually inspired from time constraints. And maybe that’s where you trust your intuition more – and doubt yourself less. I’ll be following this. All my best to both of you.

    Larry – I’m intrigued – listen, you should go to my cousin’s website – The Jason Parker Quartet (Seattle, WA). Jason plays trumpet & flugl horn – jazz. Listen to the clip of his composition “Bashert”. It might fit your screenplay.

    Kate – again – thanks so much for your review. I must tell you that interest has increased since then – more reviews, more contacts, interviews and, most recently a great review by Chuck Weinblatt (author of “Jacob’s Courage” ) in the New York Journal of Books. So – thanks.

  2. I’m with you in preferring the control that writing a novel affords–along with the time frame that allows one to obsess and refine. That said, I write cinematically, and my first novel, Bashert, has been turned into a film script by a New York screenwriter. In the end, novels and film are very different art forms, and it is no wonder that people who loved the book so often hate the movie.

    Good luck!

    –Larry Constantine (pen name, Lior Samson)

  3. I haven’t heard of the A-Z challenge but I’ll check it out! Film challenges or at least film festivals are popular enough that you can probably find one near you just by Googling it.
    My husband and I love doing these things together because we both love story, but I write and he storyboards, shoots, and edits, so we don’t get in each other’s way but we can still collaborate!

  4. Never had any film type experience like you mention, but it sounds like it would be fun. I did make a short stop-action film many years ago and that was kind of cool. I think it’s great when married couples can work on a project together.

    Have you heard about the A to Z Video Challenge?
    Blogging from A to Z

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