Sorry We haven’t been around to chronicle anything recently but it has been a crazy ride in the last month or so. We will try to put aside some time to write everything down. I guess it is a good thing, right?  We have been so lucky in the past month, meeting new filmmakers and having the opportunity to work with such great individuals.

In May, we decided it was time to try and collaborate with some more filmmakers. So I put in a call to a couple of people about meeting up and having some conversations on film and film making, goals and such. Juan Pabon was one of those people. He is a filmmaker in CT, who loves shooting, editing and knows a lot on the process of film. In these conversations, he mentioned how he had registered for a film race, he had no crew but some friends that he could ask. Our response was “We’re in!”.

And so it began…..

THE 48 HOUR FILM RACE 

Humungoid Films and Nutibara Productions teamed up to compete in a 48 hour film race competition. We had done something like this before, a contest sponsored by Apple called the Insomnia Film Festival and had the same basic rules. It was simple, we had 48 hours from Friday afternoon till Sunday afternoon, to write, shoot, edit and drop off a finished short film that was 7 minutes long.

They gave you three elements:

  1. A Prop; In this case it was a coffee mug (simple really)
  2. A Character: A criminal named Mickey Sellers
  3. A Line of Dialogue: “Do What You Want To Do”

Beside the 3 elements which you didn’t know until it was announced. a representative of your team had to pick a genre out of a hat, which ranged from silent film to western to musical. We got comedy, which believe you me is very difficult to do, comedy is all about timing and just so subjective.

So Juan and Diego, drove down to NYC to receive the info that we were to use, Anthony and I stayed up in Westchester, laptops open and ready to write and research.  We got the call from the guys letting us know what elements our team got and we were off to the races, typing away.

Rodney, our resident illustrator came by after work and between the five of us we came up with a screenplay based on an idea that Anthony had.  We took the buddy cop structure used in comedy and applied it to the crime world.

A mob boss calls in his most trusted, veteran thug Mickey Sellers to locate Vinny the Fist and the package he was supposed to deliver.
One catch, Mickey has to take the mob boss’ nephew with him, Skids.  A young, out of control, fly of the handle punk but Mickey is used to working alone.  We follow them as they must learn to work together to find The Fist!

We wrote all night and never went to sleep. We were lucky enough to have access to a restaurant (thanks to our friend and supporter Christian Burn) as well as a couple of other locations. Everyone met up at 8 am that Saturday morning and right off the bat we were in for an uphill battle. One of the actors, who was supposed to play the lead cancelled on us at the last minute. We had written the part for him and now he wasn’t there. We were on the clock, so we made some calls.

After a few people not answering and us leaving a bunch of desperate messages, one guy called back. Our good friend Mark Lissauer. No experience acting. No problem. He came through, ready to rock and roll. The guy was a rock star.  He drove to the restaurant and jumped right into character. Mickey Sellers, at your service. Chris Saave, from CS Filming was on board to help out. He filled in the part for Skids perfectly. Oliver Rush came in from Brooklyn. A very talented Director of Photography. Juan and Oliver own the same camera so we had Two Panasonic AF100. We were very lucky to have access to those because they produce gorgeous images.

We finished shooting at the restaurant and went next door to our friend’s apartment, after that we hopped in a car and shot the car ride scene as well as some exteriors.  At about 4 pm.  we ended up in a beautiful house that another great friend, Joe helped us secure.  It was very big house and perfect for the mob boss’ estate, where he sends Mickey and Skids on their adventure.  Time was against us still, the hours just melted away and as we rushed to get all the shots we needed as we lost light.  At about 10:30 we finished and the actors and  crew said their goodbyes and the principles went back home for a shower and a change of clothes.  then it was time to meet up in  the studio and begin the editing process.

Unfortunately that is where things went a little haywire.  We had a major hardware failure that wiped out hours of editing we did.   We tried to save the work but it was gone.  It was early morning and we decided to start again.  Three editors on three different computers worked at a frantic pace, We had a timer that would go off every 30 minutes announcing how much time was left till we had to stop and make a DVD, but no matter how fast we worked we just couldn’t overcome the loss we faced earlier that day.
 

We pushed it to the limit and when the last timer went off.  We hit the lights, turned up the volume and watched the movie we had in our hands.  It was good.  but it just wasn’t complete.  We discussed it for a few moments and watched it again and discussed it some more.  The festival guidelines said you could turn in an incomplete film but we couldn’t do that.  Instead, we decided to not submit and work on it some more that week and submit a completed version of the film to one of the many short film festivals around the country.

It was Sunday night by then and we had woken up Friday at 7 am, to take this challenge on.  60 hours had gone by in a blink of an eye.  We were beat up and half delirious.  We shut off the computers and decided to look at the bright side.  It was the first time we had worked together.  We had gone to war together, in the trenches of film making, endured through an extremely tough situation.  Instead of folding like most people might, we had decided to go down swinging.  It was time for a beer and a burger.  So we went to Dunne’s Pub and there we talked about everything that went bad and everything that went great.  We spent a few hours and by the time we said goodbye, I knew we would work together again.

It’s funny how thing work out.  Right after that film race, I got a call from another filmmaker that I met with and he asked Humungoid to produce his first feature, an extremely low budget horror film called Demon Cross: The Housesitter.  He was shooting in less than three weeks, but there was a lot of prep to do.  I knew it was going to be difficult, so of course I said Yes!  I picked up the phone and dialed up the people that would go down swinging with me.

I’ll tell you all about that movie in the next post, its been one hell of a ride so far and it is far from over.  The Gas Mask is moving forward as we speak.

Pabs