Tohubohu Is Seeming More Appropriate by the Day

Yes, I am still here. But between preparing for this weekend’s 48-Hour Film Project and the mind-boggling workload that built up during my vacation, I haven’t had time to make even a quick note here. Still, since the event’s this weekend (holy crap), I thought I should at least check in with all of you with an update.

I’ve handed over the official “Producer” reins to Geoffrey Long, which leaves me free to concentrate on the “Director” end of things. So far, I think we’ve got a pretty good division of labor established, with me in charge of the creative side, and Geoff handling the practical. Not that he’s completely out of the creative loop, as he’ll also be joining us as a part of the writing team.

Yes, that’s right, team. On the one hand, writing by committee doesn’t usually produce the most artistically coherent work, but given our time frame, we’ve opted to go with more of a television model than a cinematic one. Another concession we’ve made to time constraints is to use a script outline rather than a complete script, leaving it up to the actors — a largely improv-trained group — to work out the details on the fly. I must confess that I’m not sold on this idea, but I think we’ll be better able to extract credible performance by allowing our cast to work naturally as opposed to trying to conform to a hastily cobbled-together screenplay. In all likelihood, there will be elements scripted in more detail (particularly the requisite “line of dialogue” we’ll be assigned), and we’ll have to run multiple takes (not to mention two cameras) to keep things tight, but I’m optimistic that our approach will work. Kori Lusignan — my fellow team Tohubohu leader — will be in charge of “wrangling” the actors and directing the improvisational aspect.

Rounding out the core crew are Adam Young as our D.P. (and storyboard artist) and Ginny Filer as our editor (who will no doubt have a bear of a time matching those improv takes), with my wife Pam joining us at the writing roundtable. In front of the camera, the actors will be lead by Kori, Courtney Davis, and Nello DeBlasio, and it looks like we’ve got a pretty good array of talent lining up along with them.

By the way, if anyone else will be in the area and wants to join us — even if just for a portion of the weekend — drop me a line ASAP. If you’re unable to join us, but would like to help in some other way, we do have several areas in which we need assistance. One, we need to find interesting or unusual locations — offices, rooms, apartments, cells, what have you (and, of course, we need releases for anywhere we shoot). Two, we need whatever additional video equipment we can get our hands on; we’ve got a decent assortment, but could always use more, particularly the more high-end stuff. And three, we’ll need props and costumes; because we don’t know what genre we’ll draw, we could need anything from a detective badge to a medieval sword.

We start work Friday evening at 7 p.m., with shooting tentatively slated for Saturday and “post-production” on Sunday. In reality, there will be a lot of overlap, but our deadline is set in concrete. In addition, we’ve gotten our screening slot — next Friday evening at 9 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre, no less. Even if you’re not able to join us for the production, we’d appreciate your coming out to support us then — particularly since there’s an “audience award” portion of the competition; the more friendly faces in the audience, the better our chances. Tickets are $7.50 apiece, and are available online via the AFI Silver Theatre site (just click on “Film Information” and look on the list for our “48 Hour Film Project” screening time).

Almost showtime...