“All Roads Lead Away”

I’m still tired from the 48 Hour Film Project, and I wasn’t even that involved in yesterday’s work. The experience of making a film in two days is so intense that it takes a lot out of you. Our script by Barry Lyga was ambitious, and our filming went from our Saturday 8:30 a.m. call time until almost midnight. It was a very long day for the crew and our two lead actors, who really carried the piece. Well, three lead actors if you include the beat-up car which we considered the third star of the movie.

Barry gave us an amazing script, dramatic and contemplative. Bill and I selected two strong actors (Jennifer Massey and Joe Hansard) who could pull off the emotion of the film. We got to test the new camera car mount, to the delight of the cameraman. I kept asking for reassurance that the expensive camera was not, was NOT, going to fall off the hood of the car. After a last-minute location change, I was slotted for a small part in the movie — which ended up on the cutting room floor in the interest of meeting our seven-minute running time requirement. I’m still in the background helping a customer, and my hair is in a later office scene. Oh, the glamour.

Bill spent Sunday editing the film at his workplace, while I searched for music at home. I found the piece that we ended up using within a few minutes. Unfortunately, I then spent almost two hours continuing to search for music, finding almost nothing, and deciding to stick with my first choice. After Bill was forced to make some difficult decisions about editing, he sent me the film online so I could look at it. With my fresh perspective — having not spent the last six hours putting it together — I was able to suggest different places to cut, allowing some great moments to fit back in (though not my scene, alas). For later festivals, we may look at putting in a lost scene where the couple fights outside the car. It was a crew favorite as Jennifer screamed, “GET IN THE CAR!!!” with pure fury.

Our screening is Friday at 9:30 at the AFI Silver Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland. We’re really proud of it, and I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. If you’re in the area, you can order tickets online — but do so soon, because the shows always sell out. If you can’t get to the show, the film — “All Roads Lead Away” — will be available on our website sometime after the screening.

— Pam W. Coughlan