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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Contestants given 48 hours to film a movie

    Filmmakers Phillip Lybrand and Emily Campbell edit their four-minute short Sunday; the plot is about two homeless people adopting a pumpkin. Sounds like of like Survivor.
    Filmmakers Phillip Lybrand and Emily Campbell edit their four-minute short Sunday; the plot is about two homeless people adopting a pumpkin. Sounds like of like ‘Survivor.’

    What do a small pumpkin, a doctor, a genre and the name Bob Johnson have in common?

    Forty-eight hours, if you ask the directors of The Loft Cinema’s 48-Hour Shootout Filmmaking Contest. Participants from all over Arizona had 48 hours to finish a film. That involved everything from casting a movie to shooting and editing to reach a final product.

    Each group sent a leader to The Loft on Friday the 13th at 6 p.m. to pick up the props, lines, character names and genres in the film they would make.

    The prop was easy: a small pumpkin. The line, a bit more challenging: “”I don’t know, I’m not a dentist.”” The character name, Bob Johnson, wasn’t too hard to incorporate. The genre, though, that would be the determining factor to success.

    At least Phillip Lybrand thought so.

    Lybrand, a media arts graduate, tapped his foot as he waited in line to pull a paper out of a small, white Styrofoam cup. As other groups jumped with joy at their genre or shrugged their shoulders, Lybrand could only look forward.

    It was finally his turn.

    As Lybrand grabbed the paper, he hesitated. The paper would have one of three genres written on it: horror, comedy or drama. Lybrand hoped that his group wouldn’t get stuck with drama.

    The rest is 48-hour history. Shootout history, that is.

    Lybrand’s group was indeed stuck with the drama genre. “”We were disappointed because it was very vague. We were pretty stumped at first,”” Lybrand said.

    Lybrand and the rest of his group sat around and worked on the story of the film short until midnight Friday. They ran through a couple of ideas that sounded good one minute but dull the next. Finally the group came upon a winning story idea.

    “”People at The Loft like short, fast comedies, and that is definitely what the movie isn’t.””

    Phillip Lybrand

    “”We were going to do a ‘Law and Order’ thing, but we ended up doing something really simple,”” Lybrand said.

    The story that they shot was about a couple of homeless people who find a pumpkin in a trashcan at an alley. The pumpkin, representing a change of luck, brings the couple happiness, but when it goes missing one homeless person has to comfort the other.

    Shooting the movie posed a big problem. The movie was supposed to take place during the day, but working in the bright Arizona sun made that a challenge.

    “”You have to shoot in the morning, because if you shoot in Arizona in the middle of the day, everything gets washed out,”” Lybrand said.

    Luckily, the sky was overcast on Saturday and Lybrand was able to shoot the film by noon. The movie was shot in a dumpster area behind Jones Photo Inc., 2901 N. Country Club Road.

    Some of the required elements were easy to integrate. “”The line of dialogue worked better than any of the other required elements,”” Lybrand said.

    The movie was composed of three actors and three people behind the scenes. The total time of the film was five minutes, 40 seconds; well under the seven-minute maximum.

    Lybrand and the rest of his crew started editing the movie at 9 p.m. Saturday and finished by 1 a.m. Sunday, leaving plenty of time before the 6 p.m. deadline.

    “”I woke up the next morning and went straight to The Loft to turn in the film,”” Lybrand said.

    Out of the 13 groups that participated in the event, only 11 were able to finish their films on time.

    Micah Roland, director of the 48-Hour Film Shootout, wanted to bring this challenge to Tucson because he had participated in one in Boise, Idaho.

    “”It was a lot of fun and definitely something that The Loft needed,”” Roland said.

    Not knowing what character name, genre or prop was going to be in your film made the film shootout a real challenge, he said.

    “”You have to incorporate that kind of idea in a challenge like this because you don’t want people to turn in films that they’ve already worked on. It stops people from cheating,”” Roland said.

    The films will be judged by several people, including Arizona Daily Star movie critic Phil Villarreal. Patrick Roddy, producer in residence at the UA Media Arts Department, will also be judging the films.

    Roland said the films submitted will be judged for several awards, including that of best actor and actress.

    Lybrand believes that his group has a good shot at winning the competition if the judging isn’t the same as it is for Friday Shorts at The Loft.

    “”People at The Loft like short, fast comedies, and that is definitely what the movie isn’t,”” Lybrand said.

    These films will be shown at The Loft Cinema tomorrow at 7 p.m. Tickets will be $5 at the door.

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