The 48 Hour Film Project for Boston 2007 has come to an end and it was pretty awesome. There were 100 teams this year of which 92 finished films and handed them in. I helped usher again and saw some 83 movies over the course of the last two weeks. A bunch of them were filmed within a half mile of my apartment just outside of Davis Square.
This is my fourth year ushering. Over the four years the movies have gotten better. A large portion of the teams have done it for several years and you can definitely tell they've gotten most of the kinks out of their filming and post-production. I think the availability of better filming and production equipment and software helps as well. Some of the teams were mentioning how they used cameras that stored data on hard drives directly and this saved them gobs of time that they would have spent transferring the data from tape to hard drive.
The 48hfp folks have created a new site for hosting movies at http://www.48.tv, though they don't have the Boston 2007 movies up yet (obviously). Some teams are uploading their movies onto YouTube and other video sites. If you search for "48hfp" or "48 hour film Boston 2007" you can see them.
It was a really great year for movies. There's a Best Of showing at the Cooliedge Corner Theatre on June 7th. It's definitely worth going to if you've got the time. There are more details here under "Best Of".
My brother is the producer this year for the Boston 48 hour film project again. So I showed up to help out on the kick-off on Friday night and again for the drop-off on Sunday night. All very exciting.
Last year there were some 48 teams. This year there were 62 or 63 so the place was packed. As I was helping out, I recognized a lot of people who did it last year--that's pretty cool. I even remembered some names here and there.
There are going to be 5 screenings this year. We learned a lot about ushering last year and I hope to employ ISO 9001 compliant policies, standards, and things of that nature to this year's ushering. It's going to be a busy couple of weeks!
The previous posts were mostly about ushering and how much sleep I got. I'd like to dedicate this post to Ed who didn't get any gametime in any of my earlier posts. Ed's film was fantastic. It was at once eloquent and moving. It was the only movie with aliens flying around in their ships zapping people with their alien rays. It was the only movie with a brain in a jar.
Ed was a thug and then a pirate. I think he should quit his current job as a Web Developer and join the theatre. The world has enough Web Developers but it yearns for men of Ed's talent.
I'm really glad this is the last group. I've ushered for every single show thus far and my ass is really sore. When they sell out, I end up either standing in the back or sitting on the floor--neither of which are comfortable.
The hours are really long, too. Even though the Somerville Theatre is right around the corner from my apartment, I'm getting to bed at 1:00am after working at work for 9 hours and then at this thing for another 6.
There were some good movies in this batch. Now that I've seen all the movies from all the groups, I'd have to say the first group was the best overall, though there were movies in other groups that I liked.
The ImprovAsylum folks really like musicals. They're really good at them, too. It's tempting to go see one of their shows.
We did the third showing at the Somerville Theatre. I have to say, I liked being at the Brattle Theatre a lot more than I did at the Somerville Theatre.
I would have thought it'd be the other way around since the Brattle only has one screen and they're so artsy that you'd think they'd get into this "we're artsy and above all that non-art riff-raff" but they don't. The people were way cool and helpful and the place itself was easy to do our thing in.
The Somerville Theatre people, on the other hand, were just basically unhelpful. I get this feeling they hate working there--it's hard to say though. S remarked that it must be a job requirement that they're not allowed to smile. Ever. It's interesting to note they have a Good Humor vending machine in their lobby.
Anyhow, things went as they tend to go. It's really wild watching these people who participated watching the products of their weekends. Some are excited and really liked what they created. Others just hate it all. Some wax on about whose fault all the problems were.
It's interesting to note that almost all of the groups so far used a variation of Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro on a Mac. It's also interesting to note that Avid was one of the sponsors of the 48 hour film project.
This was the second (and last) group to be screened at the Brattle Theatre. It was a lot rowdier than last night. I'm not sure if that's because the groups were rowdier groups or that we had some ... technical issues.
One of the genres is "mockumentary". Last night we had a film that was very Christopher-Guest-ish which was really well done. After seeing that I figured that all the mockumentary films would be along those lines since there aren't too many other mockumentary films out there to derive the concept from. Tonight, however, was pretty different. I was pretty stunned to find out the guys who did it (their entire team was 4 guys--some of these teams had 25 people and org charts) decided to do it 2 or 3 days before the actual fest. That's pretty awesome.
Reminds me of this foreign exchange student that I knew back in college who decided to run the Boston Marathon at a party we threw the friday before. Then she ran it two days later and did just fine.
I digress. I got home around midnight again, grabbed some food, and then fell into a deep coma.
Excitement simmered in the air of the first screening at the Brattle Theatre like Mexican jumping beans in a popcorn popper.
I was elected Lead Usher by the organizational committee in a unanimous vote. I think they were really impressed by my platform speech which outlined my plan for total usher awesomeness .
I carried out my lead usher duties with precision--handing out ballots and pencils like a professional. I had a flashlight with me but never used it . I don't think I'll be bringing one tonight. For the second show I just sat around and watched all my usher minions deviously performing their assigned usher duties.
I'm tired now. I think I got home at midnight and then ate some dinner and went to bed.
 I was the first usher to arrive--that might have helped as well.
 When I was preparing, I was envisioning one of those ushers with the flashlights pointing out free seats.
My brother is organizing the 48 hour film thingy in Boston which kicks off tonight! I'm helping out to usher and perform in secret kick-off rituals that I don't really understand but turn out to be vital to the doings and goings-on of the 48 hour film thingy!
Anyhow, if you're in the Boston area, there are four showings of the final films: two at the Brattle and two at the Somerville Theatre.
Lots of details and a half-naked picture of my brother HERE.
One interesting thing about this one is that it's Spring Forward this weekend--so they "extended" it an hour so that the groups don't lose an hour if that makes any sense. I think maybe one of my jobs will be to hand out extra hours at the door--one per group please!
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