Saturday, June 1, 2019

New Short!

In 2017 I decided last second to be a part of the AT&T Create-A-Thon. Basically you have to make a short in under 40 hours or so. I had done a 48 hour film competition before and had won so I figured why not? It was a pretty grueling process, but we came out with a pretty good short and we won too!

Since then though, I was in no rush to really do it again. People had asked the next year if I was going to and I declined. This year I was asked again and mostly ignored it until the day of when I turned to my friend Phil Fox and said "Hey, that AT&T thing is happening against this weekend." Then he turned to me and said "DO YOU WANNA DO IT?!" and I thought to myself for a second. Wondered if I could put myself through the nights of little sleep and the stress of it all again and decided.... ok.

So we cobbled together a crew and started going for it. Felicia Ho, a friend from my writers group, agreed to be a writer/producer and Joe Gunawan offered to be the DP and provide his Arri Alexa as the camera. We struggled to get ideas together, but we settled on a concept and Felicia wrote a script in literally 30 minutes! From there we started trying to cast people, get crew, location scout, shot list and we eventually fell asleep around 5AM with an 8 AM call time.

The shoot itself was.... pretty taxing, but it was really fun! We spent nearly 6 hours in a bathroom, which was a little insane. I've also never had my pants down in front of so many people before. But the crew really pushed through. Felicia's friend Maria Musaelyan had never done sound before, but learned quickly and was just happy to be there. Ernie Prieto was the Gaffer/AC and was just amazing. Phil was holding it down as the Assistant Director, even when things seemed dire. Overall we managed to finish shooting within 13 hours though and the footage looked amazing.

The editing process is usually the worst part. Me and my friend Phil Fox usually switch off shifts. But because we were also on set all day, we're really running on fumes. Felicia and her friend Gloria Zhu stuck around through the entire editing process though, which helped a lot. There was a point where I had to make Felicia take over the editing and insert sound effects because I literally couldn't do anything anymore. She was the only one awake while the rest of us slept.

We did all the editing, sound mixing, color grading, graphics, etc and managed to turn the movie in with only 5 minutes left to spare on the deadline. We were really proud of our movie. William Lex Ham was an awesome addition as the game show host, Aaron Aoki was perfect as the "boss", and even Kevin Lee had an amazing cameo being the guy who holds a watermelon.

We showed up to the screening with really high hopes. We.... didn't win.... and the screening for our short messed up twice and they restarted each time, which was a real momentum killer. But that wasn't what was really important! We came out of it with a good short, but more importantly we had a good experience and made a lot of friends. Here's a picture of us celebrating our loss and if you're curious to check out the short it's at the link below that.