Two Days, Half a Crew, One Superhero Blockbuster

The 48-Hour Film Project is back. We followed two crews through the ups and downs as they raced to the finish line.



 

Countless memory-card tradeoffs. The sudden disappearance of a main character who's in the next scene. Using fans to dry the superhero emblems painted on the actors' costumes.

These obstacles wouldn't be an issue for a major Hollywood production. However, crews participating in Pittsburgh’s 48-Hour Film Project have to hustle. Every second counts. The moment the competition starts, it's lights, camera, action.

When co-producers Edwin Huang and Nathan Fullerton started competing in the 48-Hour Film Project six years ago, they just wanted to create a film.

“I liked the fact that there was a definite deadline, a time limit,” says Huang. “You either submitted a video or not.”

Both producers had a background in film production and were eager to test out the boundaries that originally attracted them to the 48HFP, which is held in 120 cities worldwide. A couple 48HFP awards later, the duo has combined two different teams, ending up with a supergroup of roughly 30 people.

With the two groups — Everything But the Name and S.G. Movie Magic — working together for the first time, many crew members were curious to see how the team’s dynamics would play out. The competition kicked off July 12, when all participating teams were assigned a specific genre, character, prop and line. Huang says that he likes the idea of an assignment because it makes it easier to narrow the focus.

In past years, Everything But the Name has been given genres such as sci-fi and time travel, but the group was asked to work on something related to superheroes this year.

“We’re all kind of geeks, so we were very excited about it,” says Fullerton.

From there, the crew members brainstormed late into the night. Different members collaborated on the script, tossing around several ideas before they settled on the best one, titled Captain Insensitive. The remainder of the evening was spent writing and perfecting the script as others prepped for filming in the morning.

“You start off really excited about your assignment,” says Fullerton. “And then you try to actually implement it into 48 hours and your grand vision funnels down to what’s doable.”

On the morning of July 13, the crew split up and got down to business. Half of the members did a table reading with the actors while the cinematographers finalized a list of shots that could be done within the timeframe. The team got together for filming at 11 a.m. at the Schell Games offices in South Side. From there, they filmed in fitting yet convenient areas; the SG offices, South Side streets and the Hot Metal Bridge served as backdrops for this four- to seven-minute flick.

At 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, the crew was working at the last stop: a vacant garage on 26th Street. Sleepless crew members camped outside. Half of the group was back at SG working on edits while the other half served as actors or producers (or both).

With the clock ticking, it was clear that this team still had a ways to go.

“About 12 people have canceled on us in the past 48 hours prior to the competition. But together we were able to fill in all the cracks,” says crew member Michael Cornell.

Needless to say, it was going to be a long night — or long 21 remaining hours, rather.

Despite dropouts, the team was able to pull together, even if it meant using the third cameraman as an actor. It wasn’t all about making a successful film; instead, it was about the dynamics of friends, colleagues, actors discovered on craigslist and even the local bartender all working together to create a cinematic production.

“The 48-Hour Film Project allows you to stay in touch with people you might not see otherwise,” says Cornell. “It’s an opportunity where, at least one weekend a year, you’re able to come back together and work on a project and keep those bonds intact.”

All submitted films were screened July 20 at The Hollywood Theater in Dormont. The “Best Of” screening will take place this Sunday at The Hollywood.

“It would be lovely to win it one year, but it’s really just about making a film,” says Fullerton. “The one thing that all successful filmmakers have in common is that they’ve made a film, and that’s what the 48-Hour Film Project forces you to do.”


[The Hollywood Theater, 1449 Potomac Ave., Dormont; screening July 28; 412/563-0368, thehollywooddormont.org]

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.
Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

Friday Night Sleep Out to Raise Money for Homeless

If you’re on the hunt for Friday night plans with a purpose, consider sleeping outside to benefit those in Pittsburgh who have to spend every night on the streets.
The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

The Fascinating History of the David McCullough Bridge

More than 80 years after its demise was erroneously reported, the David McCullough Bridge still stands as an engineering and architectural highlight among the city’s many spans.
Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Gone Viral: Duquesne Students Score Big With Rat Slapshot

Their tic-tac-toe passing would impress Mike Sullivan.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

A History of Pittsburgh, in 50 Artifacts

For a city only two centuries old, Pittsburgh has amassed a surprising amount of history. To assemble this collection of 50 of the region’s most fascinating historical artifacts, we hunted through museums, archives and private collections. We also looked for things many of us might pass each day without appreciating their significance.
The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

The Origins of Isaly’s: It's Not What You Think

Tracing the story of the chain back to its roots — which, surprisingly, are not in Pittsburgh.
In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

In the Frame: Julie Sokolow Sees the Future

After making films focused on Pittsburgh, Sokolow is rising through the ranks of U.S. women documentarians.
Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Restaurant Review: Salem's Market & Grill in the Strip District

Salem’s offers accessible and delicious meals for Pittsburghers of all stripes.
Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

Pittsburgh Penguins Share Tips for Parenting on Ice

In a year when youth-hockey participation is expected to increase, Pittsburgh Penguins players weigh in on the role of the hockey parent.
Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

Face the Frost: Go Daytripping on Winter Hikes in Pittsburgh

There’s a magical, snowy landscape right in your backyard.
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

Mike Feinberg Company Says Goodbye to Pittsburgh

After 60 years of supplying Pittsburgh oddities and party favors, the staff of Feinberg’s in the Strip District says they’ll miss the love the city has shown them.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

CSA Day Reminds Pittsburghers (and Beyond) To Support Local Farms

It's the third year running for the concept, which was created by Simon Huntley of Pittsburgh's Small Farm Central.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

Five Inexpensive But Memorable Date Spots in Pittsburgh

These spots are tailored for couples who are looking for a simple, chill night out on Valentine’s Day (or any other day). If your significant other isn’t the type to be wooed by expensive wines and chocolates, this is the list for you.

Comments


Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

Adventure Bingo Returns at the Ace Hotel

The one-of-a-kind night of bingo, trivia and madcap monologues returns in a new spot.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

Dave Hanson and the Enduring Legacy of Slap Shot

The Hanson Brothers and other stars of the classic hockey film will return to Johnstown this weekend for a 40th anniversary celebration.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Chalk It Up

Chalk It Up

Doodle while you dine, or let your imagination run wild, with chalkboard placemats from Pittsburgh-based Chalk Lots.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Our Full 2017 Oscar Predictions (Wherein La La Land Wins Everything)

Breaking down what we know and only think we know about the 2017 Academy Awards.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

Our Favorite Unique Centerpiece (That’s Not Flowers)

This couple’s centerpiece from our Real Pittsburgh Weddings shines brighter than the traditional table bouquet.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Candle Lab Ready To Make Its Debut in Lawrenceville

The Columbus-based store, where you can customize your own candle fragrance, is expected to open in March.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at ‘Fences’

An art director from Warner Bros. Studios will visit La Roche College to talk about the Oscar-nominated film with ties to Pittsburgh.

Comments