MAKING a film in two days is not for the faint-hearted. But an Opotiki family team have done it and made it into the finals of the 48Hour Film-making competition.
Beatrice Hudson said her team, The Archaetypes, was made up of herself, taking on the solo acting role, her 80-year-old father John Hudson, who did most of the editing, and her 15-year-old stepdaughter, Fairren Gedson, who was behind the camera.
“It was just the three of us in the film-making roles, but my mum did the vital role of looking after my twin toddlers and she also helped out with the brainstorming, so it was very much a family affair,” said Hudson.
Titled Digging Up Trouble, the film is about an archaeologist, played by Hudson, who excavates a skeleton and finds a strange home-made teleportation device.
“She tries it out and starts teleporting around but then she ends up in this time loop where she becomes the subject of her own excavation – she becomes the skeleton.”
Hudson said the film-making process was intense.
Filmed over a weekend in June, the teams had no idea which genre their film would be until 7pm on the Friday. They had 48 hours to make and submit a film. Each team was given a number and at 7pm they were given one of about 13 genres that corresponded with their number.
“We were given a sci-fi.”
All the teams also had to include certain elements. “Our technical element was an overhead shot, our sound element was laughter, and we had to have a physical element, which was wind.”
A double take was an action element they also had to include.
“Then you have to frantically brainstorm and pick an idea and write a script for it that night and then the following day we made the set.”
Hudson and her partner, Greg Gedson, are both archaeologists, so they stuck to an archaeological theme for their three-minute movie.
“We had to create a fake archaeological excavation, so a plastic skeleton, cow bones, some deer antlers, flake stone tools that my partner had made, they all got brought out.”
Their home at Waiotahe was the location for their film.
The team had only a digital SLR camera and filmed outdoors because they did not have any lighting.
“We didn’t have much in the way of gear and we wanted to keep it simple. Poor sound can kind of drag the film down, but to have good sound you have to have good equipment.
“And it also makes it more difficult to edit, so … this was a no dialogue film.”
The filming must be heaps of fun because Hudson keeps coming back to do it year after year.
“I have done it the last three years, kind of running the team [as director and writer], but I have done it several times before where I was an actor and that is a lot easier, you just turn up, play your part and go away again.”
Hudson said she roped in family members for the film.
“Fairren has been involved the times we have done it here. The first year she was our animal handler and last year, despite being the one person on the team who said she didn’t want to act, she ended up acting and this year she was camerawoman.”
Her 80-year-old father’s film course that he completed decades ago in his youth came in useful for the editing, she said.
This is also the first year heats have been held for the Vista Foundation 48Hours. Although the national competition has been run for 17 years, this is the third year that the Bay of Plenty has had its own regional competition.
Twenty-two teams involving 250 keen filmmakers entered in the Bay of Plenty and 11 have made it through to the finals. Their films will be screened at Rialto Cinema tomorrow.
The Bay of Plenty winner will be invited to attend the grand final event in Auckland on August 17.