Last week, I took place in the YFS 48 Hour Film Challenge. Along with five friends, we created a music video to a Michael Feuerstack song called “Out of Season.” Our team was myself, Bailey Staffen, Graham Lang, Tara McCarthy, Andrew Stratis and Brett Elliot.
Our combined film experience is roughly equivalent to our combined rugby experience, which is to say we had very little. Save Brett, our team was better with words than film.
The rules are simple: pay $30 and wait for an email on Friday at 5 p.m. that contains a theme that teams use in their video.
This year’s theme was outdoors.
Videos are due Sunday at 5 p.m. Whether this is strictly enforced is unclear to me, as we handed in our video at 1 p.m., before enjoying celebratory burgers at the Gold Rush.
We also had celebratory pizza on Friday night, celebratory burgers on Friday night, celebratory McDonald’s Bacon and Egg McMuffins on Saturday morning, and celebratory ice cream throughout the entire weekend, just to keep our spirits up and our diets down.
We had sketched out a few ideas, but were not set on one idea until Friday night. Tara had taken a previous mentioned theme (ice cream truck in the winter) and created a story around it. Previous discussions about this idea didn’t have a clear concept, but Tara sketched a 3-part story that had a start, middle, and end.
Seeing as we had numerous indoor shots to film, we started right away. Thankfully, Brett was on our team, or this article would be completely different. It would more than likely discuss how five idiots sat around eating pizza and burgers the entire weekend and put together a mediocre at best video.
We lined up a food truck to rent for the weekend, but it was located at the Carcross cutoff. Driving the truck into town could have been its own movie – we stalled on the highway once, had one tire with roughly 20 psi, and weren’t sure which gear we were driving in. Coming down Two Mile Hill was ridiculous, but we eventually got the truck into town. It would continue to plague us, stalling intermittently and not starting at random times. It worked wonderfully for the film.
On Saturday, we started off with celebratory McDonald’s and started filming around noon. We parked at Rotary Park and filmed a variety of scenes, including one with a stolen flamingo. We finished around 2 p.m., so we went to review footage and start editing. We also went for naps because that’s what Saturdays are for. Saturday night consisted of shooting the final indoors shots, and then celebrating with ice cream cake.
We edited until roughly 11 p.m., at which point we were 95 per cent done. Sunday morning was celebratory vegan waffles and some minor colour correction. By 1 p.m., we were handing in our video at the Yukon Film Society office.
The entire experience was not stressful at all, nor should it have been. Our team was collaborative on all issues and worked well together. We had a varied skillset that allowed us to work to our strengths, while others worked to theirs. Our newly created, but potentially fake, company, called What If Productions, is already waiting for next year.
As a bonus, we won the award for audience favourite.