2017 48 Hour Film Project - Obits
 
Last year I teamed up with my friends at Giant Cookie Films to enter the 48 Hour Film Project. It goes like this: at 7:00 Friday night, each team is assigned a theme and a set of requirements to include in their film. The film is due by 7:30 Sunday night. Easy!

Last year, we created a great film called Frequency (watch it here) which won a bunch of awards, including best film! I say "we" in a very casual way, because all I had to do was write and record the music. Guy Olivieri and Neil Fennell had the lion's share of the work: conceiving, writing, casting, directing, editing. . . I honestly don't have any idea what else went on with those two. I do know, however, that "sleeping" was low on the list of priorities.

The result of this weekend's work is a film called Obits. It's gloriously weird, wonderful, darkly hilarious, and I'm not allowed to show it to anyone until after it screens here in NYC next week. It's a gorgeous piece of work and I am so proud to be a part of this team! I'll share it here as soon as I am allowed.

Though Neil and Guy kept me posted about the project all day Saturday, my work didn't begin until  Saturday afternoon when Guy sent me the following: 

 

Hi,
So,  Here's the script.
The one thing I know we need is a bouncy, 50s-style, newsroom number to counterbalance the dark comedy.
From "an idea forms" on page 4 to "as the music ends" on page 7.
The thing that comes to mind is the theme from How to Succeed in Business.
Think Hudsucker Proxy.  Or Doris Day/Carey Grant movie.
Fire any thoughts at us!!!
-Guy

Got it. I went to work for a couple hours and sent them a seed of an idea. They loved it, I fleshed it out a touch and they loved it. Saturday night they were headed out to do some more filming, so we agreed they would film and edit through the night and send me the montage that needed this music by 5 AM. At that time, I would finish the music.

When I got up at 5 AM, a link to the rough cut was waiting for me in my inbox, as promised,  and I built the music to accompany the montage. It was super fun and you can give it a listen at the link above. I sent it to them for approval, and then in a few minutes I got this email:

Michael, can we call you?
N & G

Oh, Shit.

Nothing was wrong, except for the fact that they realized this whole musical idea was absolutely wrong for the film.  They asked if I could scrap the whole idea and start again. It was about 7:30 AM, 12 hours before the film was due. 

Sure. No problem.

In all honestly, it was no problem. It was absolutely invigorating and thrilling to have a new challenge. I don't want to share the new music I wrote until you can hear it in the film, but it worked great. Guy and Neil reportedly "ran around the office" in glee when they dropped my music into the film. So, it worked!

I met the Neil and Guy last night when they dropped off the film (with an hour to spare, mind you) and was super happy to meet Neil in person. I hung out for a while with some of the crew and the actors and felt really.... satisfied. Sitting in a pub in New York City with a bunch of actors and filmmakers with whom I just finished a really stunning project in less than 48 hours. When I was a little kid, I literally dreamed of having a life like this. And here I am like it just is, you know?

I get the same kind of charge and belief in myself from doing this project that I get from running Ragnar relays. I love this feeling of working with a team on something we all love, and the sensation of watching myself do something I didn't know I could do. 

Here's to carrying that forward into my day today, and the rest of my days. Maybe you can try it too?