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On Making a Movie (in 54 hours)

I have this theory that not a single person on this Earth would say no to the question, "do you want to help make a movie?". I've never met a person who doesn't like movies, and what fan wouldn't want to be a part of something they love?

Here's the deal, though: movies are work. Anybody who thinks making a movie is just pointing a camera and playing pretend is so, so wrong. How do I know this? I've done it.

This weekend, a friend and I participated in Knoxville's 54 Hour Film Festival, a competition of 5-7 minute films that are made over a weekend. If that time crunch didn't seem daunting enough, we are also given a genre, line, action, prop, and, after 24 hours, curveball element to include in the film.

It may sound easy, and, to be honest, I get why it might, but struggling to get schedules together, find locations, write a story, and shoot and edit a piece (and remember to sleep and eat) was definitely a challenge. An awesome challenge.

In talking to people about the film, many have asked about the awards it could win, and, while all of that stuff is great, I just think it's cool that we made a movie. It's an accomplishment, and we have something to show for it.

Creative work is definitely hard work. Ask anybody who's ever tried to construct a story or a visual image, and they'll tell you that a lot of time, thought, and energy. We're basically creating things out of thin air. That's why having a finished product, seeing something formed out of nothing, is one of the most rewarding and validating things I think a person can do, no matter what it is or how long it takes.

After 7 hours of prep, 12 hours of shooting, and 10 of editing, we have a five and a half minute film. Of course we hope people will enjoy it, and it would be great to win something, but it exists, and that's the coolest thing of all. I love watching movies, but I love making them even more.

If you'd like to see the film, click here. A little warning: the film includes references to drug use, so if that's not something you're comfortable with, it might not be the best thing to watch.

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