On the night of October 23,2015 at approximately 7:30 pm something happened. The lighting was set the cameras were charged and the actors sat in my own living room rehearsing their lines. With shaky nerves and sweaty palms, I called everyone from the crew into a circle. I spoke “Alright, we have 6 hours to film this”. Its 43 degrees outside and we can’t waste valuable time doing numerous retakes. Please everyone, remember your parts, lines and positions”. Action!
This scene set the stage for a film competition I participated in October organized through the Eugene Film Society. It was a 72-hour film competition where the participants had to make a 3-minute horror film with a mandated line of dialogue and prop. This year was the line “Sometime, when people get scared they say and do terrible things” and the prop was a cell phone. Its the 3rd year they’ve hosted this competition which brought in film makers from all over Oregon. All finished films would screen at the Hult Center in downtown Eugene.
I joined the competition as a first time director along with numerous friends and family as film crew and actors. I chose to shoot the film on a 25-acre ranch in Crow, Oregon. With a handheld camcorder, the JVC GY-HM100 and 4 sets of of led flash photo tripods we began our shoot on the night of Oct 23rd at 7:30pm. The films title “SPECTACULUM” (Latin for “the show”) and synopsis was this: A couple visiting a country inn are hosted by an insidious man whom keeps a creature locked in his barn. As the night progresses the husband and wife become entangled in a horrific game of cat and mouse.
We shot from 7:30pm to 1:30am (24th). It was freezing cold out and the crew’s tensions were high as we came into the morning hours. Overall the filming was a success and we had over 780 clips and 6 hours of film. This is when we encountered a problem, I had no access to a computer that could run Adobe’s Final Cut Pro or IMovie. I contacted the only person whom had a computer that could run these programs and that was my father in-law who lived in Vancouver, Washington. He said I could go ahead and come up to edit. After filming till 1:30 am and cleaning up till 2:30 am, I woke up at 7:00am and drove to Vancouver. I edited the film from 10:00am Saturday morning till 4:00 pm the following day. It was a total of 20 hours editing and it damn near brought me close to going insane but, in the end I turned in the film by its deadline and was proud of my final product.
The films premier was on Oct 31st at the Hult Center. My whole crew and family friends were in attendance whom all were dressed to the tee in their finest clothes/ costumes. There were a total of 40 films submitted that were all shown in a randomized order. My film was show near the end. I’m not going to lie but, I was extremely nervous after seeing some really impressive films.
My film came in third place and was praised for the editing quality of it. The experience was amazing and having the opportunity to network with all local film makers and actors was so inspiring to continue my path in the media arts field.