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HMAF 72 Hour Film Fest

From noon on August 18 to noon on the 21st, us and other local filmmakers participated in the Huntington Music and Arts Festival's 72 Hour film fest. Each team is given a random prompt, ours was "computer + frighten," and we are to use that as inspiration to write, shoot and edit a short film that will show on the opening day of the week long HMAF. I made "ADAM: Artificially Developed Awareness and Memory."

Last night was the showing. I was particularly nervous about this screening. I typically do not like to be in a room when others watch anything I make, let alone a packed theater (which it pretty much was). That being said, the only way for me to watch something on a big screen is by being surrounded by others. The main reason I was worried about this screening was that I legitimately thought this short was one of the worst things I've made.

Due to the nature of the festival, between work and scheduling, I was not able to do the original idea conceived, which was going to involve Emily, Wes and JD. This short was super last minute and only involved me. I did not have the talent of others to lean on. Desperate to show SOMETHING (in a desperate attempt to watch something of mine in a theater), I came up with an idea that could be done absolutely by myself, alone, tired and manic in my basement.

I worked out the idea on Saturday (deadline for everything was in less than 24 hours) during work, which meant I could start shooting after I got off at 9:30pm. Having almost no time, I knew I could make this happen. It would be hours of constant work, but it was possible. Especially since during the work day I had started building some assets I knew I needed. When I got off work, I was about to start and then our power went out. Something about a falling tree that effected 1,200 people in the area. I was losing my mind.

Emily tried to make the best of things, which I appreciate, so we tried to relax and play board games by candle light until the power came back on. It was fun, but I couldn't get the time crunch out of my head. Earlier in the day, Emily had gone to Nate Cesco's office to record some lines for his 72 Hour entry Jewel Valley (which ended up being excellent), so she was in communication with him during this time. He kindly offered for me to come to his office and edit, but I had yet to even start shooting.

Finally the power came back on. I frantically began shooting. Chugging coffee, ripping the vape and packing several bowls, I barely needed any make up to make myself look miserable and tired for the shoot. I shot and edited back and forth non-stop. I had contacted Ian Nolte (the event coordinator and all around good guy) about potentially submitting later, out of competition, because I was cutting it close.

After all was said and done, I submitted on time some time after 11am on Sunday. I remember finally going to sleep absolutely hating what I had made because every single aspect of it was rushed, it didn't have my talented friends in it, and the dread set in. The week leading up to the screening on the 29th of August, it was always in the back of my mind that I should withdraw the submission because I thought it was awful.

The night of the screening was the first time I watched it since I finished. It went surprisingly well. Everything I intended to get a laugh got one, and many people, friends and strangers congratulated me on it. It was nice. Not only was it not a steaming pile of an incomprehensible mess that I thought it was, but people liked it. Even if no one liked it, that would have been okay because Emily loved it and that's my target audience. It's always a feel good bonus when others enjoy it.

The best film of the night was Kablonker's Hot Trash Dog Man, followed closely by the aforementioned Jewel Valley.

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