Winter 2011 48/5 Winners, Take 2

Winter 2011 48/5 Winners, Take 2

The conclusion of the gripping story of the winter 2011 48/5 competition! As stated last time...

In East Lansing Film Festival 48/5 Film Contests, filmmakers write, shoot, edit and premiere an original five-minute film in only 48 hours. Teams are given three specific elements (a prop, a location and a line of dialogue) they must incorporate into their finished film, and each team draws a genre (comedy, drama, horror or action) from a hat. Finished films that meet the deadline are judged on how well they incorporate these elements.

Team Tell Stories also had to include a deck of cards, a bathroom and the line "until hell freezes over" – and also drew the genre of drama. But their approach was quite different.

Fellow producer and actress Erin Lietz explains that "Making a five minute film in 48 hours is both exhilarating and extremely frustrating. Our team tried to focus on telling a story that the audience could relate to. With 'Waiting,' I think we did just that. I know that it is not easy to authentically address pregnancy and fertility even in a full-length feature. So given our limited time frame and resources, I'm proud that Tell Stories was able to put together a short that many couples can relate to and enjoy."

Production team member and actor Ian Busch notes that "We had a small group, which was efficient in that it wasn't hard to delegate and there was always enough for everyone to do."

"Our core team was small, but well organized and extremely dedicated," says producer Tom Lietz. "This is the second 48/5 competition that several of us have worked on together, and I think that past experience contributed significantly to both our process and the finished feature." (The team's film "Exposure" took first place in the East Lansing Film Festival's inaugural 48/5 competition in 2006.)

"Where the majority of our 2006 48/5 short 'Exposure' was shot on a tape-based Panasonic Varicam, 'Waiting' was shot on a Panasonic AG-HPX500 and AG-HMC150, both file-based cameras. That made a huge difference in post-production, as we were able to begin editing almost immediately. While it was still a rush to the finish, those extra few minutes made a huge difference."

Roles were turned for the leading acting talent, who usually are involved behind the camera. Ian says, "It was great to focus on acting and having fun with it. In between shots, I set up lights, things like that, but a lot of the time, I got to set aside the worries of production, schedules, lighting and so forth and just focus on acting and being talent—not filming, editing, directing and producing." (Ian is an award-winning film producer in his own right.)

"Waiting," "The Encore," and other honorees from the ELFF Winter 48/5 competition will be screened as a part of the 14th annual East Lansing Film Festival, running November 9-17, 2011.

Tom notes that "Competition is a tremendous motivator. It's inspiring to see what all of the other teams (including our friendly rivals, Big Foot Films) were able to accomplish within such tight constraints."

Here's "Waiting," winner of 3rd prize in the Winter 2011 48/5 Film Competition.