Saturday. 1:00am. Walmart
The fluorescent lights flicker over head. Late-night shoppers wipe their eyes and manhandle carts filled with miscellaneous late-night purchases. I’m leaning against a poultry freezer, watching the shopping zombies pass, and continuously checking my watch. We have somewhere we need to be.
Trevr Merchant and I stand next to our cart in which a single bag of zipties and roll of plastic sheeting rest, drawing the attention of a few curious members of the stock team. Behind us, double doors swing open and Rodd wheels out a crate of egg cartons and helps us load the soppy containers into our cart with our other purchases. Five minutes later, purchases in hand, we scurry to the car, put it in gear, and head back to the basement at 440 Delaware.
Welcome to hour 5 of the 24-Hour Film Race.
Unrendered Productions, an off-shoot company of Perplexity Pictures, participated in the Denver 24-Hour Film Race May 18-19. Unlike many of my colleagues, who have participated in several of these events, this was my first experience working on a film-race. For those of you curious film-makers who are thinking of trying it out, here are 5 important things to keep in mind.
#1. Don’t worry about getting enough sleep. You won’t. So it’s not worth worrying about.
#2. It’s all about collaboration. It’s all about collaboration. So if you’re like me and think your ideas are God’s gift to man, find opportunities to excuse yourself and make coffee instead. The group’s story will be better than yours and your coffee will taste better than forcing your ideas down everyone’s throat.
#3. The prompt could be anything, so the story could be anything. You will get friendly with the 24-hour businesses in your area. You will make desperate phone calls at 2am trying to find things like- egg-cartons. You will feel crazy. You are. But don’t worry, you will also be shocked at how willing people are to help you.
#4. If you can do it without getting arrested, do. If you can’t, make sure someone has the money to bail you out.
#5. Zipties, Plastic Wrap, and duct-tape work great for Dexter. They’ll also work great for you. The three together make anything possible.
So, take it from a newbie, film-races are a lot of work, but you’ll learn faster and push yourself harder than imagined you could. And at the end of 24-Hours, you’ll have enough egg cartons to sound proof a room, your own collection of zip ties, and, most importantly…. a film to show for it.
About L. Watson
A Denver native and alumnus of Denver School of the Arts, Leah has been apart of the regional theatre scene from a young age. In 2007 she was selected as a NFAA ArtsWeek Theatre (Spoken Word) finalist and participated in the weeklong YoungArts Week in Miami Florida. After two years of BFA Dramatic Performance training at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she returned to Denver where she graduated with a BA in Theatre, Film, and Television Production from the University of Colorado. She is proud to have worked with The School at Steppenwolf, the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company, M2 Productions, and Perplexity Pictures.