Asheville 48 Hour Film Project comes to an end

The Asheville 48 Hour Film Project came to a close this evening, as far as the filming and editing are concerned, but the week’s activities are only just beginning for the public. Tuesday through Thursday, the film submissions will be screened at Asheville Pizza and Brewing on Merrimon Avenue. Admission is $7 per person per showing.

On Friday evening, 25 teams of volunteers from around Asheville assembled to sign up for a whirlwind weekend of script-writing, casting, filming, editing and after-effects, with the goal of making a four-to-seven-minute film in 48 hours.

It’s been a chaotic weekend, Saturday especially, with long hours extending late into the night and challenges from changing weather. But if Team UNCA’s experience is any indication, it has been also a lot of fun.

For team UNCA, Saturday morning started bright and early at Zealandia Castle in order to film the main portion of the film. The team’s genre, fantasy film, was drawn by chance Friday evening at the kick-off. After some debate over whether to take a chance at another genre by drawing again — an option whose result must be accepted — Anne Slatton and team UNCA chose to stick with fantasy. Team members feared they might draw the musical genre as their wildcard pick, a seemingly unpopular genre for most teams.

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After a hot morning of shooting the Fates, three of the central film characters, rain threatened and the team pushed to wrap up its outdoor filming session and move on to MG Road for its second bout of filming. After a lot of work, one accidentally broken bottle of tequila (which was replaced by the team), and a second day of pizza, the team wrapped just in time for the restaurant staff to begin work for the day, and moved on to its third and final filming location.

At Suraj Spa, the final scenes of the day were filmed, and though fatigue was starting to be felt by everyone, the later the day got, the more fun team members seemed to have.

“Even though it’s exhausting, I think our team generally has a good time,” said Slatton, leader of Team UNCA.

Slatton has headed up Team UNCA for nine years, with her team winning best film twice and taking home numerous other awards.

“We have [won] more than one award almost every year — a range of one to four per year,” Slatton said, including best director, screenwriting, film, costumes, prop, line of dialogue, actress, ensemble acting and sound effects.”

The team’s capabilities were noted by Bruce Sales, producer of the film project’s Asheville event. “Anne almost has it down to a science; they win a lot,” he said.

The fun was apparent at the end of the day, when team members decided to douse one of the actors with water for no real filming or storytelling reason. The episode lifted spirits and energy that had flagged during the first 13 hours of the filming process.

At the end of the weekend, for team UNCA at least, it seemed a successful round of filming and editing. And the team managed to include all the elements required by the project and its genre.

The winners won’t be known for several days yet. “I don’t mention the awards until after the first screenings,” Sales said. “It’s like planning dinner just as you sit down to the first bite of lunch.The awards show, Best Of, will be July 9th.”

So, while the fun may have come to an end for the filming process, Asheville’s 48 Hour Film Project isn’t over yet. If Team UNCA’s film offers any clues to the sorts of things that will be screened this week, get ready for a few nights of fun watching the submissions this week.

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About Amber McGilva
Graduate of UNCA 2015 in Mass Communication.

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