48 Hours with Mattie D

In June 2006, I had the privilege of seeing Matt DeCample at work during a weekend of the 48 Hour Film Project.

I was allowed to tag along to take photos and document the experience of the 48 Hour Film Project process. (Photos which I cannot seem to find, but are tucked away somewhere on a disc to be found in time.)

We were gathered at the Public Theatre space for a brief pep talk before Matt and Drake Mann went to the drawing. It was there that the team would learn its Genre, the character’s name, the prop, and the line of dialogue that had to be included in the film.

In their absence, someone had cracked, “I don’t care what genre we get, as long as it isn’t Action. I mean how do you shoot and edit an action film in 48 hours?”  So of course when Matt and Drake walked in — the genre was Action.

Matt was so clearly in his element. Just a look at him and one could tell that the wheels were turning in his mind. He led the group through brainstorming.  I don’t remember who actually came up with the final idea, but I suspect it was Matt.

The Action genre was to be played out in an office. A worker had only a few minutes to get a fax sent (remember it was 2006) and had to dodge a number of obstacles along the way in order to get it done.

And we were off!

Matt was the screenwriter — and to play one of the distractions, an impatient boyfriend who kept calling the office worker as she was trying to finish her task.  Chris Cranford was the director, cinematographer, and editor. Seeing Matt and Chris, two guys who loved films, talk in a kind of short-hand was entertaining.  The opening credits stripped across books in a law library in a manner similar to the opening of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest – something that Matt and Chris thought not only would be fun to create but would also add a layer to the movie evoking a Hitchcokian tone.

We broke around 1 in the morning. Matt went to work on the script.

A few hours later we gathered in a downtown law firm. Matt had about half the script written and the rest outlined. It was enough that Chris could map out the shots and start the filming.

As is the case with any film, there are always adjustments that need to be made. Matt was unfazed. When not needed for a scene, he was often set up in an office typing away at the script. Or he was helping the camera crew. Or he was entertaining everyone with a wry observation about something.

Throughout the 48 Hours Matt was very much the man with the plan for the project. He did not lead from the front or the top, however, He led from the center of the pack in a collaborative and encouraging manner — because that was Matt.

I don’t think he slept any the weekend.  He did not intrude on the editing or scoring processes (Buddy Habig created an original score which added immensely to the film), he contributed insight and was a sounding board. And quite frankly, he just reveled in the entire process and the somewhat absurdity of what was being undertaken. He loved every second of it.

I cannot remember everyone who was in the film. (I tried to find it on YouTube, but the earliest films from Little Rock were 2007.)  I do remember the late, great Fran Austin played the overbearing boss whose demand set the scenario in motion.  Ruth Shepherd played the overeager office manager trying to get everyone to sign a greeting card. She popped up several times as an obstacle. Once she handed the card to me in an uncredited cameo of my right hand.

But the person who pops up in my mind the most is Mattie D. I am sure when I find those photos again I will see him in many of them. He seemed to be everywhere.

And just like with everything he undertook whether in his professional career or as an avocation – he was always completely Mattie D.

48 Hour Film Project Awards Program tonight!

2014 48hrThe Little Rock Film Festival  produced the 2014 48 Hour Film Project that kicked off June 27-29.  They had a great weekend of premiere screenings last week and are gearing up for the Awards Ceremony and screening of the Top 10 Audience Choice films.

The ceremony will be held at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater in the River Market in downtown Little Rock, home of the Little Rock Film Festival. The show starts at 7pm and tickets are only $12! The Top 10 audience picks will be screened throughout the ceremony as well as awards handed out for Best Story, Best Performance, Best Cinematography, Best Film and more.

 

TOP 10 AUDIENCE CHOICE:
Grundle Productions – “Silent But Deadly”
Team Bearshark – “Book of Lambs”
Flokati Films – “Sensitivity Training”
Just a Bunch of Losers Making a Movie – “Open Bar Closed Casket”
Misfit Cyclops – “Tellervisions”
Take 6 – “My Stepdad Zoltar”
Trieschmann Productions – “Tunnel Vision”
Rambunctious Roughians – “Manifesto”
Walkie Talke – “Tempus Voyage”
Faux Pas Productions – “Fortune’s Fool”

 

BEST OF NOMINEES:

Best Film

  • Joshua Harrison, Team Bearshark “Book of Lambs”
  • Tim Trieschmann, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Johnnie Brannon, Flokati Films “Sensitivity Training”
  • Alison Minor, Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”

 

Best Director

  • Joshua Harrison, Team Bearshark, “Book of Lambs
  • David Bogard/Tim Trieschmann, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Johnnie Brannon, Flokati Films, “Sensitivity Training”
  • Scott McEntire, Clever Alibi Productions, “Avarice”

 

Best Performance

  •  Jay SC Morgan, Grundle Productions “Silent But Deadly”
  • Alanna Newton, Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Bradley Gamble, Filmmaker’s Corner “Zoltar the Great!”
  • Tom Kagy, Clever Alibi Productions “Avarice”

 

Best Story

  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”
  • Faux Pas Productions “Fortune’s Fool”
  • Misfit Cyclops “Teller Visions”
  • My Place Productions “Fate’s Helping Hand”

 

Best Editing

  • Team Bearshark “Book of Lambs”
  • Evan Pierce Productions “The Run Through”
  • Agency 501 “Into The Black”
  • East 8 Productions “Zoltar’s Wacky Adventure”

 

Best Music

  • Four on the Floor “Innocence Lost”
  • Walkie Talkie Productions “Tempus Voyage”
  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”
  • Wah Bit “Clarity”

 

Best Cinematography

  • Agency 501 “Into the Black”
  • Walkie Talkie Productions “Tempus Voyage”
  • Trieschmann Productions “Tunnel Vision”
  • Faux Pas Productions “Fortune’s Fool”

 

Best Use of Character

  • Rambunctious Roughians “Manifesto”
  • Reel J “Fast Forward”
  • Misfit Cyclops “Teller Visions”
  • Take 6 “My Stepdad Zoltar”

 

Best Use of Prop

  • Not For You Productions “Who the Hell is SP?”
  • Just a Bunch of Losers Making a Movie “Open Bar Closed Casket”
  • East8 Productions “Zoltar’s Wacky Adventure”
  • New Trick Productions “Crossed”

 

Best Use of Dialogue

  • Arkansas Film & Music “Last Ride”
  • Grundle Productions “Silent But Deadly”
  • Agency 501 “Into the Black
  • Flokati Films “Sensitivity Training”
You can purchase your tickets to the Best of Ceremony and Top 10 Screening on Saturday, July 19th at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater here

 

48 Hour Film Project this weekend in Little Rock

2014 48hrLittle Rock will be overrun with filmmakers this weekend as the annual 48 Hour Film Project takes place from June 27 – 29.

From conception to post-production, participating teams have only 48 hours to make movie magic.  Filmmakers must write, cast, produce and edit a four to seven minute film in two days. Each team is given a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must be used. The story is up to them.

“[The] 48Hour is a great experience for filmmakers and film fans alike who want to get a taste of what it’s like to complete a short film from scratch,” said Levi Agee, producer of the LRFF 48 Hour Film Project. “You’ll never participate in anything like it. This is Little Rock Film Festival’s fifth year supporting the film festival and we are all very excited to see what Little Rock puts up on the big screen.”

At the end of the weekend, each team will submit their completed film, which will be screened in the near future.

Registration is $175. Anyone interested can register here.  For more information, visit the website.

Little Rock Horror Picture Show – March 20-23

logoThe third annual Little Rock Horror Picture Show will be March 20-23. This year the festival is teaming up with the Arkansas Food Bank to “Take a Bite out of Hunger” because going hungry is a scary thing for too many families and children in the state of Arkansas. If you bring three or more non-perishable food items when you purchase tickets to LRHPS you’ll get $5 off the price of one full pass or $3 off the price of one day pass.

Opening Night
Opening Night festivities include a special guests Brooke Butler and Tom Williamson, the stars of All Cheerleaders Die! The two will be on hand to take part in a special Q&A with festival goers following the film.

Following the film there will be a party in true LRFF Fashion at WT Bubba’s featuring music from Bonnie Montgomery and Nathan Howdeshell!

World Shorts
This year’s Little Rock Horror Picture Show is PACKED with shorts from all over the world! As always we have horror shorts, but this year we have quite a few animation shorts, science fiction shorts as well as a steam punk film. Make sure you get your passes soon because you don’t want to miss any of these films!

Forest of Shadows – Jeanna Kim
Edward the Damned – John Weckworth
Flesh Computer – Ethan Shaftel
Songs in the Key of Death – Edward Valibus Phillips
What’s Left Behind – Dana Fytelson
Phill Tippett’s MADGOD: Part 1 – Phil Tippett
The Dark Walk Backward – Kris Phipps
AM/FM – Carlos G. Gananian
There’s an Octopus in Your Head – Ari Grabb
Oculus – Gianni Carella
The Carriage or: Dracula & My Mother – Ben Gordon
Liebe – Cameron Macgowan
Desert Road Kill – Michael Carreno
Tunnels – David C. Thompson
Arcane – Bastien Belvaux
Something Wicked Dwells – Waide Riddle
Green Eyed – Nathaniel Lindsay
The Wars of Other Men – Mike Zawacki
The Shooting of Barry Miller – C. Alec Rossel
Lonely Hearts – Leon Chambers
The Pallor – Jonathon Cuartas
The Crawler – Seth Brady
Belly of the Wolf – Mark Fisher
Dia de Los Muertos – Gigi Saul Guerrero

Made in Arkansas
The Made in Arkansas line up is pretty big this year. Not only are is the LRHPS showing a feature made in Arkansas, the festival is also showing the horror/sci-fi films from last year’s 48 Hour Film Project along with a wonderful line up of horror shorts from all over Arkansas.

This year the festival is showing the premiere of Steal Kill Destroy from Carson and Garrison Martin and starring Gunnar Fritz Stansson. A story about a petty thief who leads two gullible documentarians down a path of theft, debauchery, and murder.

SHORTS:
Of Hope and Futility – Al Topich
One Please – Jesse Burkes
Turn Right on Madness – Sarah Jones
The Revelator – David Bogard
Campout – Tony Gschwend
The Feeding Box – Jacob Ransom

 

Here is a draft of the schedule – subject to change. To be sure to keep current, visit their Facebook page.

LRHS 2014 sked

Little Rock Film Festival Celebrates Opening of Ron Robinson Theater

lrff_mp_hdr_logoLast week the new Ron Robinson Theater opened in the Arcade Building at the corner of President Clinton and River Market.  One of the anchors of this facility is the Little Rock Film Festival.
To celebrate the grand opening, the Little Rock Film Festival has scheduled a series of events.
Things kick off tonight with the documentary Ain’t In It for My Health.  This honest look at the life and career of Arkansas native and music legend Levon Helm was one of the highlights of the 2013 Little Rock Film Festival.  The film starts at 7pm.  It will be followed by a Q&A with Amy Helm.  Then at 9pm, Amy Helm and Handsome Strangers will take the stage for a concert.

On Saturday, January 18, at 3pm, the Ron Robinson Theater will be screen the “Best of the LRFF’s 48 Hour Film Project.”  the titles shown will be La Grande Fete, Surprise Party, Abbatoir, Vacation, The Door, The Plumber, Last Chance Romance, Drain, The Third Save, and Deuces.  

At 7pm on the 18th, the documentary Sleepy LaBeef Rides Again will be shown.  This documentary/concert film about Arkansas native Sleepy LaBeef will be followed by a Q&A with Sleepy LaBeef and Dave Pomeroy.  At 8:30pm, LaBeef and Pomeroy will be in concert.

On Monday, January 20 at 7pm, the HBO Documentary Film Moms Mabley will be screened.  A special Martin Luther King Day presentation about the iconic African American standup comedienne Jackie “Moms” Mabley, who broke racial and sexual boundaries and continues to inspire comedians to this day. In her directorial debut, Whoopi Goldberg pays homage to this pioneering legend.

Tuesday, January 21 will feature a program entitled “Locals Rule” at 7:30 pm.  These standout  Arkansas short films from the first seven years of Little Rock Film Festival represent some of the most creative work on the national festival circuit. From offbeat comedies to Gothic tales, these films show the vibrancy of the Arkansas Film Community.  The titles to be showns are Ballerina, Cain and Able, Mary, The Orderly, Pillow, Spanola Pepper Sauce, and The Van.

Wednesday, January 22 at 7:00pm may seem more like Halloween as The Little Rock Horror Picture Show presents One Please and Contracted.

  • One Please– Summers in suburbia get weird when Michael Berryman comes to town. The short film is an Arkansas premiere from the award winning team behind ‘Pillow’.
  • Contracted – Russellville native Eric England returns to Arkansas with his latest project, Contracted, a feature length thriller about what can go wrong when the party goes out of hand. England’s previous films, Madison County and Roadside, both screened at the Little Rock Horror Picture Show. Director Eric England and actress Najarra Townsend will be in attendance.

On Thursday, January 23 at 7:30pm, an episode of the Sundance series “Rectify” will be shown.  The Sundance series, “Rectify,” created by former Little Rock resident Ray McKinnon, has deservedly landed on many critics’ best of the year list. The series follows Daniel Holden as he struggles to deal with life on the outside when DNA evidence releases him from prison  after he served 19 years  for a rape conviction. Following a screening of Episode 4 from the first season, writer Graham Gordy will discuss the project.

The week-plus long series will culminate on Saturday, January 25, with a screening of Ladder 49 at 7pm.  North Little Rock native film director Jay Russell will be in town to present his film, Ladder 49, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. Ladder 49 is a 2004 film centered around the heroics of fictional Baltimore firefighter Jack Morrison, who is trapped inside a warehouse fire, and his recollection of the events  that got him to that point.  Following the screening of Ladder 49 the Little Rock Film Festival will host a grand opening party in the lobby of the Ron Robinson Theater. Music, Food and Drink provided.

48 Hour Film Project Awards Tonight

48HFP logoThe Little Rock Film Festival’s 48 Hour Film Project is nearly wrapped for 2013. This year was a whirlwind of anticipation, anxiety, excitement, and energy as the 31 teams produced short cinematic treasures in only 48 Hours. The audiences guffawed, gasped, and sometimes groaned before selecting their Top 10 favorites of the screening nights.

The following films will be playing at the Best Of Screening and Awards Ceremony tonight at 7pm at Wildwood Park for the Arts. The lineup in no particular order as voted by the audiences are:

  • La Grande Fete by Flokati Films (Operetta)
  • Surprise Party by AndrewMFilms (Comedy)
  • Vacation by Something Clever (Vacation or Holiday Film)
  • Abattoir by Team Bearshark (Buddy Film)
  • The Door by The Immaculate Production (Thriller/Suspense)
  • The Plumbmeler by Altered Egos (Martial Arts)
  • Last Chance Romance by Domino Pictures (Dark Comedy)
  • Drain by Raymond Roquello and His Orchestra (Found Footage)
  • The Third Save by Whiffle Powder Productions (Superhero)
  • Deuces! by Clever Alibi Productions (Mystery).

In addition to playing the Top 10 Audience favorites at the Award Ceremony we will also announce and award the Best Film of Little Rock that will go on to represent the city at the national competition for the 48 Hour Film Project in Hollywood! The nominations were very difficult for the judges this year who will remain anonymous until after the ceremony and I don’t envy them because there were so many great films.

The nominations for the awards are as follows:

Best Film

  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Joshua Harrison)
  • La Grande Fete Flokati Films (Johnnie Brannon)
  • Surprise Party AndrewMFilms (Andrew McMurray)
  • Metafloor Fort Smith Film Mafia (Jeff Carter)

Best Directing

  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Joshua Harrison)
  • Surprise Party AndrewMFilms (Andrew McMurray)
  • Miss Otis Regrets Down River Productions (David Bogard)
  • Now You See Me Grundle Productions (Kelly Griffin)

Best Story

  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Joshua Harrison, John Schol, Matthew Maguire)
  • Last Chance Romance Domino Pictures (Lauren Walker)
  • Miss Otis Regrets Down River Productions (Jim Linsley, Wanda Linsley, Jim Jolly, David Bogard, Sherri Andrews, Ruth Shepherd)
  • Surprise Party AndrewMFilms (Andrew McMurry, Matthew McMurry, Joe Ochterbeck, Austin Blunk, Garrett Whitehead, Spencer Waldner)

Best Actor

  • Now You See Me Grundle Productions (Jay Morgan)
  • Drain Raymond Roquello and his Orchestra (Mike Brabender)
  • Surprise Party AndrewMFilms (Austin Blunk)
  • Shillelagh Dirty Gnome Productions (Ed Lowry)

Best Actress

  • The Door The Immaculate Production (Holly Mary Anne Hall)
  • Community Cove Filmmakers Corner (Keshia Walton)
  • La Grande Fete Flokati Films (Karen Clark)
  • Dateable Evan Pierce Productions (Rachel Jarchow)

Best Cinematography

  • Last Chance Romance Domino Pictures (Brent Walker)
  • MetaFloor Fort Smith Film Mafia (Charlie Ryan)
  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Joshua Harrison)
  • Drain Raymond Roquello and His Orchestra (Charlie Brady)

Best Editing

  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Joshua Harrison)
  • Drain Raymond Roquello and His Orchestra (Charlie Brady)
  • Metafloor Fort Smith Film Mafia (Charlie Ryan)
  • Vacation Something Clever (Jack Turner, Lorenzo Balderas, Drew Brown)

Best Music

  • La Grande Fete Flokati Films (Sam Clark et al.)
  • Dateable Evan Pierce Productions (Jonathan Glisson)
  • Forever and Again One of Many (Various)
  • Abbatoir Team Bearshark (Matthew Cronk, Luke Fain)

Best use of Prop

  • Shillelagh Dirty Gnome Productions
  • Community Cove FilmMakers Corner
  • La Grande Fete Flokati Films

Best use of Line of Dialogue

  • Now You See Me Grundle Productions
  • Plumb Out of Luck Heads or Tales
  • Tai Chi Child The Movie: The Movie die katze und die hunde

Best use of Character

  • Dateable Evan Pierce Productions
  • Scheit Happens Kaleidoscope Media
  • Halloween Revenge Reel J

More information about the films and the 48 Hour Film Project including where you can get tickets for the Awards Show can be found at http://www.48hourfilm.com/littlerock. You can also email littlerock@48hourfilm.com for more info.

48 Hour Film Project this weekend in Little Rock

48HFP-Poster-1024x724

Little Rock will be overrun with filmmakers this weekend as the Little Rock Film Festival hosts its fourth annual 48 Hour Film Project from August 16 – 18.

From conception to post-production, participating teams have only 48 hours to make movie magic.  Filmmakers must write, cast, produce and edit a four to seven minute film in two days. Each team is given a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must be used. The story is up to them.

“[The] 48Hour is a great experience for filmmakers and film fans alike who want to get a taste of what it’s like to complete a short film from scratch,” said Levi Agee, producer of the LRFF 48 Hour Film Project. “You’ll never participate in anything like it. This is Little Rock Film Festival’s fourth year supporting the film festival and we are all very excited to see what Little Rock puts up on the big screen.”

At the end of the weekend, each team will submit their completed film, which will be screened on August 29 – 31 at the Bank of America Building in downtown Little Rock.

Registration is $160. Anyone interested can register here.  For more information, visit the Little Rock Film Festival website.