Francis Swan’s play, Out of the Frying Pan, focuses on a group of actors sharing an apartment in New York. One of them states his biggest fear is finding out he isn’t as good as he thinks he is. That line hits a heavy chord and has always stayed with me. It made me realize that I have two choices in life. I can fear failure and never act on my dreams, or I can dive in and risk making a fool out myself. Those who know me will tell you I usually choose the latter.
Now is usually about the time when I hear people say, “Well, I would do (insert thing,) but I really don’t have the time.” I reply, “Can’t you come up with a way? If not, can’t you modify your dream to fit the resources you have? Besides how do you really know how much time something will take until you try it?”
This leaves a lot of people stymied. (Sounds of crickets in the background. Visions of tumbleweeds drifting past.)
How do you get past the roadblock and dive in when you are lost and don’t know where to start? It’s simple; give yourself a specific time frame. The 48 Hour Film Project was created with this in mind. (Was is that? You’ve heard of NaNoWriMo, right? This is, by far, more extreme.) Contestants are given a film genre, a required prop, a character, and a line of dialogue. They then have 48 hours to create a short film completely from scratch. Yep! That means write, cast, costume, secure locations, film, edit, add effects, compose music, and deliver a finished product. (Yeah, it’s hellish!)
My husband has done this twice. Both times it nearly killed us, but it was worth it. Can you possibly create a decent film in that period of time? You’d be surprised. The big thing is that we learned what we were capable of. I have to tell you, jumping in and making due with limited resources forced us to hone our crafts. In the end we were better for it and had achieved the goal of making a film. To some it was both their jumpstart and their crashing end. To us it proved what we already knew: We have the ways and means; we just need to suck it up and do something with them.
My husband was already making small films, but this really kick-started him into going for it. He has since, among other things, edited the feature film, Devious, Inc. (now available on Amazon and making the festival circuit,) and is in post-production for his own feature, I Work For NEMESIS.
What can you do in 48 hours? Where will it lead you?
I dare you to take the plunge! (And yeah, that’s me as Dyna Doom.)