Film: Workin' on the Weekend

Here's how Pizza Infinity made a movie in 48 hours

Graham Lienhart

Kendall Bruns directs Liz McArthur in Pizza Infinity's latest 48 Hour Film Project offering, Hang in There

Editor's Note: CityBeat asked local filmmaker Kendall Bruns to keep a diary during this year's 48 Hour Film Festival. This is his report.

This was Pizza Infinity's third year participating in the 48 Hour Film Project, an international filmmaking event that challenges teams to write, direct and edit a four- to seven-minute film over the course of a weekend. At 7 p.m. on Friday each team is given a randomly selected genre as well as certain elements that must appear in everyone's films: a character, a prop and a line of dialogue. Films have to be completed and turned in by 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kickoff Event at Media Bridges (6:07 p.m. Friday)

Only one person from each of the 60 teams is allowed to attend, so my filmmaking partner, Josh Flowers, is waiting outside the window like a stray cat.

Time to Start Working (7:18 p.m. Friday)

Our genre is "Film de Femme."

Our required character is Scott or Sarah Morton, assistant. Our object has to be something purple and our line of dialogue is, "You know what they say." In the next three hours we need to come up with a basic plot, who's going to have what role and where we're going to film so that when all the cast and crew meet at my apartment we can give assignments. Easy.

Outline Complete (9:09 p.m. Friday)

We've already hit a few snags. The comedy troupe from Chicago (OneTwoThree) that we'll be using as actors got a nasty flat tire, so they're going to get here much later than planned. Usually Josh and I write by ourselves, but when we work with OneTwoThree it's more of a collaborative effort so we've been passing concepts back and forth over the phone. While we're mostly on the same page, they're not as excited about our idea for the ending. We'll convince them to go our way once we're all in the same room. Ultimately Josh and I can do this with or without them, and that fear will give us an edge.

Script Finished (4:42 a.m. Saturday)

Writing with five people is not the most efficient way to work. OneTwoThree arrived hours behind schedule and immediately began drinking my liquor as we debated the ending. Eventually we decided that we'd just dive into writing and figure out the end when we got there. As the hours passed, the members of OneTwoThree fell asleep, one by one. The ending that Josh and I wanted made it into the script by default, as sleeping bodies make notoriously bad debaters. In addition to a script, our film has a title now: Hang in There. I'm going to try and rest for a bit. I'll be lucky if I get two hours of sleep before our 8 a.m. call time.

The First Shot (10:38 a.m. Saturday)

We've been here for almost three hours and we're just now about to roll tape. It always takes a long time to get set up for the first shot, but usually things pick up after that. Thanks to one of our cast member's connections — and the fact that it's my alma mater — we're filming at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.

End in Sight? (5:24 p.m. Saturday)

We have one and a half pages (out of seven) left to shoot. I was kind of panicked when we broke for lunch having shot only one page, but we've really picked up the pace since then. We're supposed to be done here by 6:30 p.m. I think we might make it.

Done Filming (7:03 p.m. Saturday)

We just filmed our last shot! The cast and crew have all done amazing, unpaid work. It's impressive to see how supportive and hard-working everyone is on set. I'm always encouraged by their overwhelming trust.

Post-Production (9:14 p.m. Saturday)

It took us a long time to get everything packed up and back to normal at the Art Academy (two hours late), but we're finally at my apartment to begin post-production. We had an editor, Greg Nicholson, on set and he's on his way here to continue the process. This is the first time we've worked with an editor (Josh and I usually do it ourselves), and I'm hoping Greg's help will free me up for other things (like music and sleep).

Rough Edit Complete (1:13 a.m. Sunday)

We have a good sense of how the film is going to turn out and what work lies ahead. Having a dedicated editor as well as a script supervisor (Katherine Steele) has really made editing much more efficient for us than it's been in the past. I'm having trouble focusing, so I'm going to attempt to sleep a little and then start working on music bright and early.

Back to Work (7:18 a.m. Sunday)

OneTwoThree went out drinking last night while we edited and returned to my apartment (where all five of them are staying) while I was sleeping. They tormented me for a while, but I managed to get about four hours of sleep despite their interruptions. Greg and Josh will be coming here in a few hours for more editing and I want to get a jump on writing music before they arrive.

All Done! (7:04 p.m. Sunday)

It's hard to describe the manic rush of creative work that we've done in the past 12 hours. I spent a lot of my energy writing and recording music in between making editing decisions with Greg and Josh. We're about to head out the door to walk down to Fountain Square and turn in our completed film. I'm confident that we can make the three-block walk with plenty of time to spare before the 7:30 p.m. deadline. My fatigue has been offset by the adrenaline rush and pride that comes from finishing on time and on mark.

HANG IN THERE, Pizza Infinity's short film about one woman's struggles in the workplace, will premiere at the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Saturday. 48 Hour Film Project screenings begin at 10 a.m. and continue through 8:30 p.m.