Last week in the hermetically-sealed room of an undisclosed location, three shadowy figures assembled in the gloom of a single candle to make decisions of grave importance about this year's 48 Hour Film Project. Sworn to secrecy under penalty of who knows what, this trio -- this Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego of the movies -- were charged with the task of deciding the winners of this year's bout of Cinema in a Rush. All right, so what really happened is Marcianne Miller, James Cassara, and I met in the deserted Cinema Lounge at The Carolina (which is relatively dark) to discuss our various takes on this year's entries. But that doesn't sound nearly as impressive, does it? Anyway, we thrashed and hashed and bashed it around until we arrived at the conclusions below. We've done this before, of course, and every year I point out to my compatriots that I'm the one who ends up taking the brunt of any objections to the results because I'm the one who's most publicly accessible. Personally, I'm of the opinion that anyone who can put together a coherent movie from scratch in 48 hours should get a prize -- and probably psychiatric treatment.
I can't believe there's anyone out there who doesn't know how this works by now, but in case there still are a few who've not been initated, I'll throw out the basics once again. The filmmaking teams are assigned a genre (though I personally don't think "silent movie" is really a genre) in which to work, while everyone is given the same line of dialogue (this year it was "Who are you looking for?"), a prop (this time a magnet), and a character name (Harold or Hilda Pineda, an elected official). They then have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit, and score a finished film -- and turn it in on time. Every year, Justin Souther says that he and I are going to do this "next year." Every year, we somehow don't, which mostly suits me.
This year the crop of films submitted were of generally high quality, and were on the whole the slickest I've seen in terms of production values. That's the sort of thing I'm glad to see, though it makes the judging just that much harder. In any case, the results were announced last night, so we can finally make them public. So without further ado and all that, below is the complete list of this year's winners.
Best Film: "Hickory Dickory Dock" by Out of State Bank
Best Directing: George Gross for "Hickory Dickory Dock" by Out of State Bank
Best Writing: Katie Langwell, Anne Slatton, Peggy Weil for "The Secret Life of Bérenice" by Team UNCA
Best Cinematography: Philip Nagel, Charlie Cutler, Jared Kay for "Token Of Hope" by Anonymous
Best Editing: Philip Nagel, Jared Kay for "Token Of Hope" by Anonymous
Best Actor: Will Arledge for "Dave's Spirit Quest" by #heatstressinsomniaemotionalbreakdown
Best Actress: Aislin Freya Pax for "Sleepyhead" by All Around Artsy
Best Musical Score: David Cieri for "Hickory Dickory Dock" by Out of State Bank
Best Sound Design: Adam Johnson, Matthew Neilson for "Trip" by More Chi Black Mountain
Best Graphics: Yeager St. John, Shalamar Blevins for "The Secret Life of Bérenice" by Team UNCA
Best Special Effects: "Anything To Survive" by Twin Path Productions
Best Make-up: Raina Lee Scott for "Sleepyhead" by All Around Artsy
Best Costumes: Carrie Murray for "The Dark Dealer" by WPCC
Best Use of Genre: "Malk" by Team Long Shot
Best Use of Line of Dialogue: "The Secret Life of Bérenice" by Team UNCA
Best Use of Prop: "The Touch" by Blue Ridge Community College
Best Use of Character: "Trip" by More Chi Black Mountain
Audience Award Winner: Group A, "Malk" by Team Long Shot
Audience Award Winner: Group B, "Dave's Spirit Quest" by #heatstressinsomniaemotionalbreakdown