Sunday night was the savage deadline for the San Antonio 48 Hour Film Project.
The teams needed to get their final edit into my clutches no later than 7:30.
I showed up at the drop off location — the bar / lobby of the Alamo Drafthouse — at about five o'clock Sunday afternoon. I met with Monica and Pete, my volunteers. And then we waited. A couple of teams showed up quite early. But most came just under the wire. I was constantly checking the nine dollar watch I had bought for this event. Celina, from Texas Public Radio, was roaming around with her Maranzt solid state recorder and head phones and shotgun mike. When we were about five minutes from the deadline she moseyed up to me and stuck that mike in my face. She asked me how many teams wouldn't make it — something like that. I was getting pretty antsy, because several people had told me or phoned me that there was a massive traffic jam caused by an accident on I-10 or loop 410. This was unfortunate, but there wasn't much I could do about it. As I was giving some vague answer to Celina, my cell phone rang. And, knowing that it must be a freaked-out team member, the girl grinned and made sure the microphone was close to my mouth as I tried to console some poor bastard who was probably going to be late because of insane traffic. I probably said something inane such as: “Now, I'm not suggesting that you get out of the car and start running — but can you see the sign for the Drafthouse from where you are?”
18 teams made it before deadline. One dropped out. And one (the team from Corpus Christi — yeah, you heard right) had sent their tape via a friend of a friend who was driving inland. Seems that the courier, realizing that she'd miss the 7:30 deadline, decided to continue on to her destination. Long story short, the tape eventually made it to me, after quite a convoluted journey.
And then there was Galen Church and the Bulverde Gentleman. They made it to the Drafthouse, in time, I believe, but they couldn't get their film off the laptop. They'd shot on high def, and were trying to get their editing software to print to tape or DVD on an NTSC SD format. When it was clear they'd not make the deadline, they just hung out with me at the bar ordering buffalo wings and imported beer as they tried various QuickTime formats, down-rez experiments, et al. They should have shot on standard definition. It's a real cute piece, corny as hell, but funny and effective. And they shot in a format that the 48HFP does not currently accept. True, others shot on HD (why, I can't even fathom), but they were savvy enough with the format and how their editing system could get that finished product to me in a screenable format. Finally, me and the Bulverde Gentlemen parted company at 11:30. The next day I met with Galen and got a useable version. And yes, that is allowed in the 48HFP rules. But the late films aren't allowed to make it to the national levels.
Here are a bunch of photos of the drop off.