Thursday, August 26, 2010

The 48 Hour Film Project

On August 1st at 4:00 p.m., I attended the final session of Richmond’s 48 Hour Film Project at the Byrd Theatre on Cary Street. I went because my friend Mary Lou Kline’s husband, son, and grandson (otherwise known as Kline Productions) had produced one of the films and I was interested on seeing their work.

The 48 Hour Film project challenges participants to create a seven-minute film from beginning to end in just 48 hours. Participants are given a genre, a character, a prop and a line of dialogue that must be incorporated into the film. Genre varies, but all participants must include in their films the same character, prop, and line of dialogue given. This year, they were as follows:

Character: a party planner named either Dwight or Danette Williams.
Prop: A CD
Line of dialogue: “How do I look?”

My plan was to stay long enough to see Kline Films’ production, an eerie piece entitled The Inheritance, after which I would scoot along and get back to my busy life.
Several shows preceded The Inheritance, however, and, of course, I got hooked and stayed to watch all ten films.

I was amazed at the professionalism of the films I saw. All had complete and well-written, stories, fabulous acting, skilled direction, and intriguing sets. I was expecting amateur hour, but what I saw definitely measured up to anything that I have seen come out of Hollywood lately.

The Inheritance was my favorite film, and not just because it was produced by friends. It had mystery, suspense, and a lot of heart as it followed a family to a lovely old home that was left to them after a loved one’s death. Of course, the home already had inhabitants, but not the kind that could be readily seen. Apparitions appeared only to the young daughter, who was enticed to follow them to their mysterious lair.

I wish I could remember the names of all the other production companies and their films. An Alfred Hitchcockian film about a young couple on their wedding trip intrigued me. A humorous film about a special agent (a Mad Magazine version of Jack Bauer) made me laugh out loud. All of the films not only held my attention, but were quite enjoyable. I was sorry that I had not attended all 4 sessions.

I now have on my favorites list. Once next year’s schedule is announced, I am going to clear my schedule and make sure to attend every session. I am finally starting to love Richmond.


  1. Richmond is just the right size as far as I'm concerned. There's good grit and good ritz and a lot of great stuff in between. Next time we're both within shouting distance of the James, let's meet for the world's best pizza (Bottom's Up) or the world's best squash casserole (Comfort). Two more reasons to love the place.

  2. Sounds good to me, Megan. I love Bottom's Up (though I think Bertucci's has the world's best. Squash casserole? Sounds wonderful.