48 Hour Film Project


This year, Vidzu Media and it’s third-year team – “Green Eggs & Cams” – once again embarked on the seemingly-impossible task of creating a short film in a mere 48 hours.

That’s right, start to finish / wall to wall / script to screen / and any other catchphrase you can think of, we had a lot of work to do, and in the case of the 48 Hour Film Project – St. Louis, we had very little time to do it.

Check out the finished film and the story of its creation below!

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably familiar with the way 48 Hour Film Projects work, but here’s a quick recap:

You receive your assignment at approximately 7:30p on Friday night and 48 hours later (7:30p on Sunday night) you must turn in the finished product.

Every team gets a handful of “assignments” and they are random from year to year. This year the required elements were:

  • Character: John or Jane Cartwell, Detective
  • Prop: Paint
  • Line: “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.”

And what might be the most important assignment – your GENRE. Every team gets to draw their own random genre and this year our team ventured into uncharted territory with Horror.

Here’s a brief rundown of how OUR 48 hours went:

  • Friday night, 7p – midnight(ish) – BRAINSTORM
  • Midnight(ish) – morning(ish) – WRITE
  • Saturday morning, 7a – Saturday night, 9p – SHOOT
  • Also Saturday, 12p – Saturday night(ish) – BEGIN EDIT
  • Late Saturday night – Sunday morning – EDIT, EDIT, EDIT
  • Sunday morning, 10a – 6p – EDIT, VFX, EDIT, SOUND DESIGN, EDIT

Here’s a behind-the-scenes view of the process, shot by Daniel von Seckendorff and edited by Vidzu’s 2018 summer intern, Carson Crow.

Flash forward two weeks to the BEST OF STL SCREENING and our team – “Green Eggs & Cams” – and our film – “Ill Be Right Behind You” – won a few awards:

  • Best Directing
  • Best Sound Design
  • Best Choreography
  • Runner Up (tied for 2nd place overall)

Thanks to Cinema St. Louis, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and The Brown Theatre, among many other supporters of this awesome event.

Thanks to our amazing actors – Kathleen BauerJake Kaufman, Jaan Marion and Benjamin Bukvic!
Thanks to our amazing crew – Levi Kirby, Josh Guffey, Kyle Dufendach, Jake Huber, Amanda Smith, Sarah Gibson, Kaylen Kress, Daniel von Seckendorff, Jon Page, Carson Crow, John Launius and Bethany Schmit!
And special thanks for support to Muamera Bukvic, Catalyst Coffee Bar, Keith Alper and CPG Agency!

In the teams own words:

Kyle Dufendach:

This year’s 48 Hour Film Project was easily the most fun I’ve had creating in a long time. As director I felt a lot of pressure (especially working the horror genre of which I am not very familiar). However, working with such incredible talent and such an amazing crew made the process extremely rewarding. Shooting a car chase, an intense struggle sequence, and two complex oners was no small task but we pulled it off because we trust each other. Going from the seed of an idea to final delivery is a rush. I am proud of our team, proud of what we created, and will be proud to see it on the big screen.

Josh Guffey:

I was the writer. This was my first year doing that and leading the brainstorm. I thought is was great – it was cool trying to test all of the ideas and then having a sudden consensus. The actual writing went pretty quickly after that. I will admit I had major FOMO on Saturday during the first half of the shoot. That’s partly why I wanted to come in the second half of the day and chip in on Sunday so much.

Michael Kennedy:

This was my first 48 Hour Film Project. I was the producer on set, keeping all aspects of production in communication and helping keep the time and order throughout the very short timetable we had to capture what we needed. I also participated in the story brainstorm. I had a fantastic time working with the team and couldn’t be prouder of the finished product. This team is super impressive and from the brainstorm, to the writing of the script, the casting, the production and post-production – each aspect of the weekend was flawless and the finished film definitely reflects that.

Levi Kirby:

I was DP all weekend, and I think this year was the most fun out of the last three! Last year we got Sci-Fi, this year we got Horror — and I’m not a huge fan (nor have I done any work in) either genre. However, because of that, both ended up challenging me in new ways as a DP and I ended up being super proud of both finished products. We keep learning and, this year specifically, it was nice to notice how much more efficient we were. Not only was it helpful to get some more sleep, but the efficiencies and team effort were reflected in the final product.

Amanda Smith:

I was the editor which is an interesting role. The brain storm is where great ideas are born but the editing suite is where we really bring the story to life. There’s no feeling like the first time you realize that a scene/film is actually working! Like Levi mentioned this was easily the most fun I’ve had working on this project in the last 3 years because there was so much team involvement at the final push on Sunday. Stress and tension are always high but the reward is totally worth it.

Jake Huber:

I was in charge of audio as well as an extra camera operator and assistant to Levi. This was my first year doing the 48hr film festival. In my experience, this was an awesome project to be a part of. I was surprised that we all were able to contribute in the brainstorm and eventually come to an agreement on a basic story structure. It was really great to have someone like Josh lead the brainstorm and give us structure. Someone needs to drive the bus in a situation like this. It was also amazing to see this story come to life in such a short amount of time. That is no small task. And to make it look professional takes a lot of contribution from everyone involved.

Sarah Gibson:

This was my first 48. I was in charge of designing the credits, but I also got to participate in the story brainstorm. I had so much fun and I know we all pushed ourselves to make the best movie we could. I’m really proud of what we all accomplished and can’t wait for next year to see what we make!

Kaylen Kress:

I was only part of the brainstorm on Friday, but I had a really great time feeding off of everyones energy and ideas. I’ve always wanted to create a film about an urban legend or the scary stories we told as kids, so when we had the opportunity to create a horror I had to tell my favorite camp fire story. What’s amazing about the Vidzu team is how we turned a simple idea into a fully fleshed out film (in 48 hours). I agree with Josh, I had major FOMO all weekend!! It came out really great, I’m really proud of this team. Can’t wait to see it on the big screen.