48 Hour Film Project 2012: Finishing A Movie

Phase III: Cut, Paste, and Race! (Sunday 1AM to Sunday 7:30PM)

It’s finally here! Click the image to go directly to the movie…

As the second half of the 48 hours wore on, I learned just how wise it had been for the team to insist that we allot as much time to editing as possible. Editing turned out to be an essential factor in making the film visually and aurally arresting. Our editor, Chris, was quite a wonder.

Ever-relaxed, Chris Wonder

Over and over throughout the night, Chris pasted together disparate pieces of audio and video, assembling the scenes we had begun imagining on Friday night. I stayed on hand, using the annotated script to locate the strong takes, and contributing my aesthetic sense to progressive scenes.

Ryan Hurtgen in the zone

Lay On That Sweet Sound

By 5AM we had a rough full length edit of the movie which I was able to upload for our composer in Los Angeles, Ryan Hurtgen. By dawn, we had most of the visual order of the film locked in, but still a long way to go to make it sound right. At 6AM I made coffee for Chris and myself, and we dug in for the audio.

By Noon, most of the Fog Belt Team was awake and gearing up for drop off. Those who were available went out to brunch, digesting the previous day’s experience. Ryan was working diligently in L.A., and had sent us the theme for the film. Over the next few hours were were expecting two more tracks to use for the score.

From this…

…to this.


By 4PM, we had the feedback from the directors about any cuts or additions we could squeeze in. Time was truly running short. We prioritized the changes that needed to be made in the final hours. We would not be able to do everything, but we would be able to do the most important things.

Start here…

…to arrive here.


By 6PM, as the final 90 minutes ticked down, Ryan sent us the last of the music, and Chris laid it on. He worked on some finishing touches, dubbing sound effects, and doing the final rendering. We still had to get the movie onto an accepted media format and make it to Sugar Cafe by 7:30PM. In the back of our minds, we began to wonder what would happen – but there was no room for doubt.

The producers, Leslie and Adam, enjoy a well earned break...

A breather before the race to the finish.

Clock Watching

At 7:05PM, Adam and Leslie took Chris and his laptop with them in the car to the dropoff. Chris finished burning the DVD, and creating the USB flash drive back up, both to be turned in to the 48 Hour Film Project organizers.They raced the clock to Sugar Cafe. With no time to park, Leslie jumped out of the car and ran in with our copies of the movie. She elbowed past other entrants rushing in to make the deadline and got our timestamp, 7:21PM, with 9 minutes to spare.

Success! We had written, shot, edited, scored, and distributed a short film in 47 hours and 51 minutes!  There was a public screening in the city, which Fog Belt Films attended with some friends and family. The general consensus was that “As Long As You’re Still Out There” was easily better than 2/3 of the other films with which it screened. By finishing on time, we qualified for the judging and competition, which was finalized July 15th.

How Did We Do?

“As Long As You’re Still Out There,” by Fog Belt Films was a finalist in, not one, but two (2!) categories: Best Use of Assigned Prop, and Best Visual Effects. Not bad for the first shot out of the box. Finishing a watchable piece of movie in 48 hours really made me feel like I could do anything. It was a grand sensation, a fine fruit born of challenging labor. And a special ovation to team Fog Belt, for all of your hard work and imagination!

Without Further Ado…

If curiosity is getting the best of you, check out, “As Long As You’re Still Out There” online.

Thanks for reading! Reading rules!


About Suhail Rafidi

Suhail Rafidi is a novelist and educator whose works explore the destiny of human values in a technological landscape. You can find him on Twitter, too, @shelldive.
This entry was posted in Movies, Science Fiction, The Writing Profession and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to 48 Hour Film Project 2012: Finishing A Movie

  1. Reblogged this on Science of the Soul and commented:
    Phase III

  2. What a Fantastic film!!!! Major props the the entire cast and crew, especially my wonderful cousin, Suhail!!!

  3. So sweet of you, Rita! Thanks for spreading the love!

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