Words of Advice From Last Year's 36-Hour Challenge Participants

Participants Justin Razmus and Talon Rudel speak on what it was like to be a part of last year’s
36-Hour Challenge. The two give advice and insight based on their experience.

 

Justin Razmus - 2017 winner -film Burnout

616 Media

What was the hardest part about making a film in 36-hours?
I'm stating the obvious here, but the time constraint really makes this a huge challenge. You have very little time to write a script before you need start filming. Once you start editing chances are you will be so low on time you won't be able to re-shoot any scenes. You just need to work with what you have already. If you're a perfectionist you have no choice but to get over that and concentrate on getting the full edit out as fast as possible

How did you use the opportunity to deepen your experience or network?
This was one of the few times I've had the opportunity to work on a creative project in this capacity. I typically film corporate videos and live events so it was fun to take some time to be completely creative. Working on the script and the story from the beginning was a good experience, as well as working with my crew and the actors.

Did the Challenge increase your knowledge of the overall GR filmmaking community? How?
Yes it did. This was my first chance to meet a lot of people in the local film community. I have to say that there are a lot of amazing people in this city! I've been able to network with some of the best and it's helped me a lot. From getting advice on how to proceed with certain projects to finding people that can collaborate with me on my film projects. I'm really happy that the Grand Rapids Film Festival has allowed me to connect with such a talented group of people.

What advice do you have for those competing for the first time?
Don't waste any time. 36 hours goes by fast. Try to write most of your script and shot list the first night, and even start filming if you can. Remember that editing takes a lot of time, so get the footage into your editing suite as fast as possible. I think the most important part is to have fun and realize it's a 36 hour project. Yes there will be things you would do differently or better if you had more time, but you will learn a lot about working under pressure and how to complete a lot in a short amount of time.


Talon Rudel - Audience Choice winner - film Doorways

Grand Valley State University Student


What was the hardest part about making a film in 36-hours?
The hardest part of making a film in 36-hours was the creation of the concept and sticking to it. With a short film, the concept/idea is the center of how the audience engages with the film. So working with the crew to come up with an idea that we all loved, and then not cutting corners was what literally kept us awake. With such a short time to make a film, it is very easy to get discouraged by obstacles and going the easiest route. However, while sticking with it and deciding to keep on struggling to make the film the best it could be was very difficult it was very worth the struggle. 

How did you use the opportunity to deepen your experience or network?
I used the opportunity of participating in the 36-hour challenge to expand my experience by doing whatever it took to make a project that I was proud of. I used this as a chance to get together with good people and make a film, because you learn filmmaking by making films. Specifically, I had the chance to work with VFX for the first time, directed the largest ensemble cast I had to that point, and was able to have ample opportunities for creative problem solving. As for my network, I took the chance to meet other great filmmakers in the area and was proud to show my film among such talented peers. 

Did the Challenge increase your knowledge of the overall GR filmmaking community? How?
The challenge as a whole increased my knowledge of the GR filmmaking community by demonstrating the vast talent in the area. By showing a film among other filmmakers, I was able to better see the great talent and diversity there is in this community. As well, the challenge facilitated opportunities for me to meet other like minded filmmakers in both the opening ceremony and the screening.  

What advice do you have for those competing for the first time?
My advise for those people competing for the first time is threefold. Firstly, make sure that you are well rested when the event starts, and be sure to be safe while working. Feel free to stay up the whole time, I did, but don't let that cloud your judgment where it comes to on-set safety. No film is worth someone getting seriously hurt. Second, make sure to have a dedicated group of peers to work with. Even if its only you and three others, the more great filmmakers in a team, the better the creativity and the better the product. And lastly, HAVE FUN! It sounds hunky dory, or cliche or whatever, but if you go in knowing that you want to have fun, then the whole experience will just be so much more memorable and it will show in the product. We make films because we love making them!