Two Lessons learned from Loving Mary…

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Team Briscoe meeting up before the 48 hour stretch of time teams all over the world would partake in to make a short film.

 

About a month ago, I got a call from colorful, bossy woman names Ashaine Briscoe, inviting me to be on her team for the 48 hour film project  If you look a few posts back in my blog, you’ll get the skinny on when they came and spoke to the now defunct Miami Film Life Center about competing. (Yes, I am still pissed about MFLC not getting their funding.)  I remember meeting Briscoe at a MFLC get together. I remember thinking, “she is a trip.” Just bossing folks around with this cheerleader-like sassiness and all that.

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That’s Ms. Bossy to the far left.

I felt honored to be considered. I was/am new to the Miami filmmaking scene. I had yet to finish my own film and yet someone thought this much of me. I said yes, before she had the time to reconsider. We met with fellow writer/teammate CJ Staples at one of the most addictive donut shops on the planet and enjoyed an easy camaraderie. By the way, Staples is the real deal. A stand-up comedian, prolific writer, hardcore networker. Dude moved from Jersey down here with a dollar and a dream and is making it happen. I met other members of the team at the final 48hfp meet n greet (that day last game of the finals that Lebron and, you know what? We’re not discussing that). I met the wildly inventive director Christopher Anthony Irarrazabal, the adorable Cecilia Melman, the buckwild Gigi St. Juste, energetic (and opinionated! LOL) editor Frantzy Moreau, the uber-animated Olga Omvatii Gavrilenko, the swimsuit super hero Tarrah Toliver Fisher (long story), the unabashed cat-enthusiast David Jura, the baby-faced Jenna Elliot, the wild-haired, yet microscopic Yindra Zayas (ha!) That’s just a few of the people. We all were in this hotel room in Miami Beach, racing with the clock to make it happen.

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Me and CJ wracking our brains to come up with a story. You do see the sun went down and we were still at it?

The two most important things I discovered in all this was –

1. The truth in  Parkinson’s law, which states: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This means if you have three months to do something, you will take three months to do it. If you have 48 hours, you will do it in that time. I’ve been able to do a lot of things lately that dropped into my lap at the last minute, simply because I had no time to second guess myself. I’m gonna keep rocking with that – to the best of my capabilities, when it comes to finishing the North of the Grove movie. I believe I have a producer that will all more resources and expertise to the project. This leads to the second piece of wisdom I learned from the 48 hour film project;

2. Surround yourself with a team of folks that can get it done. Killing yourself to do it all is not the move. You have to come up with a script within the 48 hours. They make sure you’re honest by giving you genres, taglines, props and names to include right before the time starts. We got romance (ugh!), the name Cliff Finley,  the tagline “How do you do that?” and the prop of a musical instrument.

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After we got the story together, the rest of the team strategize over

Doritos, Sprite and lemon pepper tuna (it was good, too).

Well, our film, “Love, Mary” is about Cliff Finley, a lonely guy who was afraid of the old, childhood tale of saying Bloody Mary three times into a mirror for fear that an evil woman would indeed appear in the mirror and get after him. He attempts it and finds a fairly attractive woman in his mirror. The two begin a heavy relationship. Cliff, a waiter who doubles as a horrible but ambitious harmonica player, grows sick of Mary’s clingy nature and breaks a hand mirror to be free of her. Remorseful, he attempts to piece it back together with funny and interesting results.

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Getting the word out. The screening!

We got everything in on time with enough shenanigans to have our behind-the-scenes documentary. Remember, we were looking to go all the way for the top award in the 2014 Filmapalooza in New Orleans and then the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner. A day before the premiere, we got word that some documentary category was the only category that would compete at that level. Hit link (The ruling is Mister, the sister sent away is our damn chance represent at Cannes, Team Briscoe is, clearly, Celie) Creative re-interpretation

Still, we could get a notable mention in some other categories so, I was still pumped. Actually, I was shifting from side to side at the premiere. There were some clear misses with the competition, films were missing their sound (dudes were in the parking lot crying about it), some were too poorly lit to follow any of the actor’s emotions, other were so campy and out-sync that it seemed like some bad weed from college just took my mind over and… nevermind. Ours did well. Competitors applauded. We got a lot of compliments. I’ve got a wider group of actors, editors and directors. Several have approached me for future project ideas. I feel legitimized. It felt like a big, fat “I told you so!” To folks who have been doubting if I can make moves with filmmaking. I’ll let you know when (not if) we get a notable mention for “Love, Mary.”

 

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