48 Hours to Make It Work!

I am a huge fan of Project Runway. Tim Gunn is one my favorite people! I know I will never be on that show because I am not a designer, nor a particularly fashionable individual! But this past weekend I did get to experience something very close to the Project Runway scenario: the 48 Hour Film Project. And let me tell you: it was AMAZING!

I teamed up with Nils Osmar of Wonder Productions. He is a fantastic writer and director, as well as educator, so I was thrilled to finally have a chance to work with him.

Here is how it worked: on Friday the filmmakers drew their genre. We ended up with Sci Fi. Our location was the Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, WA. The amazing thing was that we could use the whole E.R. wing of the hospital, as it was no longer in use. Incredible! Talk about a set that is true to life!

All teams had to incorporate the character Stephen or Stephanie Dufour, a wedding planner,  a paint can and the line “When are you going to get it together?”

Friday night Nils set to writing the script and we had it in our email inboxes by 11:19 p.m. Filming started at 8 a.m. on Saturday. I dropped by the set at 1 p.m. to check out their progress and meet the cast and crew. It was incredible – I was so impressed. Everyone looked the part and the location was fantastic. The most amazing thing for me was watching Nils work. He is such an incredible director. He was always respectful and positive which created a great energy on set. Everyone was working hard but having a blast. It was really great to see.

On Saturday night I wrote a news theme (since the film was written as a live news broadcast) and Nils really liked it, which was encouraging. Then I went to bed and awaited Nils’ call which came at 5.30 a.m.
Early. So early. I generally rise at 9ish…….

I started working with the film and composed 1 cue. I had a feeling it wasn’t quite right and Nils confirmed my suspicions. We talked a bit more about what may work and which time he referenced the great film “Starship Troopers”. I love the score, by composer Basil Poledouris. The score is glorious, dramatic, soaring.

Once Nils referenced Basil I knew everything would be OK. From that point on  I really hit my flow. Everything seemed to fall into place and Nils liked everything I sent to him and had really helpful feedback. It was truly, truly awesome, I cannot tell you! Nothing is better in this business than a happy Director and Composer!

I started dropping in my finalized tracks at 3.30 p.m. and by 4.30 p.m. I was all done! 11 hours, people, and 5 minutes of music. Amazing.

The coolest thing about this experience was getting through it. Now I know that I can do it, that I can make it happen by the deadline. Moreover, I have a product that I am really proud to call my own!

The film is called “Mercy Hospital: Live from the Forbidden Zone.” The screening is tomorrow, Tuesday June 28,  7 p.m. at Harvard Exit. You can purchase tickets here. I hope you can make it! After winners are announced on July 13 then we can put the film online, so stay tuned.

So, Mr. Tim Gunn, I made it work!

Catherine Grealish


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