The first 48: Students make films in less than two days

Annie Bartholomew/Sun Star Reporter
Oct. 15, 2013

The title scene for the UAF Film Club's short film "Asleep at the Wheel." Courtesy of the UAF Film Club.

The title scene for the UAF Film Club’s short film “Asleep at the Wheel.” Courtesy of the UAF Film Club.

On Oct. 4, 25 teams across Alaska attempted to write, shoot and edit a movie in 48 hours. Local production company Frostbite Films and the UAF Film Club joined forces to make a short film in a single weekend, entering it into the Anchorage 48 Hour Film Challenge.

Participants met in the UAF Wood Center on Friday night to decide a plot, filming location and  cast their five minute production. Teams were given three prompts to be eligible for the competition to include a watch, a flashback sequence, and the line, “I was born ready.”

The 17-member “Team Frostbite” worked all  night on Friday, returning to film at 4 p.m.  Saturday.

The  film begins at local watering hole, the Howling Dog Saloon, where actor Deison Rios stumbles out of the bar and drunkenly enters his white Subaru.  After crashing his car, Rios looks for shelter at a cabin in the middle of the woods, only to find a family of killers led by Theatre student Theodor Hooker who comes to the door covered in fake blood.

But the film more than a collection of blood and gore gimmicks, it’s a coming of age story with Hooker symbolically passing the hatchet to his daughter, played by middle school student Winter Weixelman. She joined the film after her mother,  Director of Photography Nannette Pierson, recruited her to be in the production. “There’s not many 13-year-old girls that are willing to stay up til’ nine in the morning acting,” Weixelman said, as the youngest member of the team.

The filming wrapped at 4:30 Sunday morning with only hours remaining for Frostbite Film’s Marcus Moore to sort through content and edit the picture down to five minutes.

Past UAF Film Student of the Year Aaron Gordon worked behind the scenes during his eighth 48 Hour Film Challenge contributing to the camera work, directing and producing of the picture.  Gordon says the challenge pushes the team’s imagination, getting them problem solving and thinking on the go.

“The team never has everything they need,” Gordon said, “We have to look around and just see what’s currently in our hands and make a movie out of that.”

“Asleep at the Wheel” was shown on Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Bear’s Tooth Grill in Anchorage along with 19 other 5 minute challenge films. “Asleep at the Wheel” can be seen on Marcus Mooer’s Vimeo page.

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