Posted on Monday, August 01, 2005


Local filmmakers race against the clock in competition


Photos by Barbara P. Fernandez/For The Herald 
Against the Clock: Director Jay Kline, right, and scene videographer Jose Bila, prepare to shoot a scene from there super-hero movie, Broken

After the Adventures of Captain Cheese -- who could ''melt cheese faster than any microwave'' -- was quickly nixed as an award-winning superhero film idea, director Jay Kline and his crew at Farenheight Films went back to the drawing board.

''If we do a movie on Dr. Freeze and Mr. Ice Cube, we'll humiliate ourselves,'' Kline told his team members.

"There's no way of humiliating ourselves if we make something poignant.''

Kline, 38, and company are one of 29 production teams of South Florida would-be movie moguls racing against the clock in the Miami 48 Hour Film Project competition taking place this weekend.

Participants have 48 hours to write a script, film it and edit it into a four- to seven-minute movie that fits into a genre they randomly draw out of a hat just minutes before the competition starts.

If that's not enough to work around, the teams have to use vitamins as a prop, a character named B. Derzon who is a notary public and the line, ``This time it's personal.''

The competition, which started in Washington, D.C, in 2001, is the brain child of producers Mark Ruppert and Liz Langston and has now expanded to 30 cities. Winners of the regional competition get to compete in a national finale, location to be announced.


Actors Paolo Mugnaini, left, and Jennifer Dawson practice before a scene. Kline and company are one of 29 teams of South Florida filmmakers participating in the Miami 48hour Film Project competition. 

"Anyone can do it," said Chinkara Singh, Miami's project coordinator. "I'm always impressed by how people who have never made a film produce great work at this contest."

Teams of aspiring directors, producers and actors arrived at Afterglo, 1200 Washington Ave., Friday for the 7 p.m. kick-off of what would be their mad movie dash.

Some of the groups are new to the game like Jose Fernandez, 19, Steven Umana, 18, and Gustavo Gomez, 20, part of Gecko Films -- named after the group's president, absent on Friday, who Fernandez reports looks like a gecko.

Then there is Kline, a father of two, whose last trip to the theater was to see The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D with his kids. But Kline is no novice, having directed the 100-minute indie film The Fatouche in 2004.

Before the event, Kline said, ''I'm turning my brain off,'' to rest up for the intense two-day mind sprint.

Kline and his production team did not stop from 6:45 p.m., when they picked a slip of paper reading ''super hero'' from a black top hat, until 6 a.m Saturday morning, when the group put the final touches on the script for their movie, Broken.

Kline did not mind getting ''super hero'' as the genre. He thinks fantasy would have been worse.

''The hardest thing to do is get a unicorn on short notice,'' Kline told his team, which included producer Robert Uguccioni, second unit director Steve Guaico and sound specialist Kevin Burke.

No tight pants and capes will be found in Kline's super-hero flick. Broken will focus on the human and amorous side of a hero played by actor Paolo Mugnaini and his lover, played by actress Jennifer Dawson.

Kline only slept for 40 minutes before the 7 a.m. shoot began but showed no signs of wearing down.

All he needed was a can of Pepsi.

''Caffeine! Ahhhhhhh,'' Kline sang, as if he was himself a super hero finding his source of strength. ``I have my energy.''

Photos by Barbara P. Fernandez/For The Herald 
On The Set: Local filmmakers prepare to shoot a scene for Broken at 435 NE 77th Street. Participants have 48 hours to write a script, film it and edit it into a movie.

Participants in the 48 hour film project turned in their projects by 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Tantra, 1445 Pennsylvania Ave., to qualify for 12 awards like best film, best directing and best script writing, and the coveted audience award. The biggest prize for the winners: "Exposure," Singh said.

All entries will be screened Tuesday and Wednesday at Sunrise Cinemas in North Miami Beach, where viewers can vote for the audience award.

Copyright 2005 Knight Ridder

Links - For More Information 

Miami 48 Hour Film Project

48 Hour Film Project