By SEGGAN MOORE
People stay up for a consistent 24 hours all the time; playing video games, working or whatever else calls them to do so. However, filming a 90-minute feature in 24 hours is not a daily endeavor in the film industry.
CineScope Media co-owner Jason Sanders and CSM associate Blake Hooks decided that it was time to put the team to the test; film their feature, “The Deadlines” in one location, in 24 hours and attempt to set a World Record.
Jason and Blake explained the hype for filming our next movie in a 24 hour time period, “The 24-hour deadline to film the entire movie was a big thing that we’ve thought of for a while, because as a filmmaker, you want it to be done the next day. You want it right then and there. Plus, a feature film has not been done in 24 hours that we can find that’s credible. There are plenty of short-films but we haven’t found any features. All filmmakers are looking to do what hasn’t been done yet. The idea of being able to say that we got everyone together and shot a feature film in 24 hours was one of the biggest driving factors and the fact that everyone is so pumped to do it. Our actors are going to live and breathe their character for 24 hours. There is no getting in and out of character on this project.”
“The Deadlines” is the story of Travis Levon (Rickey Bird), a hard-working businessman who is willing to do anything to get the job done and please his boss. He is forced to finish writing a novel after famous horror author Simon Woodburn (Robin Steffen) suddenly dies.
Gavin Stone (James MacPherson), Travis’ callous boss, reminds him of the importance of this finale to an epic saga of books. “The Deadlines” will be the highest grossing book in history with pre-sales, and Mr. Stone won’t let a petty thing like death stop it from hitting shelves. Once Travis steps into the writer’s seat in Woodburn’s home, there is no turning back. As he types away at the computer, the twists and turns in the novel write themselves and come to life. Without warning, Travis and his girlfriend Kelly Hughes (Jenna Marie Bowers) are stuck in a world they have no escape from.
On August 8 and 9, our team gathered and began an attempt that took months of preparation. From 10 a.m. to 10 a.m., we were a bustling group of filmmakers, setting to prove to the world, and ourselves, that you don’t have to be a famous, large-scale production company to do something that hadn’t been done before.
“When you’re doing something you love to do, the passion drives you to stay up and meet your goal,” said Jason.
Preparing for this shoot was personally, a challenging project. We knew for months that we had 24 hours to film an entire movie, so we wanted every minute to count. Restless nights staying up with Jason and Blake trying to figure out shot lists, props, wardrobe and food were just some of the undertakings for “The Deadlines.”
“Preparing for the actual day of the shoot included printing novel covers at the last minute, gathering props and wardrobe. It’s especially difficult when you have a 7’4” actor who is supposed to wear overalls,” said Jason.
Our idea to make the actual shoot happen in 24 hours came down to this: Each room was a set, so it had to be ready to go at any given time. Our awesome grips were on the ball making sure that rooms were ready to go up to two scenes ahead of time.
Jason explained the importance of the room preparation, “Dressing the set meant every room had to be available at all times because we were shooting it in 24 hours, we had to be able to move from one room to the next without stopping to dress it.”
The entire film was shot on the RED One camera. So, it’s not like we were running around with handy-cams; Jason and Blake co-camera operated and hauled the 90-pound camera around set for the entire 24 hours! Talk about a work out. With help from the first assistant camera, Steven Borzachillo, the guys were able to stay on track and focused for the scenes.
As if an awesome crew and amazing cast aren’t enough to work with, Red Bull sponsored us with cases of the delicious liquid energy to keep us going, some of us for more than just 24 hours.
“Nothing can prepare you for a 24 hour shoot. ‘The Deadlines’ is the most difficult, stressful, fun and rewarding experience of my life. I now feel that our team can accomplish anything put in front of us. Thank you Red Bull for keeping my heart pumping,” said Blake.
The hours ticked away, Red Bulls were guzzled, dark circles took over our eyes, but the feat of filming “The Deadlines” in 24 hours was conquered. At 10 a.m. on August 9, the CSM team was finally able to celebrate and bask in our victory.
“Once it came to the final countdown at the end of the 24 hour shoot, it was surreal that we had made it to that point and actually had almost everything shot. The few things that we didn’t manage to get before, we frantically ran around to get the final shots we needed. With about a minute to spare, we met inside the kitchen and decided to film a key shot in the film,” said Jason.
Filming an entire 90-minute feature in 24 hours was definitely a challenging project; not just prepping for a film, but mentally as well. Some call it crazy, some say it can’t be done. But we love what we do. We have the manpower, the drive and the skills to do so. My respect for my fellow associates grows with each project and seeing everyone come together for this film makes me feel lucky to work with these people. These experiences are amazing and I wouldn’t want to be doing this with anyone else.
And here it is. The official trailer for the feature film, “The Deadlines.” Filmed in 24 hours, in one location and all by CineScope Media.