Every year the Asian American Film Lab hosts the 72 Hour Shootout. The Shootout is a great way to show your skill as a filmmaker. You receive the theme, and then have 72 hours to write, shoot and edit a 5 minute short film.Every year the Asian American Film Lab hosts the 72 Hour Shootout. The Shootout is a great way to show your skill as a filmmaker. You receive the theme, and then have 72 hours to write, shoot and edit a 5 minute short film. It’s amazing to see how much this competition has grown over the past 4 years. Each year, the competition grows stiffer and talent is greater with winners going on to produce films for MTV, TLC, VH1 and much more. Each year Asiance follows a team along its 72 hour journey. This year we decided to follow two great teams, The EWCC and Paper of Plastic.
This year’s theme was
Elizabeth Ong is missing.
Elizabeth Ong’s absence is essential to your story
Elizabeth Ong does not visually appear in your film
Elizabeth Ong has a connection with characters in your film
Team EWCC is led by director Joanne Cheng and camera assistant Steven Speliotis. This five-minute film was shot in less than ten hours on City Island, one of New York City’s best-kept secrets.
Joanne was born and raised in China. She had an English education when she went to school. She studied Journalism and worked as a reporter for English speaking people in China. While Joanne worked as a reporter she became interested in documentaries. Now she has three documentaries under her belt and has plans to shoot a new documentary in China next month. Joanne Cheng tried her luck with her 72 hour short film, Happy Birthday Liz.
Happy Birthday Liz is a poetic meditation on loss and grief in the face of uncertainty. In a dream-like sequence of iconic moments lived by three female characters – the mother, the daughter and the little girlfriend – the film transports the viewer from sorrow burdened by the weight of memory to joyful affirmation of life despite its fragility.
The film taps into the subconscious mind of the characters with minimum action and dialogue. Only the voices of the children are heard. The traditional dances by the children and Chinese Zheng music performed by the mother add a rich cultural flavor to this timeless tale with a storyline open to multiple interpretations.
Happy Birthday Liz reflects Joanne Cheng’s continued passion to explore the intricate relationship between children and adults, and life and death – a theme that dominates the main concerns of her bilingual philosophical filmmaking.
Team Paper of Plastic
Team Paper of Plastic is led by writer/director Amy Park, producer Sonia Nam and camera/editor Virgilio Aponte.
ASIANCE: Please tell us about your backgrounds.
Amy: I studied law when I was in university and my day job is also in the legal field. But, I’ve always been interested in writing stories. This film is my very first film.
Sonia: I also studied law. And now I’m working in the law field too. Amy and I studied at the same university. I’ve made some short films myself and it’s the first time I’m collaborating with another director.
Virigilio: I went to film school and I’m a filmmaker. I work with small TW shows as an cameraman. I did a lot of short movies myself and collaborated with other people before. Sonia is one of them.
ASIANCE: How did you cast your actors and find a location to shoot?
Amy: Actually for our film there were about 8 people that showed up. Three of them were professional actors whom we met at the 72 Hour Shootout party. The other 2~3 actors were our friends and family members. The 2 remaining are our crew.
The main location was Cliffside Park and Fort Lee NJ. Also, part of it was shot in Astoria, Queens. The last scene in the elevator was the building of Amy’s apartment. For the Diner scene, we shot it in Sonia’s uncle’s diner in Queens. We wanted to find a location that didn’t need permission for us to shoot. That was the first thing we considered.
ASIANCE: Tell us about the whole process of your shooting timeline.
Amy: First, we had dinner together after the launch party on Friday night. We cannot do something when we’re hungry. (Chuckles) Then we went back home. Sonia and I played Chess a little bit in order to relax. After the short chess game we had time for a brain storming session where we combined our ideas together. Then we made a shoot list and finished it Saturday, early in the morning. We started shooting Saturday morning straight through late into the night. We then started editing and finished around 3pm on Sunday. Nobody could sleep at all ever since we got the theme at the party.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
“You’ve Got Male”
Nadine Truong, Christopher Nguyen, Ryan Kim
Check out www.aafilmlab.com for all the winners
Also, Congratulations to the following teams for winning the People’s Choice Shootout Awards!
“SECRET CHINESE SECRET”
by Team Foreign Image
by Team Fellowship of the Onion Ring
“SAM AND BEN: A LOVE STORY”
by Team Decoy Squad
The following five films will be screened on AZN Television:
1 YOU’VE GOT MALE by Team 100% (Grand Prize Winner)
2. ELIZABETH ONG IS MISSING by Team HeadOn (First Runner Up)
3. SECRET CHINESE SECRET by Team Foreign Image (2nd Runner Up and People’s Choice Winner)
4. BPS by Team Fellowship of the Onion Ring (People’s Choice 1st Runner Up)
5. SAM AND BEN: A LOVE STORY by Team Decoy Squad (People’s Choice 2nd Runner Up)
The winners are currently slotted to screen on Wednesday, August 29th on AZNTV.com. The original Top 3 films (You’ve Got Male, Elizabeth Ong is Missing and Secret Chinese Secret) will air at 8pm ET and the viewer’s choice Top 3 will air at 1am ET (so Secret Chinese Secret will air twice! Along with Sam and Ben: A Love Story and BPS) They will be aired together in a 30 minute segment, with a lead in slate which AZN has created. There will be violators at the beginning of each film which will tell viewers if it’s #1, 2, or 3.