|Sophia made it onto the official Bosotn 48 Hour Film Project lobby poster!|
Man, American Idol, and The Price is Right. A show where you sing for your life! As a running joke to ourselves, we have been incorporating the required elements of previous years’ 48 Hour Film Projects, so
And now, some thoughts from some of our bandmembers that participated this year:
After last year’s 48 Hour Film Project, I wrote in my recap about how participating with MJEML brought
me out of my comfort zone when I wore sparkle shorts and a sequined tank top.
Ohhhh, did they up the ante for me this year.
You should know that I don’t publicly sing. Shower singing is fine. Inebriated, “Girl, this is my song,” bar singing is fine. Mocking popular Top 40 hits I secretly enjoy is fine. Otherwise, I remain tight-lipped.
I sang in our 48HFP entry for this year. Four years after joining MJEML, I sang my very first song.
I SANG. A SONG.
This is sort of a big deal for me because singing is not something I am not confident doing. I like playing bass for the band because I’m part of a collective. I’m part of a team! A group! And I can kind of stand in the back corner and hide behind my instrument. I’m not singularly paid attention to, I guess. I’m shy? Sure. I’m shy.
…I also can’t sing very well.
So, to sing is something I admire very much in other people who do but have generally avoided myself. Vehemently avoided. It’s something I’d rather do in the shower when no one’s watching or at the bar when bourbon’s taken away most of my inhibitions.
Somehow, I ended up singing one of our songs for our 48HFP entry this year. I don’t know how that happened. There wasn’t even any bourbon involved.
And as we filmed, Mike advised that I should really try to rock out. That I should be pogo-y like Ian Curtis or snarl like Billy Idol. Which I tried to do.
But after our first take, he said I looked too stiff. I needed to loosen up. And I knew I was neither pogoing nor snarling. I felt a little silly, I guess, trying to act like a bad ass, trying to sing. But it should be easy to not feel silly, I kept thinking, when Sophia’s been acting like a maniacal game show host all day and Rachel’s been jazz-hands’ing in her psychedelic cat sweatshirt. This should be easy!
I suppose we sometimes gain inspiration from unlikely places. Like maniacs and cats.
Mike also asked me to take off my glasses because the lights reflected off of them. Which was actually kind of great for me, not being able to see very well, gazing into the camera in all my nearsighted glory. The faces in the room around me blurred and I couldn’t see anyone’s reactions to what I was doing. And maybe that’s always been my trouble – I’m a little frightened of someone else’s negative reactions.
They always say you should dance like no one’s watching. But I say you should sing like you can’t see very well.
And I don’t know if I’m very good in our 48HFP film, if my singing’s very good, but I tried my best. I didn’t really pogo like I was in Joy Division or snarl like I was in Generation X, but I tried to let loose a little and have fun and not care if I looked silly. And even if I did, that’s okay! It’s okay to be silly! I won’t be singing again anytime soon, but I certainly had a good time pretending it was something I’m into.
I also got to eat chocolate again on camera for the third year in a row – something I’m very capable of, super confident in doing, and will gladly continue to do both publicly and privately.
(behind-the-scenes photos by Rachel!)
RACHEL LEAH BLUMENTHAL
Well, I didn’t pass out early on the couch this year like I did last year! I love all of our Los Locos Manos films, but this one feels the most like a good short film to me – one that other people in the audience will hopefully appreciate. It took us about four hours, I think, to settle on the story. It was difficult to get there. Mike insisted that we only think of the narrative, a potential punchline, while ignoring all of the bits and pieces we’d have to pull into it, which makes a lot of sense in theory. But in practice, it was hard to pull ideas out of thin air, and it may have been faster to grab one of the requirements and shape that into something. I’m glad it finally worked out in this way, though, because Mike was right in that we would have just ended up bending things to fit without actually having a strong story.
We spent a lot of time talking about short stories that we like and looking at synopses for shows like Twilight Zone to get our brains in the right place. I don’t remember exactly where our final idea came from, but I think it has elements of stories like The Lottery – and I guess a little bit of The Hunger Games, or at least half the band seemed to think so! We were divided for awhile, but I was pulling for this one all along, so I’m glad it won out and that everyone seemed happy with it in the end. I think it has a good deal of dark humor and absurdity, and not just in the inside-jokey way that our previous submissions did.
Also, I got to wear a ridiculous outfit and sing lyrics like, “You don’t like my cat. I’m not down with that.” So there’s that. Other highlights: Seeing Cathy’s ridiculous footage from Paris (and wondering how she didn’t get attacked by the French) and seeing Lisa begrudgingly sing a song and do a great job with it! Also, I’m terrified of Sophia…but I guess that’s nothing new.
by The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library